Today's Episode of "24"

Today could be the tell-tale day as to whether a long-term extension (or even a short-term one) of the league's collective bargaining agreement with its players comes down. The owners need 24 votes. Will they get them?

With all of the delays and confusion surrounding the start of free agency, it looks as though we finally may have an answer...sort of.

The 32 NFL owners are meeting today in Dallas to consider the NFL Players Association proposal that, at its heart, calls for the players to get 59.5 percent of the revenue generated to adjust the salary cap.

However, there are one of two ways this could go -- both of which could potentially delay the beginning of free agency once again. If the owners approve the proposal -- they will need 24 owners to say "yes" for that to happen -- because of the ramifications of accepting the proposal, the team capmeisters would likely need at least a couple of more days to implement the changes and discern the nuances of the new deal and how it can be applied to their own salary cap situations. If the plan is denied, there is still an outside chance that teams could lobby to push back the start of free agency another couple of days to get their houses in order.

Free agency was scheduled to begin at 12:01 a.m. Friday (Eastern time). That got pushed back 72 hours when it seemed as though there had been a breakthrough in the negotiations. The deadline for releasing players was subsquently pushed back twice on Sunday and finally given another 72-hour reprieve to today.

If the owners can't agree to go along with the NFLPA proposal, teams will have to be under the current $94.5 million salary cap by 9 p.m. tonight. At that point, free agency would begin at one minute after midnight.

If the plan is approved, it is expected to increase the salary cap by as much as $11 million for each team -- somewhat diluting the clear monetary advantage teams like the Vikings, Browns and Cardinals would have on the rest of the league if a deal isn't immediately finalized.

It's unclear at this time how Zygi Wilf will vote, which NFL fans can take as a good sign. Knowing his business acumen, there is little doubt Red McCombs would have been one of the nine votes needed to shoot down the proposal. If it does get voted down, the fight will shift from the union vs. the owners to the "have" owners and "have-not" owners.

As we've said for the last week, VU will monitor this "wait-and-see" situation and, as soon as we have definitive word on the status of the vote, we'll get it to you.

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