ESPN's Sal Paolantonio reported this morning that the NFL and the NFLPA have one week from today before the ongoing lockout starts to affect the preseason schedule. The St.Louis Rams and Chicago Bears are slated to kickoff the 2011 pre-season on August 7 in Canton, Ohio. As such, both teams are scheduled to set up training camp in two weeks. Paolantonio stated that he believes that the NFL owners would like at least one full week in which to sign free agents and draft picks, leaving them with the hard deadline of next Tuesday before scheduled events have to start being scratched.
This is significant as the Hall of Fame game marks the first opportunity for either side to actually begin to lose revenue from the lockout. Although the players haven't had insurance coverage during the lockout and free agents remain unsigned, no game checks or other regular payments have been missed. Similarly, the owners have not been faced with losing any revenue producing events up to this point.
NFL Hall of Fame president, Steve Perry, is optimistic the two sides will reach an agreement this week. "We're making all plans to have the game on time. We've heard from both parties — the owners and the players — and they've expressed their desire to have the game. So, that's our plan."
Perry also stated that ticket sales have been slower than usual because of the uncertainty about the game. NBC would undoubtedly also be asking the owners for some rebate in the event the game is not played.
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