As the Vikings remain hopeful that a Ramsey County stadium bill will be passed at a special session of the Legislature, the team will turn its attention to another key issue early this week.
NFL owners will meet Tuesday in Chicago with Commissioner Roger Goodell to discuss the potential Collective Bargaining Agreement that has been worked on with players in recent weeks. The meeting will be very important because it will be an indication of just how close the NFL is to potentially ending a lockout that began in March and soon will threaten the start of training camp.
The owners have been told that they should be prepared for a lengthy meeting. If nine of the 32 owners vote against the preliminary deal, any progress that has been made could be slowed in a big way.
Writes King: "The small-market teams could well be upset because -- from what I'm hearing -- not much will be done in the final deal to address the concerns of the bottom-revenue teams that have been trying to narrow the gap with the haves. This is a problem, frankly, I don't see getting fixed. Too many of the high-revenue teams think it's fine to share network TV and ticket money, but chafe at expanding revenue-sharing in a more global sense. ... One league veteran told the revenue difference between rich and relative poor in the NFL "might be addressed, but is simply not going to get fixed in this deal.''
This is interesting because if Vikings owner Zygi Wilf is convinced he is going to get a new stadium, the short-term impact of this deal might be difficult to swallow but long-term he would know a stadium in Arden Hills would move the Vikings out of the bottom half of the league when it comes to revenue.
However, if the Vikings remained concerned that stadium approval might not happen in a special session (and thus delay the process again), it might become more likely that team ownership will be against a new CBA that doesn't address some of its primary concerns about having to play in the Metrodome.