NFL, union meet in Washington

BY foxsports • February 9, 2011

The NFL and the NFL Players Association met Wednesday in Washington and plan to meet again Thursday, as the sides hope to make progress toward a new collective bargaining agreement.

The sides broke down into smaller groups to negotiate Wednesday after Saturday's two-hour full session, the NFL Network reported.

Further talks are planned for later this month, as the sides try to avoid a lockout being declared by the owners when the current labor agreement expires March 4.

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell described Saturday's session as "beneficial," adding that a "number of" owners and players participated. That was the first formal negotiating session between the sides since Nov. 22.

The current agreement was signed in 2006 and was supposed to last until 2012, but the owners exercised an opt-out clause to end the deal two years early.

The major issues on the table are health benefits for players after they retire, how to split about $9 billion in annual revenues, creating a new rookie salary scale, and the NFL's desire to increase the regular season from 16 games to 18.

The NFL has said that if a lockout goes into effect and lasts through September, when the regular season starts, the league will lose up to $1 billion in gross revenues. If regular-season games are canceled, the league says the financial hit would be an additional $400 million per week.



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