According to a report by Adam Schefter, the NFL is calling a special meeting with general managers, head coaches and high ranking team officials on Thursday, the first day of the combine, for the first time.
At this meeting, the NFL is expected to discuss labor issues with team personnel.
At the meeting, the NFL is expected to debrief teams on any number of issues pertaining to labor uncertainty and football operations, including what to expect in the days leading up to the expiration of the collective bargaining agreement, the manner of league business that will be allowed this offseason, and the type of contact that teams will be permitted to have with agents.
The NFL and NFLPA have been in voluntary mediation in Washington D.C. over the past week in an attempt to avoid a lockout that could threaten the 2011 season. Since the mediation is voluntary, either side could decide to walk away, which would likely ensure that the two sides wouldn't come to a new Collective Bargaining Agreement before the March 4 deadline, but so far, both sides have continued with moderation which is expected to last through Thursday.
The mediation is voluntary -- in theory, each side could walk away at any time -- yet it now appears very likely that the current round of talks will stretch through Thursday, which would make for a full week.
There are 9 days left before the current CBA expires. The NFLPA believes that the owners are prepared to lock the players out the very next day. Let's hope that doesn't happen, because, like I've said, regardless of how much the players or the owners would lose, we, the fans, would lose the most.