Eric Winston firmly believes that a lockout will happen in 2021 but wonders if the NFL will even be around then.
NFL players union president and Cincinnati Bengals tackle Eric Winston is anticipating a lockout when the 10-year collective bargaining agreement expires in 2021, he told WCPO's Keenan Singleton.
“Honestly I don’t care and I don’t think the guys in this locker room care whether this thing’s going to be around in 20 years because none of us are going to be playing,” Winston said.
He added that it could "kill the goose that laid th egg."
The NFL went through a 132–day lockout in 2011 but did not miss any games. One of the biggest issues that will be tackled is how money is split between owners and players. Winston noted that he has met with NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith and will continue to meet later this year about getting younger players ready for those future discussions.
Watch Winston's full comments below:
He followed up his comments with a statement on Twitter on Tuesday afternoon:
"The league's spin doctors are at it again. I was asked whether I worry about the league in 20-30 years if another lockout occurs, I plainly stated, "no." And no other player in the locker room should either. Players have always chosen to be good stewards of the game because we are the game and quite simply, if the owners chose to lock us out again as they did in 2011, or if they continue to deny the health and safety risks of football, then they have signaled that they are not worried about the game in 20-30 years. I love the game of football but every player knows this is business."
Smith also recently told the MMQB's Albert Breer that a lockout is "almost a virtual certainty."