No, it's not a month ago. It's August 4, the day the new NFL league year is scheduled to start. But, the league year cannot start without a finalized, and ratified, CBA agreement. And, as of last night, we are not there yet.
The hold up seems to be NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell's player conduct policy. The players do not agree with the Commissioner serving as the judge, the jury, and the appellate court. The NFL wants to continue to allow the Commissioner to mete out punishment as necessary.
Pittsburgh Steelers safety and NFLPA player representative Ryan Clark told Barry Wilner of the Associated Press, "[NFLPA Executive Director DeMaurice] Smith is still working, and we’re trying to get this figured out. But it’s not an absolute that guys will be at practice tomorrow."
Clark continued, "Roger Goodell having total control over the fine process, that’s a deal-breaker for us in this situation. We feel like someone else should be on there; there should be some...type of way — actually someone who’s not on the NFL payroll."
However, reports came out from both the NFL and NFLPA later in the day that they were planning to work through the night to ensure a deal would be finalized.
And, with that deal in mind, the Dolphins rescheduled their practice time for Thursday. Instead of the previously scheduled 11am start time, Miami moved the practice to 7:15pm. The change would allow the league and player's union to finalize their deal, ratify the agreement, and have the league year start, on time, at 4pm. Then, when the Dolphins hit the practice field, all of their new acquisitions, restricted free agents, and reworked contract personnel, to include quarterback Matt Moore, running back Reggie Bush, and linebacker/defensive end Jason Taylor, to take part in the workout.
As the NFL and NFLPA negotiate the player conduct policy, and other out standing issues, look for teams to anxiously await word that a deal is in place. Until then, the sidelines at practice will continue to be full of players wanting to practice.