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NFL Lockout 2011: Rookie Wage Scale Reportedly Agreed Upon, But 18-Game Schedule Is A Non-Starter

The current NFL collective bargaining agreement between the owners and the players is set to expire on Friday night and things are nowhere near settled. However, there has been some progress made on several issues. Both sides have reportedly agreed to a rookie wage scale, but no specifics are available on that yet.

However, outside of the NFL allowing open access to its financial records, the other major issue is the proposed 18-game schedule. DeMaurice Smith, executive director of the NFLPA, told fans during a radio event that the players did not want an expansion of the regular season schedule. In a follow-up interview, Smith told Sports Illustrated that the league, for all its talk about adding two more games, has never formally brought the subject up. Furthermore, the players don't want it because they are concerned for their safety.

Will the sides agree to another extension if they cannot come to agreement on a new CBA by Friday evening? If not, the Players Union would likely decertify itself before the end of the business day and the owners would impose a lockout on the players. But in the end, if that happens, it will be the fans who lose the most.