The NFL is about to head into a labor dispute much like the NHL and NBA are dealing with now. The NHL currently has 1 cancelled season because owners and players can't get a long. The NBA is staring a lockout or strike down right now and it looks immenant to happen.
The NFL still has some time. The current agreement ends in 2008. This seems like pretty far off. The catch is, that in the 2007 season the salary cap ends. The salary cap is probably the most influential piece of the NFL's popularity. When teams opened up free agency and created a salary cap it has made all of the teams (for the most part) on the same level. Sure you still have 1 or 2 teams with only 1 or 2 wins, but for the most part games in Sept are just as meaningful as games in December for most teams.
The reason for the cap is because players wanted easier free agency. They wanted to be able to go to different teams and let the market determine their value. The owners were scared of this because really rich owners could buy up all the talent and create even bigger dynasties. The solution would be to have all the owners only have a certain spending limit. Thus, players can only get paid what the cap will bear.
But a season without the cap..players have to be licking their chops over this one. Well, not only players. There is one owner I can think of that would be licking his chops too. That would be ol' Danny Boy Snyder of the Redskins. He pays more for bad talent than Al Davis. The thought that he could buy a super bowl must give him goose bumps.
Only time will tell on this one..