54 hours from now, the NFL's Collective Bargaining Agreement will expire. It should've expired at 11:59 PM last Thursday, but two negotiated extensions of said expiration bought the NFL and NFLPA more time to try to get a new CBA in place and avoid a potentially catastrophic work stoppage.
However, the biggest snag in the negotiation process has reared its head just in time to bring serious doubt back into a once-promising outlook on this whole process: the owners' unwillingness to provide the level of financial disclosure that the union has been seeking for years.
Judy Battista of The New York Times reported on Tuesday night that the union had rejected the owners' latest proposal at financial disclosure. The league is unwilling to provide team-by-team financial data as justification for its request to take $2 billion (as opposed to half of that) off the top of the $9 billion in annual revenue that the sport generates. The union's stance has been simple: justify that request. But the owners continue to try to work their way around that inevitability. PFT, with help from Mike Silver, has the details.
And it is, apparently, inevitable. If Friday's 5PM deadline comes and goes, accompanied with union decertification, an NFL lockout, and antitrust lawsuits leveled at league owners, the chances are remote that the NFL will be able to continue to withhold that information. Unless there's a major concession in that 54-hour time frame - and from the league's perspective, there's every reason to concede something - we're still on the fast track to litigation.