This dilemma all started a few months ago when it was discovered that the NFL had money they did not share with the NFL Players Association. The extra $4 billion went into the NFL's pocket after they illegally negotiated with networks like ESPN, CBS and Fox on TV contracts for the 2011 season.
This meant they would get paid without any games being aired.
This extra money gave the NFL a large advantage over the NFLPA and all of the players that are locked out since they have to live off whatever they made in the last few years or the small amount they're receiving from the NFLPA.
No matter what, the illegal actions the NFL took part in definitely gave them leverage in the work stoppage situation and in order to even the playing field, the players association has asked for over $700 million.
No decision has been made on whether or not the players association will be awarded this immense amount of money but if they do receive the $707 million in damages, the current lockout situation could go in two directions.
The first is, the owners will become motivated. If the players association were to receive such an amount, they will be able to support the hundreds of NFL players that are currently out of jobs for some time. The only reason the owners and the NFL withheld the $4 billion dollars is so they could have leverage over the players association and wait until the players run out of money and beg the owners to let them accept their CBA.
When do think the lockout will end?
Because this scandal has been exposed and the players association is smart enough to go after enough money to support themselves, the NFL and owners may settle with the players association to avoid any further loss in revenue.
The other possibility is the waiting game.
The lockout has been only been going on since March 11, but for most NFL fans it feels like it has been forever. This outcome would mean that both parties will just wait until the other cannot support itself any longer, which could take much longer.
There is already bad blood between both parties from the initial $4 billion scandal, but if the players association is awarded the damages, it would just add more tension between the two, ultimately causing both to step away from the table for months and forcing the lockout to last much longer than it should have.
If the players association is not awarded the $707 million, the end of the lockout could come a lot sooner. The reality is, there are hundreds of players in the NFLPA and they need money to support the lives they've come to know. Eventually, many of them will begin to run low on cash and the NFLPA may not be able to provide financial assistance. Therefore, no payout could mean football this fall.
There are three outcomes at opposite ends of the spectrum that will determine the future of professional football in the United States and it is up to the players and the league whether or not there will be a 2011 NFL season.
Hopefully, both sides can find some middle ground when it comes to a new Collective Bargaining Agreement but as of right now, it does not look good.