By this time, we all know that it seems inevitable that the new CBA will not be finished before the current one expires March 4th.
To this outside observer, this is something that is both puzzling and ill advised to allow to happen by both parties. The owners and players are debating who should get a greater share of the revenue that the NFL takes in, and this is a debate that will not be easily settled.
Difficulty in reaching a point where both sides are in agreement could take an extended amount of time, and if that is the case, the offseason will be severely affected. No free agency, no trades and no training camp? All three of these effect teams in the league and their ability to improve next season.
As a Seahawks fan, perhaps my opinion is biased, but the rebuilding teams will be hit harder than others. If they cant be active in free agency, how will they know what needs to fill via the draft? Then, at the draft, how can it be expected that teams that traditionally draft well continue those ways when they can no longer trade up or down in a given round?
Even if those were not problems, when will the rookies have time to learn playbooks?
With no training camp and no team sanctioned activities, it would be difficult for teams to better themselves this offseason. That is why, at least for the offseason problem, I believe there is a temporary solution that will help to ease the transition into the new CBA.
It is simple, really, though admittedly I do not know if it could work because I am not behind the closed doors of negotiations nor do I fully understand how everything about the CBA works. I know the basics and enough to say that a temporary fix could be to simply extend the transition period through the offseason ending before the preseason games and for the owners and Players' union to continue negotiations throughout that time.
This would allow for a normal offseason and yet also allow for the negotiation of a new CBA to take place.
Personally, I think both sides have good points and bad points that are stalling the negotiation, but that is neither here nor there, and my opinion amounts to a whole lot of nothing in the grand scheme of things.
This might be seen as stalling the inevitable lockout, but I hold out hope that the threat of losing money by both sides will realize that the lockout would hurt everyone and they would work to assure it would not happen when the extension runs out rather than waiting until the last month to try and force negotiations that will take much longer to reach (players cannot earn money if they are not playing and neither can owners—jointly, if teams don’t improve, owners lose money, so there is also that aspect).
This article was simply meant to get my idea out there: I do not think it is too out of line to think that an extension that would allow for a normal offseason would be a good idea while we wait for a new CBA.