There have been six sets of negotiations thus far in this 114 day NFL Lockout. Commissioner Roger Goodell, NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith, owners and players are meeting today and tomorrow in an attempt to finalize the framework for a new CBA. Though the aim is to finish by close of business tomorrow, it's expected that negotiations wil last into next week. After tomorrow, the mediations will become unmediated because U.S. District Judge Arthur Boylan is scheduled to go on vacation. If this has any ill effect on the negotiating, I hope his vacation really sucks.
There is pressure mounting to get a deal finalized and signed by Thursday or Friday of next week because past that, the playing of the August 7th Hall of Fame game begins to be in jeopardy.
To recap, the goal is: get the deal signed by July 15th. Have 7-10 days of free agency. Start training camp by July 22nd or 23rd. Hall of Fame game August 7th against the Rams and Bears, two weeks later. Now, obviously, July 15th is not the drop dead date to get things done but the NFL really doesn't want to have to cancel that game. Most teams don't start until about August 11th or so, so that gives everyone a few extra days past next Friday get get it all wrapped up. It's anyone's guess as to when this new CBA is finalized though.
There are many issues at stake: revenue sharing, free agency right of first refusal, rookie salary system, retired player benefits, etc and so forth. Hopefully they can figure something out.