Kansas City, Mo. Kansas City Chiefs owner Clark Hunt does not foresee labor peace coming soon to the NFL.
“I do believe there is a compromise that gets a deal done,” said Hunt, who was part of the owners’ negotiation team. “But at this point I don’t think the sides are ready to discuss that. And it takes both parties. That’s the key. If you’ve got one side that wants to make a deal and the other one doesn’t, then it doesn’t matter how close we might have been when we were (in negotiations) in Washington. It just isn’t going to happen.”
Hunt spoke Friday shortly before a federal appeals court in St. Louis granted the owners’ request to put on hold temporarily the district court ruling of Monday, which had lifted the 45-day lockout and allowed players back inside team facilities.
Hunt said he believes all 32 teams are being hurt by the dispute, but declined to say how far apart the two sides are.
“I can’t disclose what happened on those mediations because, in one case, they were court-ordered and what takes place there is supposed to stay confidential,” he said. “There are three or four key issues. But I think the most important one is the salary cap and what’s the right level for the salary cap.”
Hunt, whose late father, Lamar, founded the Chiefs and the American Football League, believes there will be a 2011 season but is not as confident that training camps will open on time in late July.
“That’s harder to predict. The league does have some contingencies built in that would allow the schedule to be adjusted so that we could hopefully get a full schedule in,” Hunt said. “But I can’t predict whether we’re going to get to camp on time or not.”