This Is The Day That Makes Or Breaks The 2011 Season

WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 03: National Football League Players' Association (NFLPA) executive director DeMaurice Smith speaks with the media on March 3, 2011 in Washington, DC. The NFL and the players' union agreed to an extension of the current collective bargaining agreement. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

Michael Silver at Yahoo.com has a great article about the key labor negotiations that are taking place today.

Sources on both sides of the conflict agreed on one basic premise: If enough progress is made that another short-term CBA extension – perhaps a week, perhaps two – is announced by Friday night, the players and owners will almost certainly be headed for a settlement that will result in a multi-year deal before the end of this month.

But if they can't put together the framework of a deal on Friday:

If not, as one person familiar with the negotiations put it, "It will be Armageddon." The union will decertify and file a class-action, anti-trust lawsuit against the owners, who’ll issue a legal challenge to the validity of the act while implementing a lockout (or de facto lockout). A long, bitter standoff would likely ensue, and the 2011 season could be threatened.

Based on the details in the article, I think the players are giving in more to make a deal. The owners, as Michael Silver details in his article, won't get all the money they want, but more then they had under the previous deal. And the players would reluctantly agree to an 18-game schedule, which would hopefully balance out the revenue they would lose. Two extra full-speed games are just two more chances for players to suffer major injuries, and aggravate existing ones.

While the players are compromising on some key points, they'll avoid the "long, bitter standoff" that's the alternative. I'm sure they'd rather play football. It looks like a reasonable deal for both sides can be worked out, but this is the last day to do it.

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