Danny Kelly of Field Gulls has authored an article where he builds on reports from earlier in the week that NFL labor talks have enjoyed some positive momentum.
As addressed on Offside earlier this week, a chief reason we may be seeing progress is the prospect of an indefinite lockout imposed by the Appeals Court - or at least a lockout that could last for a substantial period of time. If the lockout were to stay in place for a long time, the players would suddenly be facing the possibility of a lost season - or more - if they wanted to continue to fight.
The reason for a possibly extended lockout? The majority of the Appeals Court has made it pretty clear that they side with the owners. They went so far as to say at one point that the NFL "has made a strong showing that it is likely to succeed on the merits".
Now that doesn't mean that the Appeals Court will ultimately find for the owners and keep the lockout in place. In fact, Judge Kermit Bye urged the owners and the players to get together and because the ruling may be something that "neither side will like".
However, the reasonable conclusion is that the owners would ultimately be awarded some type of extended lockout (the length of which is unclear).
So the possibility of an extended lockout has likely inspired the parties, and particularly the players, to kick negotiations into high gear.