This is really just for anyone who doesn't understand the basics or why this is happening, or doesn't know about the lockout yet. Quite simply put, this explains what happened to cause the lockout, or might cause it, what will and has happened because of it, and what can we expect. I'll try and put this in simple terms, so everyone can understand and pick a side. Well, let's get on with it.
What Caused it...
The CBA (or Collective Bargaining Agreement), expired earlier this year. This means that the NFL does not have a contract with the players or teams. It's like if you don't have a contract with a company. You can't work for them, or for free anyway, and you won't get paid.
Why isn't their a new one?
Quite simply put, both sides are responsible. The owners are claiming that they are losing money, and they need more basically. We want more money, so we get more of the profit. The players, wanted proof. They said, show me the books. Show me proof, that you are losing money, and we can help, or try to. The owners then, refused to show them the books. It's kind of like saying this. Say you're arrested. And you say, that you have proof that proves you innocent of your crime, but you won't give it to them. This is my honest opinion, if the owners were REALLY losing money, and the players said that they could help them gain money if they were really losing it, why wouldn't they show them the books? They would get what they want, more money, and they would show proof that they are losing money.
After the players asked for the books to be opened, the owners called for the lockout. The players tried to get a new deal done, but they had their demands listed below. They weren't open to much debate on this, or compromise. Instead of trying to hash out a new deal, they are trying to rely on the courts to make a ruling on this. They want and expect the courts to side with them, and they either wanted a fair deal from the owners, or let the courts hash it out. Either way they probably win.
Their biggest thing is no salary cap. They don't want a cap set on how much money they can make. The owners though, and I agree with them here, want a fair salary cap. Then small market teams like the Colts, Vikings, and Browns, would suffer because of this. The owners want a fair playing field on the salary cap, and the players want more money. The lockout can be mostly blamed on both sides not willing to compromise on the big issues and want it their way. Until they find a way to make both sides happy, or one side just gives in, the lockout will continue.
Did the players get any offers?
Yes they have. But apparently it wasn't good enough. The players were happy with the old CBA, but the owners were not. The players want a few things...
They want the courts to force team facilities to open and stop the lockout, and begin business again.
Players under contract will be immediately paid.
Restraints on their bottom line. They want to be able to make as much money as they want. Majority of them do not want a salary cap, or as low as one.
They want their attorney fees paid and all other expenses paid for, triple the total amount.
Lastly, the CBA can not be decertified, or force a lockout basically.
In fact, a few players are suing the NFL. How can they do this? They aren't connected to them anymore. Under the old CBA, you couldn't sue the NFL. Since that is null and void, they are suing for antitrust. The NFL isn't immune anymore, and players are trying to make a case. The case probably won't be looked at, but if it does, it has a decent chance of going through.
Who is losing the most?
Right now, the players are. Don't even try and make the arguement that we the fans have lost more RIGHT NOW. So far, all we have lost now is maybe a few minutes of sleep and a slight headache. No games have been cancled, the draft is on, training camp isn't cancled, we have lost nothing so far. The players, however, are losing time. Free agents cannot sign with teams right now, so if you're a free agent, good luck finding a team before the draft. And then maybe the team fills the need they would've with the free agent in the draft, and now you don't have a job. The players continue to lose right now, and it isn't getting any better. Minicamps are now closed, so players can't do team workouts during the offseason. During the draft, you cannot trade players. You can trade draft picks, but not players. And UDFA cannot be signed until a new CBA is installed.
You can't even come close to making the arguement for why this sucks as a fan, we haven't lost anything. If it gets to that point in September, then yeah. Maybe we'll lose the most, but only if games are cancled. Otherwise, we have lost nothing, while the players continue to lose jobs, opportunities, and time. Imagine if the next season is really canceled. Peyton Manning might not ever break Farve's records. People like Ronde Barber, Ray Lewis, Champ Bailey, and Hines Ward, NFL legends and maybe HOF players might only have a year left in the NFL. They're getting old, and they don't have time to spend at home hoping the lockout gets lifted so they can have one last season. People might not have a chance to realize Joe Flacco and Mark Sanchez don't deserve all the credit for playoff wins. It'll be terrible. But it hasn't happened yet, and I doubt it will.
If the owners lockout, they will lose so much money it won't even be funny. They will try and get a new deal done before it comes to that. But the players have to get a reasonable deal. I don't see much changing from the old CBA, but I don't think much will change. The NFL is the most popular sport in America, but if they lockout the NFL... they might lose a lot of fans, and I doubt they'll let that happen.
Comment and rec's are always good, if you have any other questions just comment and I'll answer/put them into my article. As always, go Bucs!