Broncos safety Brian Dawkins and Chiefs LB Mike Vrabel, two members of the NFL Players Association executive committee, said that they believe both the owners and the players want to avoid a lockout this coming offseason.
Dawkins said, "We understand who butters our bread," when asked if a lockout would alienate fans.
Vrabel added that most players are still opposed to the owners' idea of an 18-game season, saying there is "not enough return on investment for our bodies."
The current Collective Bargaining Agreement expires March 4, raising fears of a lockout if an agreement is not reached between the two sides. Both Dawkins and Vrabel said that they have stressed to teammates the importance in saving money in case there is no football next fall.
The way we see it
The players and owners are going to have to work together to reach a deal, but the major sticking point will be the expanded schedule. Unless salaries go up at a staggering rate or rosters are expanded, it seems unlikely the players would agree to an 18-game state.