NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and National Football League Players Association executive director DeMaurice Smith. (Photo: AP Photo/Brian Blanco)
Amid reports that negotiations aren’t going as well as expected, the NFL owners and players representatives broke off four straight days of meetings Friday without a deal to end the nearly four-month old lockout.
The two sides, led by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and NFL Players Association head DeMaurice Smith, met for two hours Friday in Minneapolis and decided to resume meetings next week following the Fourth of July weekend.
The fact that four consecutive days of meetings, including a marathon 15-hour session Thursday, ended without yielding an agreement is a sure sign that the negotiating teams for both sides are pretty far apart on key issues. This could mean the start of the season will be delayed as had been feared.
Neither side discussed where negotiations are nor if there is optimism the matter can be resolved outside of a court room.
All Smith would tell reporters Friday is that they would meet next week at an undisclosed location. But the Associated Press, citing unnamed sources said the meetings would resume in New York City.
It would seem that it’s getting down to crunch time for both sides with training camps set to open in three weeks and with the first preseason game slated for Aug. 7 between the Chicago Bears and Arizona Cardinals in Canton, Ohio.