The NFL’s owners and players’ union came to an agreement to extend the current collective bargaining agreement for 24 hours on Thursday. The implication is that the two sides will use the next 24 hours to continue labor negotiations with a view towards coming to an agreement. But frankly, I don’t think anyone believes that’s going to happen, because people close to the situation have said repeatedly that the two sides are very far apart.
So why did the owners push for an extension? Well based on all of the roster movement on Thursday after that announcement, I’d have to believe the owners wanted to use that time to lock some players up or cut them loose before what could be a very long lockout. Basically they wanted to get their affairs and rosters in order before they’re forced to shut down business for a while.
Here is a small taste of all the deals that went down on Thursday:
-Safety Bob Sanders agreed to a one-year deal with the San Diego Chargers.
-A.J. Hawk signed a five-year deal with the Green Bay Packers after being released by the Pack yesterday.
-Defensive end Brian Robison agreed to terms on a three-year, $14.1 million deal with the Minnesota Vikings.
-The Washington Redskins inked safety O.J. Atogwe to a five-year, $26 million contract.
-The Chicago Bears have restructured Julius Peppers’ contract to give the team more salary-cap room for next season.
-The Houston Texans and tight end Owen Daniels agreed to a four-year, $22 million deal.
-The Carolina Panthers signed four-time Pro Bowl tight end Jeremy Shockey to a one-year deal.
-Running back Pierre Thomas re-signed with the New Orleans Saints on a four-year deal.
Honestly, if the owners thought a deal was imminent, would they have gone crazy signing and guys and restructuring contracts all of a sudden after the announcement of the extension? I don’t think so because there would have been plenty of time to do all of that. Things would have gotten worked out over time, not all at once.
Personally I think this flurry of moves actually means bad things for the immediate future.