Posted by Josh Katzowitz
In one of the most optimistic interviews we’ve heard since the lockout began, ESPN’s John Clayton, speaking on ESPN 980 today, said he was “98 or 99 percent” sure that a tentative deal between the NFL and the NFLPA would be done this week.
“We’re in really good shape,” Clayton said. “We’re down to one main issue, which tis on the rookie (wage scale). I don’t think, in the end, they’ll blow the entire season worrying about the fifth year of a rookie contract. The economical issues seem to be in very good shape. They’ve got most of the other stuff done.”
By saying “most of the other stuff” is done, Clayton is claiming that the owners and the players have figured out how to split the $9 billion in revenue. If that’s true, then obviously that’s huge because that was the biggest sticking point between the two sides. It’s been thought that if the two sides get a handle on that major issue, the rest of the negotiations would fall into place rather smoothl.
According to Clayton, the two sides won’t get together until Wednesday night or Thursday of this week, but that’s because apparently they don’t have too much more to talk about.
“The way things went last week, even though there was some bumpiness and some major disagreements, I think Friday is when they’ll get a deal done,” Clayton said.
But that’s not to say it’s only a matter of a few days before the lockout is lifted.
“A lo of things still have to be written,” Clayton said. “A lot of lawyer talk has to be done. A few more things have to be navigated. By Friday, they’ll wake up fresh and get the rest of this stuff done.”
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