The NFL and the Players Association agreed to a seven-day extension of the collective bargaining agreement negotiations, giving fans hope that a season lockout may still be avoided.
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The current labor deal had been set to run out Thursday night. But the sides used an initial 24-hour extension to discuss and vote on the second, lengthier delay. Now the league and union will take a break over the weekend to assess their positions, resume mediation Monday, then have until the end of next Friday to talk.
Although the seven-day extension is the first true signal that owners and players might avoid a protracted legal skirmish and work stoppage, it’s clear they are not close to a new CBA.
Negotiations between both sides have been going on for 11 days over the past few weeks. Among the issues of contention are the sharing of the NFL’s $9 billion annual revenue, an expanded regular season, post-career health care, and performance-based pay.