At midnight Eastern on Friday, Albert Breer noted that NFL owners and players were in hour 15 of NFL labor negotiations. It wasn't an easy day for either camp, and neither was it a productive one, as sources on the players' side told ESPN that talks were headed "backwards," arguing that owners went back on an older stipulation that granted players a few extra percentage points' worth of revenue than they are now offering.
Players calculate that under the owners' proposal, it would leave them with approximately with a 45 percent take on revenue, an "unacceptable" amount that one player source said "sets us back to March 11 ... before the lockout."
A management source said the owners have not reneged on any revenue split, claiming "it's a negotiation, which is always subject to change."
The players' side held a conference call with other players on Thursday, and what the players' side reportedly said was that "talks had stalled" on the issue of how to divide revenues.
CBS Sports' Mike Freeman suggests that the players are telling the truth, and that owners are, in fact, going back on earlier promises.
Again, the NFL will deny this, but I believe it is the owners who are destroying this round of talks, even as the two sides are extremely close. I believe the sources that tell me owners are playing mind games with the players: getting their optimism up and then down hoping the players cave out of frustration.
The long, long day of negotiations could prove to be a microcosm of what the next few weeks could look like. Some sources close to the negotiations now believe that they could stretch on for at least another week, at which point the two sides would run the risk of cutting into training camps and the preseason.