Representatives from the NFL owners and NFL Player's Association will be meeting in Washington on Wednesday and Thursday in an effort to secure a new labor deal before the current one expires on March 4, according to ESPN's Trey Wingo. The two sides are expected to meet for nine hours on Wednesday and five hours on Thursday.
Though an NFL lockout on March 4 still seems to be the likely outcome, that both sides are meeting has to be considered good news. They also scheduled a bargaining session on the Saturday before the Super Bowl.
Reports have suggested the NFL will immediately start losing money if there is a lockout of any kind.
The league estimates there would be a cut in gross revenues of $120 million without a new agreement by early March; $350 million if there's no CBA by August, before the preseason starts; $1 billion if no new contract is in place until September. And if regular-season games are lost, the NFL figures the revenue losses would amount to about $400 million per week.
That's motivation enough for both sides to get a deal done. In general, the owners want to grow the pie for everyone while the players prefer to keep the current deal. Whether it's accurate or not, there's a perception that the players got a great deal in 2006 when the last CBA was signed.
Major issues include the revenue split between owners and players, an 18-game season, a rookie wage scale and benefits for retired players.