Well this can't be good...

I was checking the world wide leader today and almost overlooked this article.  The NFL owners voted to opt out of the current labor deal, which could lead to no salary cap in 2010, and even worse, a lockout in 2011.  First and foremost, I'm amazed this wasn't thrown up on the front page of ESPN.com.  Lance Berkman's having a great year, but I think that it would be important info for at least one day.

The NFL's official comment on the matter stated that:

The league, however, emphasized that it will keep negotiating with the NFL Players Association and said games will be played "without threat of interruption for at least the next three seasons."

"A collective bargaining agreement has to work for both sides," the NFL said Tuesday morning. "If the agreement provides inadequate incentives to invest in the future, it will not work for management or labor. And, in the context of a professional sports league, if the agreement does not afford all clubs an opportunity to be competitive, the league can lose its appeal."

As important an issue as this is, it is not coming completely out of left field.  Everyone seemed to expect the owners would opt out and in fact, Gene Upshaw  already had specific reasons why the owners opted out: 1) High labor costs, 2) problems with the rookie pool and the 3) league's inability, through the interpretation of the courts, to recoup bonuses of players who subsequently breach their contract or refuse to perform.  In the wake of the Michael Vick contract problems, among many other issues, I can see how that last reason would be an important part of future negotiations.

The NFL feels that:

"The current labor agreement does not adequately recognize the cost of generating the revenues of which the players receive the largest shares; nor does the agreement recognize that those costs have increased substantially -- and at an ever increasing rate -- in recent years during a difficult economic climate in our country."

So, I thought I'd open this up for everyone's thoughts on this issue.  If a team was willing to spend whatever money was necessary to win, a cap-less year would certainly be interesting.  At the same time, the cap would be returning so I can only imagine the chaos it would create in the meantime.  And of course a lockout is the last thing anybody wants.  I would imagine the league and the NFLPA can work this out because they would absolutely insane to kill the proverbial golden goose with this kind of situation.

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