Owners are delaying their departures from the scouting combine to make this meeting. According to the Patriots vice president Jonathan Kraft, “If I were betting, I would bet there would be a deal by Wednesday.”
Among the owners who have expressed optimism that an 11th-hour deal will be hammered out is Jerry Jones of the Dallas Cowboys. "I think that we'll likely have a deal," Jones told the South Florida Sun-Sentinel on Monday. Other owners and team officials allowed there have been rumblings of progress and that they feel an extension will be in place before the end of the week.
Team officials and player agents have said that doing business without an extension -- particularly with the free agent signing period set to begin Friday and the draft on April 29-30 -- will prove virtually impossible. Because of the extreme circumstances that would exist with an uncapped year on the horizon, it would be difficult to meet the financial expectations of free agents and high-round draft choices.
Compounding the situation is that several franchises are in the throes of salary cap overages and will find it difficult,
if not painful, to come into cap compliance for 2006 without an extension. If an extension is not struck before Friday, several cap managers acknowledged, there figures to be many
veteran players purged from rosters in the next few days.
If the CBA happens on Wednesday, like some owners think, this will help the Buccaneers, who with out the CBA are $19 million over the salary cap, but with a new CBA the Bucs are a reported $15 million over. This is not much, but $4 million difference, equals resigning players like Mike Alstott, Chris Hovan, and maybe even Griese and Simms.
If a deal is struck before Friday, it is likely the start of free agency would be delayed at least a week in order to allow teams to recalculate their cap status.
Lets just hope the NFL/NFLPA can get this done, so we as fans can enjoy the game as we love it.