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Two Ravens team leaders, wide receiver Derrick Mason and safety Ed Reed, spoke recently about getting together in the event of a lockout – an early sign that the team will be in good hands if there is a work stoppage.
Mason also said he called quarterback Joe Flacco Sunday to try to get together to have a “pow-wow” amongst players.
If there isn’t a new collective bargaining agreement in place by 11:59 p.m. Thursday and a lockout ensues, players would not be permitted to work out at the Ravens’ training facility or have any contact with coaches.
Mason, who is the Ravens’ NFLPA player representative, said meetings would be more than just football. He said it would also be about understanding the CBA and supporting each other through what could be turbulent times.
“It’s just keeping that camaraderie together, keeping that closeness together,” Mason said Monday morning on 105.7 The Fan. “The [last] thing you want is a bunch of guys on their own. We’re stronger together.”
The 14-year veteran, who has seen these types of negotiations before, believes there won’t be a deal before the deadline.
“I think there will be a lockout,” Mason said. “I don’t think the two sides are any closer than they were a year ago. There are some things we agree upon or have the like-minded thinking on, but I think in the meat of it we’re still far apart.”
After seven straight days of negotiations between owners and the players’ union, federal mediator George Cohen said in a statement, “very strong differences remain on the all-important core issues that separate the parties.”
Those key issues could include the split of revenue, an 18-game season and a rookie wage scale.
However, Mason said he’s “very optimistic” that a deal will get done before any games are missed, giving July as a possibility.
Mason underscored the importance for players to continue to stay in shape because they never know when a work stoppage would end.
“As players, we have to continue to go about our business as usual as if there’s going to be a season,” Mason said. “The worst thing you can do as a player is take this time and relax and don’t work out and get into your normal regiment.”