LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 20: Cam Newton attends the NFL PLAYERS Premiere League Flag Football Game at UCLA on May 20, 2011 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Noel Vasquez/Getty Images)
The principles in the ongoing NFL Collective Bargaining Agreement negotiations are back at it this week in Boston, and per Albert Breer of NFL.com, a big issue is being addressed today for the first time since negotiations resumed on May 31: a potential rookie wage scale.
Months ago, a report surfaced that the two sides have agreed to the parameters of a new rookie system in the past (back in March, in fact, before the lockout was instituted). However, the fact that Breer deems today a "critical juncture" in the negotiations because of talking about the rookie system for the first time would seem to refute that report, at least to a certain extent. It has been assumed all along that a new CBA would include a rookie wage scale.
Either way, Breer's latest report is once again ripe with cautious optimism. One league source tells him that the entire negotiation is tenuous enough where it may fall apart, but another executive tells him that the two sides are "within striking range" for a deal. Keep your focus squarely on Breer - along with Andrew Brandt, Mike Florio and Daniel Kaplan - if you're interested in following the minutiae of these negotiations more closely than we cover it here.