With so much uncertainty revolving the soon-to-expire Collective Bargaining Agreement, many players and fans were hoping that there would be a new deal in place by the time the last deal expires on 11:59 EST on Thursday. However, this seemed like an impossible fantasy. The two sides are so far apart on every issue, and so reluctant to give ground, that it seemed like a Union De-certification and a lockout was inevitable. In that case, the players sue the owners, the lockout goes to courts and it becomes unlikely that this whole mess would be resolved in time for the first game of the season in the beginning of September. However, in a mildly surprising development, it seems that the NFL owners are willing to extend the deadline past Thursday. According to this article from the NFL website, the owners are willing to extend the deadline, and therefore extend negotiations, if the sides grow closer during their talks today and tomorrow. This would push back the lockout and make it less inevitable.
This is at least a good sign that progress is being made. It seemed to many that both sides were more than willing to go into a lockout. The owners had a back-up source of revenue from their TV deals and the players would be able to sue the NFL after dissolving the NFLPA. At the very least, this development shows that talks are progressing rather than both sides stubbornly pushing to shut things down. Let's hope that the deadline is extended and a deal is done soon, as the Vikings would be hit very hard by a lockout.