While we continue to hear a new CBA is close on one end and the other end tells us it's still "got a lot of work", most feel a deal will be done in time that will allow a full pre-season to occur. Why do most people feel this way?
Because the league still makes hundreds of millions of dollars on the preseason, per week.
NFL spokesman Greg Aiello wrote: "Many misunderstand preseason revenue. All goes into cap. Each preseason week worth $200 million in revenue for players/teams."
Jerry Roper, head of the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce, told Neil Hayes of the Chicago Sun Times how much it would cost to miss a single preseason game in the city of Chicago. Roper estimates that a single missed preseason game would cost the city of Chicago $3 million, before the money generated from concessions is taken into consideration. Once concessions are factored in, it jumps to near $8 million, which Roper still calls "conservative".
While Chicago is a much larger and more populated metropolitan area than Jacksonville, it's just a small look at what could be lost by missing a single preseason game. The owners and players know this, and that's why the real time to make a deal will be sometime in the month of July.
My guess is still the week of July 18th. I have no reason why, that was just my guess a few weeks ago.