When the parties begin meetings again next week they will still be under what has been termed a “tolling agreement”. Basically, you can talk to and about players all you want, but you just can’t sign or trade them until we figure this thing out.
Because they’re working under this “tolling agreement” (whether the players agreed to it or not) this means:
1. They must be thinking, “Gee, if we get this done soon we can get back to work. So, allowing teams to sign people now would make no sense because we don’t know exactly what the new CBA will look like.” A turn in the other direction or a complete shutdown (in the form of a lockout) would have been bad news. Now that they’ve avoided it and been prudent I think we should all feel much better.
2. They must also be thinking, “If we keep doing what we were doing then it looks like we’re making progress. Changing everything up now just makes us look insane to the public.
3. Because they’re not doing any business AND still meeting with Cohen (the NLRB representative/mediator) that means they are stuck with each other. I know they could walk away at any point, but this Cohen guy must have a hold over both parties. Imagine what he’s had to mediate so far — and they’re still going to do it his way.
Between the foresight to wait to sign players, the continued meetings with Cohen, and a weeklong extension I think they may be close. Sure, there’s a huge gap, but they’ve made progress and a whole new week of talks where you CAN see the light at the end of the tunnel may be all they need.