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League, players' union agree to 24-hour extension in labor talks

Discussion in 'American Football' started by Concudan, Mar 3, 2011.

  1. Concudan

    Concudan Meh... Staff Member Administrator

    Mar 5, 2006
    By Jason La Canfora

    WASHINGTON -- The NFL and NFL Players Association agreed Thursday to a 24-hour extension of the negotiating window for a new collective bargaining agreement, sources told NFL Network's Kara Henderson.

    Momentum to approve the idea of "stopping the clock" built throughout Thursday as the sides met for over eight hours in front of federal mediator George Cohen.

    The original expiration date for the current CBA had been 11:59 p.m. ET Thursday. Now the union's deadline to possibly decertify is 4 p.m. ET Friday, according to NFL Network's Albert Breer.

    The 24-hour extension could very well lead to a longer extension, according to a league source.

    U.S. District Judge David Doty was in his chambers in Minnesota, prepared to review whatever was put his way. However, Todd Winter, one of Doty's law clerks, said the office wouldn't comment on anything regarding CBA negotiations at this time.

    Doty would have to sign-off on any extension before it becomes valid.

    "We're going to keep working," NFLPA Executive Director DeMaurice Smith said Thursday.

    The terms of the extended deadline were open to negotiation, according to a league source. The amount of time, how it corresponds to the league year (can teams still sign existing free agents or cut players?) and the enforceability of the league's drug policy were eligible to be worked out between the sides.

    The NFLPA isn't willing to take decerification -- as definied by the rights in the current CBA -- off the table, according to sources, just as the NFL is certain not to rule out the possibility of a lockout.

    A time extension or "stopping the clock" occured during the 2006 labor negotiations, and a deal ultimately was reached. The NFLPA was prepared to decertify Thursday if no deal or extension was reached.

    If the union eventually decertifies, sources told Breer that quarterbacks Tom Brady, Peyton Manning and Drew Brees would serve as the lead plaintiffs in any potential antitrust lawsuit filed against the league.

    The union has been asking league owners to open their books and reveal more economic data about expenses and revenue. After meeting with Cohen on Wednesday night, a source said, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and his negotiating team were in a position where they would be inclined to reveal more financial data at Thursday's session.

    The labor talks even have drawn the attention of the nation's first fan -- President Barack Obama.

    "You have owners worth close to a billion, players making millions. The parties should be able to work it out," Obama said in a statement Thursday. "I'm a big football fan. For an industry making $9 billion, I'd hope they can figure out how to divide it up in a sensible way. ... I hope they can come to an agreement without me having to intervene."

    Goodell and the NFL's negotiating team arrived at the mediator's headquarters about 45 minutes ahead of NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith and his group.

    Staring at the first pro football work stoppage since 1987, Goodell said Thursday morning, "We're working hard."

    Also on hand for the NFL were lead negotiator Jeff Pash, outside counsel Bob Batterman, New York Giants owner John Mara, Green Bay Packers president Mark Murphy, Washington Redskins general manager Bruce Allen and several other league executives. Mara and Murphy are members of the league's labor committee, which has the authority to call for a lockout if a new agreement isn't reached.

    "We'll stay at it as long as it takes," Pash said before the 10th mediation session at Cohen's office.

    The owners didn't spend much time Wednesday discussing where the negotiations stood, cutting their planned two-day meeting to a three-hour affair at a suburban hotel. New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft and Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, also members of the labor committee, headed home rather than stick around for further talks with the union.

    There was a flurry of activity Wednesday: a four-hour mediation session attended by all 10 members of the owners' labor committee, NFLPA president Kevin Mawae and New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees; the three-hour owners meeting at a hotel 25 miles away in Chantilly, Va.; a one-hour meeting of the league's labor committee immediately after the owners broke up; the cancellation of another planned gathering of owners Thursday; and a private visit with Cohen starting at 8 p.m. by Goodell, two top league lawyers, Mara and Murphy.

    The biggest sticking point in negotiations has been how to divide the league's revenues, including what cut team owners should receive up front to help cover certain costs, such as stadium construction. Under the old deal, owners received about $1 billion off the top. They entered these negotiations seeking to add another $1 billion to that.

    Among the other significant topics: a rookie wage scale; the owners' push to expand the regular season from 16 games to 18 while reducing the preseason by two games; and benefits for retired players.

    The Associated Press contributed to this report.
  2. Concudan

    Concudan Meh... Staff Member Administrator

    Mar 5, 2006
    A 7 day extension has been approved.

    Adam Schefter
    7 day extension confirmed. Talks through next Friday at 5 pm. Mediation likely to continue Monday.
    3 minutes ago

    HEXEDBOLT Don't like it, lump it!!!

    Jul 11, 2006
    I was rooting for a lock-out and desertification in hope that real football would be again played one day. :mad:
  4. MasterOfPuppets

    MasterOfPuppets Charger fan since 1979

    Aug 8, 2006
  5. AnteaterRaider

    AnteaterRaider Carpe Diem et omni Mundio Staff Member Super Moderator Podcaster

    Jan 19, 2006
    Talking at least means that theres still a chance on keeping the season alive. And they're supposedly making great progress. More then in the last two years
  6. DenverBolt67

    DenverBolt67 BoltTalker

    Jan 24, 2010
    That is because neither side even tried in the last 2 years. So surpassing that progress isn't hard

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