The NFL's labor negotiations resumed Monday with the league and the players' union close to $800 million apart on the central economic issue...
WASHINGTON — The NFL’s labor negotiations resumed Monday with the league and the players’ union close to $800 million apart on the central economic issue of how to divide the sport’s annual revenue, according to sources familiar with the deliberations.
If there is to be a settlement this week, it probably would have to involve a tradeoff between the two sides on the revenue split under a salary cap system. There is also another key issue: whether a federal court judge in Minneapolis would continue to oversee the sport’s labor deal, said sources from throughout the sport, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the discussions are at a sensitive stage.
A settlement, if it is to be completed by the new bargaining deadline Friday, also would be likely to include an 18-game regular season that would be accompanied by reductions in offseason workouts and perhaps other concessions to the players, and a version of a rookie wage scale less restrictive than the NFL originally sought, the sources said. They cautioned that all the elements of a potential deal still could change as negotiations progress this week.
They also said that because the league and union remain so far apart on the major issue of how to divide revenue, there remains a significant possibility that the two sides will be unable to complete a settlement this week. That could result in a confrontation, with players decertifying the union and filing antitrust litigation against the sport’s franchise owners, and the owners locking out players. The two sides also could extend their deadline again.
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Some bargaining progress was made Thursday, according to sources. The league and union, negotiating under the supervision of federal mediator George Cohen, agreed to postpone by 24 hours their original bargaining deadline of 11:59 p.m. Thursday, then agreed Friday to a seven-day extension of talks.
“Players will work their butts off — same as past (two) years — to get this done,” George Atallah, the union’s assistant executive director of external affairs, wrote Monday on Twitter.
• Former Steelers safety and cornerback Carnell Lake has been hired as Pittsburgh’s new defensive-backs coach.
• Oakland promoted Chuck Bresnahan to defensive coordinator.
Oakland hired Bresnahan last month as a defensive assistant but did not specify his duties until the latest announcement. This was the final major piece left on new coach Hue Jackson’s staff.