WASHINGTON – Federally mediated negotiations between the NFL and the players’ union have stretched 35 hours over five consecutive days – and they aren’t done.
The mediation is voluntary – in theory, each side could walk away at any time – yet it now appears very likely that the current round of talks will stretch through Thursday, which would make for a full week.
One indication: The union sent a memo Tuesday to let player agents know that their meeting that was supposed to happen Thursday in Indianapolis is being postponed because of the mediation.
Commissioner Roger Goodell, NFL Players Association executive director DeMaurice Smith and members of their bargaining teams met for about eight hours Tuesday at the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service, a U.S. government agency.
Among those joining Smith were Bears LB Hunter Hillenmeyer, Ravens CB Domonique Foxworth and former player Sean Morey.
All participants have been abiding by mediator George Cohen’s request not to discuss the talks publicly.
The biggest issue separating the sides is how to divide about $9 billion in annual revenues.