I keep hearing about how the two sides are expecting a deal to get done in the next 7-10 days, but considering it took until Wednesday this week before Roger Goodell and De Smith were in the same room, you can color me skeptical. The rookie wage scale continues to be the main sticking point of talks according to insiders, but it sounds to me like the players are not going to be willing to budge on that issue or especially on the right of first refusal. As much hope as we have had over the last week or so, I’m starting to fall back into eternal pessimism when it comes to this lockout. Every time we hear the thing is about done, it blows up and a new set of problems is in the news. I have decided that I’m now shifting into “I’ll believe it when I see it” mode when it comes to the lockout being “close” to over.
For what it’s worth, it sounds like the Hall of Fame game is in some serious jeopardy, and it’s to the point where many people I have talked to said the two sides are looking at the July 22 date as the target as opposed to July 15, which is what it would likely take for the HOF game to still take place. If the deal is in place by July 22, the season will happen in full minus the HOF game, and it looks like that’s where we are heading. Of course, every time we think something is a sure thing, the opposite happens, so I guess you shouldn’t give up on the Rams and Bears just yet.