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NFL, union set up formal labor talks for Saturday

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By Associated Press

DALLAS (AP) — After weeks of talking to fans, reporters and Congress about their lagging labor negotiations, the NFL and its players' union are getting around to talking to each other.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and union executive director DeMaurice Smith met Monday in New York in an effort to kick-start efforts toward a new collective bargaining agreement. They agreed to a series of bargaining sessions between now and the early March deadline for a deal.

That schedule includes a formal round Saturday in the Dallas area — one day before the Super Bowl is played at Cowboys Stadium. The last such full-group negotiating happened Nov. 22. Since then, the league and union have engaged in plenty of public posturing and rhetoric, each accusing the other of failing to seriously address their differences face-to-face.

The current CBA expires at the end of the day March 3, and the union expects the NFL to lock out players as soon as the next day. Monday's session and the announcement of additional meetings would seem to indicate a sense of urgency for Goodell and Smith.


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