It's bad. Real bad.
Drew Brees and Peyton Manning are considered two of the smarter NFL quarterbacks alive. (Carolina) Panthers owner Jerry Richardson reportedly still treated them like children in a CBA negotiating session last Saturday.
Speaking on the Michael Kay Show on ESPN Radio in New York, Cardinals kicker Jay Feely passed along a story from last week’s brief bargaining session in Dallas that Brees and Manning attended.
“Jerry Richardson . . . he’s going to criticize Peyton Manning and Drew Brees and their intelligence in our meeting Saturday?” Feely said. “And sit there and say dismissively to Manning ‘Do I need to help you read a revenue chart son? Do I need to help break that down for you because I don’t know if you know how to read that?’” [...]
Richardson, who has taken a leadership position among the owners in the negotiation, has been called the “least flexible and most pessimistic” of the owners.
Richardson is the only former player among all owners. This antagonostic posture would be remarkable even if it weren't for that fact. More from SI's Peter King:
I think it's fruitless to talk, write and theorize about what teams are going to do in free agency when there's a very good chance there won't be free agency. Folks, this labor fight is going to be a long one. I believe it'll be Labor Day, at least, before a solution is found. Given that scenario, how can the league possibly say: We're playing real games in 21 days, and so you 495 free agents, go spend the next week flying from team to team, finding a home, and sure, you'll be ready to play two weeks after you sign with your new team in a new scheme. Surrrrre.
And more pessimism from Chris Mortensen and Adam Schefter.
(K)nowledgeable sources who previously were optimistic that CBA negotiations would not result in any lost games next season are growing increasingly pessimistic. One source said last week's flare-up was symbolic and illuminated the schism between the two sides. Now there is a general feeling that some or all of the 2011 season may be at risk, though there is plenty of time for the two sides to continue talking and trying to bridge their vast differences.
Lots more at those excerpts. I've been saying in casual conversations that there won't be any NFL before October. Even that is looking like a rosy scenario at this point.