The answer could be right around the corner.
The court of Appeals for the Eight circuit has granted the NFL a temporary stay on the lockout. A final, definitive ruling will come on June 3rd when the full appeal is heard. But judging (haha) by the ruling today and the wording of it, it looks likely that the Lockout will be kept in force and the Judge Susan Nelsons "enjoining of the lockout" (ending of it to you and me) will be over turned.
That's bad news for the players. That means the league can sit out the season while the main case takes its course and the players will start losing game checks. Those at the bottom end of the pay scale will start cracking and soon those at the top end will be forced to give in. Of course, it could end even sooner.
The players and the league are back in mediation under the supervision of a magistrate who has asked the league to come up with a deal to be offered to the players tomorrow (Tuesday, May 17th). There is a lot of speculation as to what that deal might look like.
It might be the same deal they offered back in March, just before the Union decertified. If you remember, that deal was described by DeMaurice Smith as "the worst deal in sports history". Well, it might just start looking pretty special to the players all of a sudden. The league could of course pitch a new deal, either better or worse than the one offered in March.
If they don't take that whatever is offered and instead chose to wait and see what happens on June 3rd, they could find themselves in a bad spot. If the Court of Appeals rules in the leagues favour, then expect the NFL to start offering increasingly worse deals. They would have all the momentum in their favour and the players would be staring at a lot of missing game checks.
This might only be a small thing for now and there is every chance that the Court of Appeals could find in the players favour, but don't count on it. I personally think this whole issue just swung dramatically in the owners favour.
Maybe I'm being optimistic, but by this time tomorrow we could have a new CBA. That would mean a beginning of Free agency. And it would mean my carefully laid plans for my draft series would be flushed down the crapper.
Ah well. If nothing changes then expect my review of the Seahawks draft class sometime in the next few days, most likely Wednesday or Thursday.