Jul 15, 2011
Breakthrough. That is the word seemingly every reporter used to describe the labor negotiations on Thursday. For the first time since the lockout began, there seems to be a unanimous feeling of positivity, which has led many to speculate that a deal could come at any time now. Will that day be today?
Thursday’s labor negotiations yield much progress … thanks to a breakthrough made on the rookie wage scale. After making little headway on the issue last week, the owners and players reportedly both made concessions to come to an agreement, which was considered a major, if not the biggest hurdle to get over in the talks. With that situation settled, the salary cap number appears to be set at about $123 million for 2011. With momentum rolling right along, it looks like a deal could be close to happening, although some potential tricky issues remain. The August 7th Hall of Fame Game between the Rams and Bears is still on track to be played, but the new CBA will need to be approved by the players and owners before training camps can begin. The hope is that a deal will be presented to the owners to vote on at their scheduled meeting next Thursday, just a day before the Bears are supposed to open camp. The two sides are to meet with Judge Arthur Boylan on Tuesday and there’s a chance a “handshake deal” to present to him at that time. As both sides stated, there can’t be an official agreement until voting takes place and as NFL Network reporter Albert Breer noted, there’s acknowledgment that each side will not like part(s) of the expected agreement. For now, the sides will discuss the remaining issues, which include owners wanting a right of first refusal on certain free agents, settling the antitrust suit, and the NFLPA becoming a union once again.
- The Browns are expected to get a boost by the return of RB Montario Hardesty, who missed all of his rookie season due to a knee injury suffered in the preseason last year. Hardesty been rehabbing to be ready for training camp starts and said he’ll be “ready to go.”
- Carson Palmer is in Nevada this week for a celebrity golf event, but had no comment about his status with the Bengals.