Extra Points

Here’s some optimism on labor front

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It’s not hard to find fans who think that the NFL and its players, ultimately, will come to an agreement on a new CBA before any games are scratched.

It’s much harder to find people actually involved in these talks to show that kind of optimism. That’s why it’s noteworthy when a guy like David Cornwell — the former assistant general counsel for the NFL and a very prominent sports attorney — says that a lockout may not be the lock you think it is. Now, that’s not to say all this won’t be without bumps, but if you read his essay here on what he thinks will happen, you see ultimately he believes there will be football in 2011.

He doesn’t see labor peace. In fact, he sees more unrest — With a unilateral changing of the rules by the owners, and the decertification of the union (sparking an antitrust case) coming first — but that will be followed, Cornwell thinks, by a period where the sides will have time to work things out. He wrote …

Regardless of the outcome of the NFLPA’s antitrust challenges, it
will likely take at least five years to obtain final rulings. In the
interim, owners will save billions in player costs and fans will enjoy
NFL football in 2011 and beyond. The open question is whether the
ultimate benefit to players will be greater than the cost.

OK, I won’t pretend it was easy to get through Cornwell’s piece. But if you can fight through all the legal lingo, you’ll learn some stuff.

If you want more, the NFL has set up a Web site for this stuff.

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