The player, who asked not to be identified because of the sensitive nature of the ongoing labor discussions between the NFL owners and the NFL Players Association, said a team meeting was held Wednesday, March 2 — the day before the initial deadline by which the owners wanted to have reached an accord with the players on a new collective bargaining agreement, or they would lock out the players. The deadline was extended from March 3 to March 4, and then until tomorrow (March 11).
The player said, however, that discussions about what to do during a potential lockout began before the meeting.
"We talked about it in our exit interviews," the player said. "My position coach said, ‘there will be football, so be ready. Stay on top of your conditioning, your playbook, your skills. Be ready to play when this gets resolved.'"
The player said the meeting "was led by players, not (head) Coach (Jason) Garrett or the assistant coaches." He said the meeting included many players, but not all, and that the primary topic of discussion centered around working together as a team on football-related issues while the labor dispute was being sorted out.
"What the players were doing is that we were getting organized if there is lockout," he said. "Our belief is that there will be football this fall. Obviously we don't know exactly when that will happen, and we know that we may not have training camp, we may not have mini-camps. But we do believe we'll have football, and we're preparing to get ready, because when we do get back on the field, we have to be ready to play and win games."
The player said one of the primary issues that has been raised as an area of dispute — the owners' proposal of extending the regular season from 16 games to 18 — appears unlikely to happen, based on the information he has gotten from teammates and his agent.
"The owners want money back, right? But then there's talk about an 18-game schedule," the player said. "I think they really do want the 18-game schedule, but if they do that, there will have to be expanded rosters and they would end up paying more players, and the guys they already have would have to be paid more, two more game checks. I don't think they want to do that."
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