NFL Lockout: So, Maybe July 21st Isn't the Date After All

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - MAY 17: NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell leaves court ordered mediation at the U.S. Courthouse on May 17, 2011 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. As the NFL lockout remains in place mediation was ordered after a hearing on an antitrust lawsuit filed by NFL players against the NFL owners after labor talks between the two broke down in March. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)

It's time to 'balance' today's good news with the bad. Turns out that the magic date of July 21st for a new NFL collective bargaining agreement, which was reported by ESPN's Adam Schefter and Chris Mortensen, might not be so magical.

According to a source from the player's side who is talking to CBS Sports writer Pete Prisco, the July 21st deadline is one being pushed by the owners so that the players will 'cave' on the supposedly last and final issue in these negotiations: The rookie wage scale.

"That's not true," the player said. "All that is hype coming from the owners side to try and put pressure on us to do a deal. They want to make us look bad. It's simply not true. There is a lot of work to be done. They are not close."

Amid reports that a deal could be done by July 21, the player said that is far from the information he is getting from his representatives.

"Consider where that information is coming from, it's the owners," the player said. "Their reason is to try and create all this false hope to put more pressure on us."

Again, we've seen deadlines like the July 21st one before. It was Jim Irsay, and only Jim Irsay, who said a deal needed to get done by July 4th to save preseason. July 15th was another date people touted as THE day.

What we do know is that if a deal is not agreed upon by July 21st, it's likely the preseason is shot, and that is not a good thing. Rookies like Anthony Castonzo and Ben Ijalana need preseason to get ready. Free agents will also need those games to acclimate themselves to the Colts systems and schemes.

Also, should preseason die this year, the owners stand to lose $800 million. The loss of that money will embolden the hardline, idiot owners (like Jerry Richardson), making a 'fair' deal nearly impossible for the players to agree to.

As the sources told Prisco, the time has come from Roger Goodell to 'drop his nuts' and get these owners to compromise on this rookie wage scale issue. Pressuring the players into agreeing to it could cost the NFL hundreds of millions.

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