The NFL has not yet opened their books to the Players Union but it appears as though some information is going to be exchanged.
Multiple outlets are reporting that the union has hired International Investment Bank to review any financial information released to them by the NFL.
In my opinion this is a very, very good sign. Part of the reason this whole mess started was because the NFL wanted the players to take less money and the players have been asking for financial transparency so that they could determine if the league’s request to take a pay cut would be fair. To this point the league has refused.
It now looks like they are going to play ball. This is likely because of the recent ruling made by Judge David Dotty. Dotty ruled in favor of the players in a dispute over whether the NFL could collect money from the TV networks even in the event of a lockout. Until that point, the owners had the advantage because they could lock the players out and still pay the rent, so to speak.
That is all over now. Ever since the ruling the negotiations have been going much better and the players are now in a position of power. The NFL wants to avoid having this matter go to the courts and that is exactly what will happen if they try to lock out the players. If the players smell a lockout coming, they’ll decertify and off to the courts we go.
The fact that the NFL appears to be about to share financial information with the players means an agreement could be right around the corner. It also represents a huge concession by the owners which they will expect the players to return in kind.
The current deadline is this Friday. I don’t know that an agreement could be reached by then but another extension could be on the way. Stay tuned.