Wonder what the tipping point is where they cancel the season? I mean, if they can get started in Nov, they'll still get in 8+ games, which I could see them doing.
They lost a game or two in '87; six (I think) in '82. I can't see them going with a shortened season that equates to anything less than about half a normal one.
Let's play that scenario out and follow the usual season timelines (I could be wrong with some of these dates so somebody correct me if I'm wrong. And yes, I know...the season never ends and we're all still enjoying the fruits of the 1970 merger season, yada, yada, yada. Just humor me here). Minicamp and OTAs run from May through June~ish. Training camp runs from mid July into August with the Preseason usually kicking off in early August to early September. So, that adds up to about 3 to 4 months worth of work that precedes the start of a normal NFL season.
If we assume that the clock strikes midnight tonight without any sort of agreement (HA!) or extension (highly doubtful...I'm talkin' you're more likely to catch a TMZ report that Charlie Sheen was just spotted leaving a church doubtful) and nothin' gets done for most of the summer, you're starting to flirt with the point of no return for the season. If they manage to get something nailed down by August or so, that leaves not a whole lotta time to crank things back up and get everything in gear. Sure, I'd expect that they'll shorten up the "offseason" activities somewhat like skip over OTA or minicamp type activities, but I can't imagine they'll be able to shave it down below a couple months. This ain't Madden '11 on your xBox 360. They won't be able to just flip a switch and start having regular season games. Remember, they won't be able to do shit until they come to an agreement -- sign FAs; sign draft picks; drills; walkthroughs; gameplanning; nothing. At that point, we're looking at an October~ish start, at best, which equates to around 10-12 games.
Fingers crossed that these guys don't spend their summer procrastinatin'.