Report: NFL labor talks could start this summer

John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

The NFL and the NFLPA are on the verge of a power struggle that could define the next decade around the gridiron.

With the current Collective Bargaining Agreement slated to expire following the 2020 season, there’s been talk of a prolonged work stoppage. In fact, recent head-coaching contracts suggest that the league is preparing for a strike.

The backdrop here is real. As both the players’ union and a boisterous Richard Sherman have noted, a lack of guaranteed contracts could be a major sticking point in negotiations.

Remember, there was a relatively short work stoppage during the summer of 2011 as both sides negotiated the current CBA.

Now, according to this report from ESPN’s Chris Mortensen, NFL labor talks could start up this summer — almost two calendar years before a work stoppage would come into play.

“For all the talk of more strife between owners and NFL players union on the horizon, there is a core group on both sides who have an optimistic view that negotiations to extend the current collective bargaining agreement could get jump-started within the next six months, according to league and union sources,” the NFL insider reported.

This is no small thing. Dialogue is what’s needed ahead of any potential work stoppage. It’s an issue we saw prior to the previous CBA coming to a conclusion back in 2011.

Once the two sides started to seriously engage one another, it was right up to the deadline. The hope here is that this won’t be the case.

With the NFL continuing to see record revenue, there’s really no reason why players can’t get a bigger piece of the pie. If that starts to include guaranteed contracts, maybe something can be worked out here soon.

It’s positive news on Super Bowl Sunday — America’s greatest unofficial holiday.