With OTA proposal, NFLPA is putting cart before the horse

With the NFL Players Association preparing a proposal that would dramatically overhaul the offseason program and, in turn, start training camp early, there are some issues that need to be considered before the NFLPA tiptoes down the hallway to speak to the disembodied head of the great and powerful Oz.

First, are the players truly on board with this? Did they even know about it before the news hit on Tuesday morning?

Shouldn't they have found out about it from the union or their team representative and not in a tweet from a reporter whose paycheck is literally signed by Roger Goodell?

Second, with the players bracing for the league to propose expanding the regular season to 18 games, why not wait for the league to make the first move? There's strength in not being the side to go first.

Wait. Be patient. They'll come to you, and then you can rattle off all the stuff you want in return. By going first, the NFLPA puts itself in a potential position of weakness when it comes to getting the absolute most in return for an effort to add a game before the current CBA expires, nearly a decade from now.

Current union leadership hasn't been in place for long. It's still not clear how the organization will operate. New executive director Lloyd Howell, who has no union experience and plenty of time as management, has kept a low profile.

Basic realities of bargaining place significant value on being coy. On not seeming anxious. On understanding that, when you ask for a change to the status quo, the other side will want something in return.

Even if it's a potential win-win to eliminate OTAs and in exchange for a pre-training camp ramp-up period, the NFL will never say, "Good idea. Let's do it." Instead, the NFL will view anything the union requests as an opportunity to ask for something else.

So wait. Be patient. Don't let the league nudge you to make the first move. You have power in the fact that they want another game and you don't have to give it to them. Play your cards right, and you're get a lot more than an overhaul to the offseason program.