While an extension in the collective bargaining agreement negotiations between the NFL and NFLPA is certainly a positive, the extra week could simply delay the inevitable if serious progress isn't made over the next week. On Thursday, with the expiration of the current CBA just hours away, the two sides agreed to a temporary, 24 hour extension before pushing the deadline to Friday, March 10. While talks were far from positive last week, the last-second deal came about suddenly, and could be a good sign for those hoping to avoid a work stoppage.
The biggest sticking point in the negotiations has been money, as expected. The union and owners disagree about revenue sharing, the rookie wage scale, benefits for retired players and pushing the regular season schedule to 18 games. On Friday, the union made a small concession on the revenue sharing front, but a significant gap still exists.
Earlier Friday, sources familiar with the process told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter that the sides narrowed the financial gap between them by roughly $5 million per team per year. Nevertheless, a significant divide exists -- roughly $25 million per team per year. With 32 teams in the league, the gap equates to $750 million to $800 million per year.
The two sides do have an open line of communication, a victory in itself, and will be back at the bargaining table on Monday to continue talks. If a deal cannot be made by Friday, another extension can be agreed upon, else a lockout will likely begin.
For the latest on the negotiations, check out the rest of our NFL lockout StoryStream.