You tell 'em, Lamarr! Those labor practices are so unfair!
So, it really is looking like the NFL will proceed into the 2011 season without a salary cap. And while I'm not going to break down the ramifications (Profootballtalk.com has some good takes on how some of the free agency changes will play out), I do think that the uncapped year would be bad for the NFL. Probably not nearly as bad as it has been for MLB, since the NFL brings in so much more money that you can't even compare the two, but I do think it will be bad. Some teams won't spend anything and will essentially tank for a profit, which I believe will be a much bigger problem than Dan Snyder outspending everybody else on a few free agents. He already does that as-is and gets away with it through cap manipulation techniques that involve healthy signing bonuses. And they still suck. At least Chris Cooley makes good videos.
Anyway...the deadline is some point in March, and the negotiation necessary for this just isn't going to take place in a month. The players want more money, the owners want to give them less money. And I see both arguments to a point...while the league is player-driven and these guys do risk their health and the owners are making great money and all that, the fact is that they can go and work somewhere else. Supply and demand. Someone will take their place. That's just how businesses work. Although, to be fair, the NFL isn't your normal business. Maybe the owners will remember that the next time they ask taxpayers to build them a new stadium. Yeah, I'm sure they will.
Regardless, this impasse could lead to a lockout. Or maybe a strike. Not sure how it would work. Anyway, it could happen. It's happened in the past. It would be brutal to the owners and probably tragic to the players, who I think would certainly cave first. The NFL would recover, of course, because, well...it's football. But it would not look good. And it can be avoided for now. Why don't yinz just essentially "franchise" each other? Take the current contract and extend it for one year. More time is obviously necessary here. Extend the current deal for one year and continue negotiating for the long term through March 2011.
Or, hope for the best and wish on falling stars and all of that jazz with your billion dollar industry. Your call!