With the lock-out deadline staring us in the face this week, anything could still happen. Since the pro-union judge issued an injunction preventing the owners from being paid several billion bucks by the TV networks during a lock-out, the dispute could turn as ugly judiciously as it was publicly before the recent talks with the federal mediator occured. Or, the owners and the union could agree to extend the league’s lock-out deadline, thereby giving themselves more time to work out a new collective bargaining agreement (CBA). Or, they could agree to operate under the same arrangement as last year. Right now, the possibilities are several. Soon that won’t be the case.
Once the lock-out starts, furlough notices will be distributed to front-office staffs and coaches of every NFL team. I don’t believe head coaches will be affected any more than star players will feel any pain. Even if they do, you can bet deals will be cut after the lock-out ends to ensure the elite players recoup their losses. It’s the position coaches and second-tier players who stand to lose the most. Hopefully, all of these folks stashed away a rainy day fund that will cover them throughout the summer.
The operative questions are ’How will the League respond to the judge’s injunction?’, and ‘Will the owners lose in court as badly as some predict they will?’ At the very least, the playing field is now level between the two parties. Speaking of questions, one has to wonder if the Redskins might be interested in Carson Palmer. I seriously doubt trading McNabb straight up for him would satisfy Cincinnati, as the Bengals will likely want a # 1 pick in this year’s draft as part of the package.
This morning I heard John Clayton say he believes the lock-out will commence as scheduled, but will not last into September. Let’s hope he’s right, because the ‘Skins need to succeed in both the draft and the free agent market in order to compete in the East.