The Season Won’t Start Until November And Other Theories

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Roger Goodell

Moving things along nicely.

Former player and current analyst Cris Collinsworth doesn’t think the NFL season will begin until November.

That’s right, November.

In theory, that would make for a nine or 10-game regular season, preceded by a week of free agency, two weeks of training camp and one preseason game.


Collinsworth’s point is an interesting one. He thinks the appeals court will side with the owners and the current lockout will stay in place. If it does, neither side will be supremely motivated to move; the owners will figure they’ve already made a strong offer (the March 11 offer) and will wait for the players to budge. But the players, on a tremendous streak in the courts right now, will figure they’ve made sound arguments in front of a mediator in Washington and judges in Minneapolis, and even if the lockout stays legal, their antitrust case will have a good chance in the Eighth Circuit.

And the players won’t blink until they start missing paychecks. Collinsworth saw it twice as a player, in 1982 and 1987. “The only thing I’m absolutely certain of,” he told me, “is that there will be players broke by the middle of September. There will be pressure to make a deal. But there will be pressure by owners too. They’ve got payments to make too — stadium mortgages.”

Here’s where things get real interesting.

After this mess is over, the NFL could look completely different — no draft and free agency for every unsigned player.

The possibilities for changing the game are almost endless and aren’t terribly appealing to think about.

Players and owners resumed mediation today, but no one expects anything to get done — the “talks” will conclude tomorrow and both sides are waiting for the courts to let them know where they stand.

November seems somewhat crazy, but I’m losing faith this B.S. is going to end anytime soon.

About The Author

Monty McMahon is one of the founders of Total Packers. He is probably the most famous graduate of UW-Oshkosh next to Jim Gantner.

5 Comments on "The Season Won’t Start Until November And Other Theories"

  1. Xavier

    Imagine if there wasnt a draft. The wait between the superbowl and first game is already too big and not having a draft will only make it worse.

  2. iltarion

    There is one glaring issue with Collinsworth’s analysis. He states that the players will like their chances with their antitrust suit. Wrong.

    The players are screwed in the 8th Circuit. The closer the season gets the more public opinion will weigh against them. With their backs against the wall, the players will reach an agreement in August. Just enough time to miss most the preseason, which the players would prefer anyway.

  3. Taryn

    If there isn’t a draft and all players are FAs,the NFL is done.
    The draft is a basic OJT(on the job training) which like the Military only trains it’s recruits to into certain areas based on enlistment time.Training someone and allowing them to walk before getting a return is “bad business” in and at any level or in any field of endeavor.
    Progress and change is a constant and the NFL is not and cannot be allowed immunity from it.
    The draft is a huge nessessity and supplys a most viable offset to having nothing more than over rated and over paid under-achievers.

    The players will begin to cave and become more apt to agree to a contract when they start to lose paychecks which is always the place to hit when things need to get done.
    The owners have the money to out last the Union so time is on their side but the playing field needs to be made level to induce both sides equally through financial loss.
    Most stadiums are funded in one way or another by the public ( fans or not) via taxes,bonds etc.The owners need to be held accountable for the repayment of those on demand,for the breach of contract in which they were awarded and by the promise of having football played yearly in the stadium thus fulfilling the emploment and monetary influx into the city that went on the limb to secure the finance for the stadium.
    Negotiations would be more virile if both sides were to be losing money equally according to the scale of each sides wealth.
    If the City of each team were to set all prices to games at levels more adequate to the people of that city and the owners profits were derived from those prices,how fast would they be serious to get it done?

  4. Randy R

    Even if the players win in Minn Courts, NFL will just keep appealing. If Free agency, salary cap, the draft, no longer exist, Then who the hell cares, the NFL’s popularity would be done as we know it, 7 or 8 teams would be able to win the S B, not 32. Guess what?..In the Citys where a team cant compete, who’s gonna watch the games?…I’m not

  5. Randy R

    The players will be going broke before Sept i predict, I think players will start second guessing Smith on his litigation strategy, How’s this litigation thing going so far for you Smith?

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