The tone around the NFL and NFLPA’s collective bargaining agreement negotiations has been “amicable” enough that the possibility of a lockout may have decreased, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com.
The likeliest scenario seems to envision the league and the union hammering out a new CBA after the 2019 season concludes. While there is a chance a new deal could come together in advance of the 2019 campaign, talks would need to “ramp up considerably” for such a timeline to be met, per Rapoport.
Discussions between the two parties have been described as “cordial”, and previous reports have echoed those sentiments. As RapSheet notes, multiple factors could have led to a thawing in negotiations. Not only has the national anthem issue been (for the most part) resolved, but the NFL’s rising salary cap means both owners and players are earning a fair bit of cash.
Of course, issues still exist in the ongoing deliberations, but there aren’t any questions that figure to “blow up” the talks, per Rapoport. Among the topics that could still be discussed? A DirecTV contract that expires after the 2019 season and stadium credits (money used for stadium improvements that isn’t counted when calculating the NFL’s salary cap).