Ravens wide receiver and player representative Derrick Mason made the media rounds today, appearing on ESPN's "NFL Live" and "The Jerry Coleman Show" on FOX 1370-AM. Of course, with the collective bargaining agreement set to expire Friday morning at midnight, Mason fielded questions about the labor squabble between NFL ownership and the NFL players' association.
I'm sick of hearing about all this NFL labor stuff, mostly because I'm in denial about the possibility of there not being professional football in 2011. But it's always interesting when you hand Mason a microphone, and the veteran didn't disappoint today.
Mason told Coleman that the "rumors" about players asking other players for money -- I'm guessing that was a reference to Brandon Graham's claim that Eagles teammates have asked him for loans -- is "a lot of B.S."
"I don’t think anyone’s asking for loans," Mason said. "[Ravens players] get paid during the season, so in the offseason, we’re not getting the paychecks. So why do I need to get a loan from anyone? I think we have enough smart players in this league that they knew what was going to happen so they saved their money."
As for the young players who aren't accustomed to six- and seven-figure salaries, Mason told ESPN that he believes they "heeded" advice from veterans. "We all did a good job explaining what could potentially happen."
Ravens center Matt Birk has his doubts an agreement being reached before the looming deadline. And Mason said that if the owners and the players can't strike a deal this week, the owners have no incentive to rush back to the bargaining table any time soon.
"I think we wait until the 25th hour and you try to hold your stance as long as possible and you kind of get a deal done," Mason told Coleman. "That’s why I’m in the thinking -- and a lot of people are -- that if we can’t get a deal done before [the deadline], then what incentive do the owners have to get a deal done between March and when the season supposedly starts? … Hopefully we can get a deal done before the 25th hour."
In the end, though, Mason told ESPN that he believes "everyone’s going to be satisfied" when an agreement is reached. The question is, how long will we all have to wait for both parties to find their common ground?