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WASHINGTON (AP) — Working to figure out how to divide about $9 billion in annual revenues, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, union executive director DeMaurice Smith and their negotiating teams were at a federal mediator’s office Tuesday for a 13th day of labor talks.
New York Giants owner John Mara and Washington Redskins general manager Bruce Allen were also in attendance.
Top NFLPA outside counsel Jeffrey Kessler did not arrive at the mediator’s office when others did Tuesday morning. He also wasn’t present Monday, when talks resumed after a break over the weekend.
The current agreement was set to expire last week, but extensions have pushed the cutoff to Friday.
What will happen the rest of this week is still anyone’s guess. If a deal isn’t reached, the sides could agree to yet another extension and negotiate beyond Friday. Or talks could break off, leading to, possibly, a lockout by owners or antitrust lawsuits by players.
The NFL has not lost games to a work stoppage in nearly a quarter-century. By agreeing to continue with mediation, the league and union made it clear neither was quite ready to make the drastic move of shutting down a sport that is more popular than ever. The past two Super Bowls rank No. 1 and No. 2 among most-watched TV programs in U.S. history.
The old CBA was agreed to in 2006, and owners exercised an opt-out clause in 2008, leading to the current stalemate.
Money, not surprisingly, is at the center of it all.