Dan Pompei once again comes through with a nice article as things slowly shift into the offseason. This time he addresses what teams can and can’t do during a lockout, which will likely start when the current CBA expires March 3.
Pompei ends his piece with this thought:
“The best guess is there will be a lockout, and many harsh words. But eventually, maybe in August, the players will buckle at the thought of losing $4.4 billion in salary and benefits. A new CBA will be agreed upon, and the NFL will have a very short period to sign free agents and get teams prepared for a season that could be shorter than usual.”
Don’t count on it. The degree of stupidity which men in these situations can exhibit is awesome in its scope. One only need look at baseball in the early nineties to know how stubborn people who are full of pride can ruin a good thing. The players may well hold out longer than people think. If the lockout lasts through August, I wouldn’t be a bit surprised to see regular season games lost.
The best hope for the fans, who are, of course, paying the bills for both sides, is the scenario which Mike Florio at profootballtalk.com has repeatedly emphasized as a possibility. The union has prepared to de-certify and if they do that, the owners will be forced to impose common work rules. An anti-trust suit filed by the union would follow and we’d have football in 2011.
But absent that, everyone from the fans who lose games to the owners and players who will lose billions of dollars, comes out the worse. Lets hope it doesn’t’ come to that.