The NFL's current Collective Bargaining Agreement ends in 2021, which means time is running out to get a deal done. The only thing that really matters right now in public discourse is whether the owners can get an expanded regular season. How far are the players willing to go to win this fight? According to Player's Association president DeMaurice Smith, they are willing to consider a zero game regular season. For two consecutive years. Via ESPN:
""I'm here with a group of people who are willing to take a labor action," Smith said, indicating the chanting disgruntled state workers in the plaza behind him. "And people need to understand that it's really easy to call for a work stoppage; it's really hard to win one. So that's why I started notifying players four years ago about saving their checks, making changes to their debt structure, and the reality is that if we want to hold out and get everything we want, that's probably going to mean a two-year strike.""
The last time NFL regular season games were lost due to a work stoppage was 1987 when the season was shortened to 15 games. Can you imagine if the NFL went away for two years? There would literally be riots in the streets by the middle of the first September.
The NFL is the only bulletproof ratings certainty in this crazy, mixed-up post-cord world. The way the NFL prints money, this would be pure insanity for the sake of pure greed on the owners' side, which actually makes the situation sound more likely. But if the XFL can survive their first season, this is their best case scenario.