Just one more party's thoughts on this matter. The consensus among these agent types seems to be that a deal will get done very soon. His reasons being that the players don't want to miss a paycheck and the owners don't want the courts deciding the outcome.
Jack Mills is a pretty sharp guy and also well respected for his knowledge of sports law. He has represented many Bronco stars and other top players and currently has 30 players and rookies under him for guidance and contract negotiation.
I highlighted a few points of interest.
Paige: Boulder attorney talks pros, cons of NFL lockout
By Woody Paige
The Denver Post
Posted: 06/18/2011 12:33:24 AM MDT
Updated: 06/18/2011 12:33:29 AM MDT
The fight between the billionaires and the millionaires is incomprehensible and illogical to the thousandaires and the hundredaires.
Sunday will mark the 100th day since the NFL lockout commenced.
The two questions asked incessantly by the fans are: "Why don't the owners and the players settle this mess?" and "Will there be an NFL season?" Jack Mills has optimistic answers: "They will soon" and "Yes, there will be."
Mills, a sensible, informed Boulder attorney who has represented hundreds of NFL players over 40 years and teaches the entanglements of sports law at the University of Colorado, told me: "There are too many smart people on both sides to miss any NFL games."
As an agent for Heisman Trophy winners, all-pros and a Hall of Famer, an adviser to the NFL Players Association and a negotiator with most of the owners, Mills has dealt with two strikes and, now, the lockout.
"I know how much the players don't want to miss a paycheck," he said. "They have such short careers, and there are no guaranteed contracts in football. They'll always be at a disadvantage (in labor negotiations).
"The owners can't claim they're losing money like the NBA owners. The purpose of litigation (by the players) is to gain some leverage, and the owners don't want the issue to be resolved in the courts because they can't be certain of the outcome.
"Both have their reasons to get this done."
Myriad reports over the past few days suggest that the owners and players are moving closer to an agreement, while some sources remain skeptical.
Pockets of players and owners have met recently, and Chief Magistrate Judge Arthur Boylan last week held a second mediation session that included commissioner Roger Goodell and DeMaurice Smith , executive director of the decertified players union.
After the three-judge U.S. circuit appeals court heard arguments in regard to the lifting of the lockout, senior judge Kermit Bye urged the owners and the players to reach a settlement because neither might like the court's decision.
"When the last collective bargaining agreement was signed (in 2006), the leaders were (commissioner) Paul Tagliabue and (the late) Gene Upshaw (NFLPA executive director), and Tagliabue wanted that CBA to be his legacy, and Upshaw got the richest CBA in football history," Mills said.
"Several owners didn't like it, so there was an opt-out clause."
Although players received 59.5 percent of total football income, "you had a pie, to put it in simplest terms, and the owners took out a big slice before the players got any," Mills said.
The pie is larger now ($9 billion), but the owners initially were insistent on $2 billion instead of $1 billion with the first cut.
"It all comes down to the money," Mills said. Doesn't it always?
"The owners already have made concessions. There won't be an 18-game schedule, and they are willing to give more money to the players (a higher salary cap) off the $2 billion.
"I think what we'll see is once they agree on the amount, all the other issues (including rookie wage scales) will be resolved relatively easy and accomplished in a few days sometime in July.
"They'll get in some (training) camp, the exhibition games, and the season will begin when it's scheduled to."
Mills is concerned about the players drafted in lower rounds, or not at all. "They won't have the benefit of all the summer work (minicamps), and when it comes to making a choice, teams probably will keep the players they have had before."
Mills — who has represented Randy Gradishar , Rod Smith, Sammy Winder and Daniel Graham among dozens of ex-Broncos — has 30 current players and several college free agents who are uncertain about their futures. "I tell them to stay in shape and be ready. I'm confident that we'll have football."
Hopes are on hold for all the -aires.