Just last week, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell confirmed that the league wants to have a new Collective Bargaining Agreement in place before the start of the league’s 100th season in September. Apparently, the league has changed its position in the past seven days.
“There’s been some talk that they want this done be Week One — the league, that is,” Mike Garafolo of the NFL said Wednesday. “We are told that this is extremely unlikely at this point, not something that the NFL is really pushing hard. Everyone would like to get this done earlier rather than later, but everyone wants to do the right deal not just the quick deal.”
That’s definitely a shift; asked by CNBC at the Sun Valley billionaires’ summer camp whether NFL wants the CBA in place before the season starts, Goodell said, “That’s certainly our intent.”
It’s possible that the NFL adjusted its intent after realizing that it’s just not practical to get a deal signed, sealed, and delivered by the start of the regular season. Or maybe the NFL senses that the NFL Players Association wanted too much of a premium to move quickly.
Regardless, the deadline already has been adjusted. The more realistic target, in our view and for reasons previously explained, is the start of the next league year in March.