SAN DIEGO - SEPTEMBER 19: Quarterback Philip Rivers #17 and tight end Antonio Gates #85 of the San Diego Chargers celebrate a Charger touchdown against the Jacksonville Jaguars at Qualcomm Stadium on September 19 2010 in San Diego California. The Chargers won 38-13. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
I've been waiting, so as not to report any of the half-news of the day that was coming out as player representatives from all 32 NFL teams met to discuss the offer from the owners for a new 10-year Collective Bargaining Agreement.
Well, word is now coming out that today the team representatives took a vote and conditionally agreed to the terms of the CBA. The conditions are that the players are waiting to see what happens with the lawsuit that Tom Brady, Drew Brees, Peyton Manning, Vincent Jackson and Logan Mankins have against the NFL. In a nutshell, the (soon to be real, but still currently "non-existent") NFLPA is not leaving those guys out to dry. They're telling the NFL "We like these terms, but settle up with those guys before we'll sign off."
The next step in these matters seems to be an easy one. It would appear, from what's being said, that guys like Brees and Brady were a part of the lawsuit for leverage alone. Peyton Manning, Vincent Jackson and Logan Mankins just look like they're trying to get out of the loop of being tagged as franchise players (with no long-term security) year-in and year-out. They might get financial settlements from the NFL, or a exemption from being franchised after this season, but they most likely will not be getting the immediate unrestricted free agency that at least Jackson is asking for.
The largest step that needed to be taken to assure an NFL season has been taken today, and with at least a week before training camps are due to begin. That's right, it's that soon. Pretty cool. Expect NFL things, such as free agency, to be nuts starting in the new few days. Also expect BFTB to get back into the swing of things with lots and lots of posts, trying to squeeze an entire offseason into roughly a week.
Welcome back, folks.