NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell

*A memorable season capped by a super title game with a record TV audience has NFL executives and fans beaming.

The smiles might soon disappear.

Pro football is headed into the great unknown. Barring a quick – and totally unexpected – agreement with the players’ union on a new contract, 2010 will have no salary cap.

After that, perhaps a work stoppage, something NFL Players Association executive director DeMaurice Smith puts at “14” on a scale of 1 to 10.

Commissioner Roger Goodell doesn’t agree, believing negotiations will lead to a new deal before March 2011, when the collective bargaining agreement expires.

But an accord before the New Orleans Saints – who dat? – begin defense of their Super Bowl championship in September is unlikely.

Read more HERE.