NFL Taking Positive Steps Towards New CBA

With four straight days of talks scheduled, is the end near?

James LeBeauby James LeBeau

Just as one sport appears to be set to begin their lockout, another is inching ever closer to ending theirs as the NFL Owners and players have scheduled four straight days of talks that begin Tuesday and are set to run through Friday, according to ESPN's Chris Mortensen. These talks mark the fifth consecutive week that both sides have held them and this four day stretch is the longest series of talks held within that period.

With a month to go before the start of training camps, all signs are pointing to this lockout being ended soon, though at least one side isn't going to rush just to get a deal done.

"It's not about getting a deal done as quickly as possible, it's about getting a fair deal done," said Houston linebacker DeMeco Ryans one of the team's representatives who worked out Monday with other Texans players. "Whenever that time comes, when a fair deal is on the table, that's when it will get done. We're not in a big panic to get something done, just for the sake of getting it done."

The main area of contention between the two sides is, of course, money. More specifically, it's how to properly split the mountain of revenue that the most popular sport in America makes. The owners latest proposal to split the almost $9.3 billion dollars reportedly made last year stated, according to people close to the deal, that the players' share would approach the 50 percent mark the NFLPA has said it has received throughout the last decade and that the $1 billion off the top expense credit the owners previously had would no longer be in place.

Also included in the deal is that players would share from the entire revenue and not just a designated amount like in the previous deals. Plus, and this is a biggie, teams would be required to spend nearly 100% of the salary cap in cash.

So, in essence, it sounds like the players have made significant strides in getting the owners to bend on the cash issue. Now it's their turn to step up to the plate, or onto the field in this case, and do what's necessary to ensure that football will be in place by the start of training camps.

"Hopefully, everything gets worked out quickly so we can get to training camp on time and get guys back to work and have a full season," Giants quarterback Eli Manning said in a telephone interview with the AP. "That's what the fans want. Obviously, they are the ones that make this possible, so hopefully we can get it done for them."