It's being framed as Bart Scott playing the contrarian, but that's burying the lede. The real story is the elimination of two-a-day practices in training camp, a change midwifed during these climactic lockout negotiations.
Yes, the two-a-day, that concept of a sadistic mind that has tortured football players from high school through the pros for decades. While they've become rarer, they remain one of the most dreaded times for most NFL players, some of who are still struggling to lose their offseason weight. And others, it's fair to say, just don't enjoy practicing in general.
So this is definitely a concession by the owners. Even if it's not enshrined in the CBA, it's clearly a product of compromise (like, say, that 18-game schedule being voted on in two years) But have the players wanted this for a long time? Have they been clamoring in private since De Smith took office? We may never find out, but if they have, it's no surprise they would have kept it quiet.
We heard an uproar from the union over the 18-game schedule, complaining (rightfully) that they would be playing more games without an corresponding increase in salary. So while both sides are happy to frame this as a health and safety issue, with this concession the players have to work fewer hours (or at least less intense hours) for the same money. And when you look at the NFL lockout as a generic labor stoppage, as your should, this is a nice little victory for the players. At least until we see what they gave up when a final deal is done.