More and more we're seeing reports of the NFL and players of the NFLPA* (trade association...) getting together and talking, without lawyers. Well, DeMaurice Smith is present in the meetings and he's a lawyer, but he's also the head of the NFLPA*. These negotiations are taking place with the oversight of a moderator, as well. The meetings began in Chicago and have continued in New York this week at an undisclosed location, presumably in the Bat Cave or Fortress of Solitude. I think Professor X's School for the Gifted is in New York as well, but I'm not sure.
So what could suddenly force these two sides to actually engage in for real negotiations and not just idle posturing?
Well, money of course.
League sources indicate that the cancellation of the preseason would cost the NFL approximately $1 billion, while a lack of resolution by August 1 would come at a price of $350 million. While those numbers are inexact, there's no question that the loss of revenue -- which will begin once the preseason games come off the schedule -- will make negotiations exponentially more difficult. The pie will shrink, resulting in less money to go around in a situation that, for both sides, is about making the finances right.