Photo: Screengrab via NFL.com
On the last night before the CBA expires (again), the negotiations between the NFL and its players union have taken a ugly turn as the two sides have returned to sniping at each other in the press.You can read more details here and here and here, but the short version is this:
The owners and players didn’t actually meet on Thursday. Each side met separately with the mediator, but there were no face-to-face talks between actual owners and actual players.
Making things worse, after the union reps left the mediator’s office in a huff, the NFL lead negotiator held a impromptu press conference where he questioned the player’s “commitment” to getting a deal.
This angered NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith so much, he drove all the way back to the federal mediation offices to rebut the arguments — and fire a few shots at the league.
Then the official spokepeople for both sides got into it on Twitter.
All of this comes on a day when reports have claimed the two sides are closer than ever on the key issues, including revenue sharing. Some might be hoping this is the last death throes of the conflict before an 11th hour deal is struck.
Unfortunately, each side is still accusing the other of being more interested in a lockout/lawsuit than in making a deal. And with less than 24 hours to go before that happens, a deal (and even another extension) seems very far away indeed. Mediator George Cohen has his work cut out for him tomorrow.
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