Posted by Will Brinson
The CBA was set to expire at 11:59 EST Thursday but the NFL and NFLPA reached a 24-hour extension to keep their negotiating window open.
That's according to Jeff Saturday, Colts center and one of the members of the NFLPA present at the negotiating session. Kara Henderson of the NFL Network first reported the news.
This is good news, and as our own Mike Freeman wrote, reason for hope. But it's not salvation for football fans, and right now, it's only a very small step towards some sort of resolution.
"For all those that dig our game, we appreciate your patience as we work through this," DeMaurice Smith, Executive Director of the NFLPA, said. "We're going to keep working we want to play football."
That doesn't necessarily mean anyone should take an optimistic approach towards the labor situation, because things are still very much in a tenuous stage. There's 30-some odd hours for the two sides to decide between a number of choices: 1) hammering out their issues and getting a new deal done; 2) going to war in the courtroom because no deal can be reached; or 3) negotiating a new deadline for the expiration of the CBA.
The third option is the biggest reason for optimism right now -- if the NFL and NFLPA can continue to extend the expiration date, they'll continue to be pressed up against a deadline and therefor be more likely to concede certain bargaining positions. Indeed, similar thing happened in 2006 -- in terms of a short extension -- and the result of that was a new Collective Bargaining Agreement.
That doesn't guarantee such an occurrence in 2011, but the simple fact that the talks are continuing means that the two sides are at least trying to make something happen. And that's better news than we had earlier Thursday.
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