Why it’s in the owners’ best interest to stall

Jerry Richardson, owner of the Carolina Panthers, arrives to continue negotiations between the National Football League (NFL) and the National Football League Players’ Association (NFLPA) in Washington March 11, 2011. The parties were still negotiating a range of sticking points, including how to divide more than $9 billion in annual revenues, but the players’ union insist one issue, the NFL’s proposal to add two more games to the regular season, was off the table. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts (UNITED STATES – Tags: SPORT FOOTBALL EMPLOYMENT BUSINESS)

What I want as a fan as it pertains to the NFL lockout and what I think will happen are obviously two different things. I want the lockout to end yesterday, so that free agency will open and the NFL draft won’t seem like a major inconvenience to all parties involved.

But what I think is happening right now is pretty obvious: The owners are stalling.

Some believe that both sides want to get a deal done now. I don’t. I think the players wanted to get a deal done when the discussions first began, while I think the owners wanted a lockout all along and were ready to use the negotiated TV contracts to fund said lockout. But when Judge David Doty ruled that owners like Carolina’s Jerry Richardson (photo above) couldn’t use that money, the leverage swung in the players’ favor and things changed dramatically. The owners then wanted to get a deal done, so they put together what they thought was a reasonable offer before the CBA deadline expired. But at that point, the players wanted to decertify because they knew that if things went to court, Judge Doty would get them the best deal possible.

But then they went to court and Judge Susan Nelson was chosen to oversee their case – not Judge Doty. The scales have now tipped back in the owners’ favor, even if Judge Nelson lifts the lockout in these upcoming weeks.

Read the full article at the Washington Post.

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