Clark Hunt: Lockout “Just Part Of The Process”

The NFL lockout is still in its first few days, but there are plenty of doomsday scenarios thrown around among the media and fans alike.  Chiefs owner Clark Hunt — a member of the NFL’s negotiations committee — told The Star that there is time before worrying about fearing the worst.

“If we still don’t have an agreement by mid-August, then that’s a scenario that’s bad for everybody,” Hunt said.  “It’s bad for the owners, it’s bad for the players and it’s certainly bad for the fans.

“I really view it right now as just part of the process and hopefully the litigation process will lead both sides back to the bargaining table in the near future.  It’s a bump in the road but hopefully one we can overcome.

“I’m disappointed that the negotiations broke down yesterday, but I’m not discouraged about getting a deal done at some point in the future.  I think what happened yesterday is just part of the process, and ultimately we’ll be able to get a deal with the union that preserves the 2011 season.  There’s still a lot of time.”

The Chiefs have plans to slash the salaries of all their employees, including top executives like general manager Scott Pioli, coach Todd Haley and president Mark Donovan.  Hunt said those plans won’t go into effect unless the work stoppage is prolonged.

Hunt similarly indicated the Chiefs would be able to pay their other bills for the foreseeable future.

“Certainly if we go into the 2011 season and end up missing games, it will be very challenging on everybody,” Hunt said.  “We are prepared in the event it goes that direction.”

Hunt might be prepared to miss part of or all of the 2011 season, but I, for one, am not.  Part of the process?  No thank you, sir.

Sure, there is plenty of blame to go around and we can all argue endlessly about who is more at fault, the owners or players.  Right now, the only thing that is important is getting the 2011 season back on track.

Yes, there is still a lot of time before games are going to be canceled but we saw how well both sides handled dealing with deadlines.  Don’t wait for more “drop dead dates” or court rulings.  Get back to the table and get a deal done so we can stick to talking about position battles and division championships instead of audits and rookie wage scales.

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