The NFL and the NFLPA will continue talks next Tuesday at the request of mediator, George Cohen. Is it possible to spend more than 50 hours in the same room as someone and not make any progress? Furthermore, it's a good sign that Cohen has requested for the meetings to continue. At this point it's only speculation, but I'm beginning to get the feeling that any lockout would be short lived.
Cohen said that the discussions between the NFL and NFLPA this week was spent in "constructive dialogue." He also said that many issues remain to be answered, but he acknowledged that progress was made. This is a situation where one of the sides has to give. Preferably both sides will give some, but the public won't be sympathetic towards either side of the discussion.
The fans are the ones that stand to lose the most. Look, we love football, specifically the Jaguars. We're the ones buying merchandise, and we, collectively, pay the bills of the NFL and its players. The last thing the NFL or the players should want is for the lockout to extend into the regular season.
The closer to the deadline this potential lockout gets, the more optimistic I become that the two sides will be able to come to a timely agreement. The idea of a lockout doesn't bother me, the idea of a long lockout does. Roger Goodell has done a lot of things that I don't agree with, but I do love the way he's handled himself during these negotiations.
Regardless of the outcome of these labor talks, I fully intend on sitting on my couch, eating Cheetos, and watching the Jaguars on Sunday next season. The NFL and NFLPA have shown a willingness to sit down and negotiate in a civil way which is and should be the first step. I really can't say when they'll get a deal done, but rest assured. It'll get done.