WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 08: Indianapolis Colts center Jeff Saturday (R) arrives for negotiations at the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service building March 8, 2011 in Washington, DC. Representatives from the National Football League (NFL) and National Football League Players' Association (NFLPA) continue to negotiate a collective bargaining agreement between players and owners. (Photo by Logan Mock-Bunting/Getty Images)
Last Friday, we had some optimism that the NFL Owners and the Players Association wanted to get something worked out when they agreed to a one week extension, trying to hammer out a new Collective Bargaining Agreement. Now that the deadline of today at 5:00 pm ET is less merely hours away, it certainly seems like the two sides are at an impasse, and are settling for letting federal judges decide the fate of the NFL.
I am very sorry that you as fans have to endure this. Football is more than just a game for all of us. We will keep fighting...always
Pro Football Talk has more from Brees:
"To our fans – I give you my word that we as players are doing everything we can to negotiate with the NFL towards a fair deal," Brees wrote. "The NFL brought this fight to us – they want $1 billion back, we just want financial information to back up that request. They refuse to give that information to us. They think we should just trust them. Would you? We have a responsibility to our players – past, present, and future, to advance this league forward, not take 3 steps back."
I think we're in for a long summer, hearing about lawsuits, appeals, and financial data, rather than which rookies are shining at mini-camp, and how much Peyton Manning will be making next season. I've been on the players' side all along, and that isn't changing. They aren't asking for anything exorbitant. They aren't even saying the Owners aren't deserving of that extra $1 Billion. The players just want proof they need it. Doesn't seem too unreasonable to me.
Hopefully we'll hear some better news in the next few hours, but don't count on it.