Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

What do extensions mean? Who knows?

WASHINGTON — Those optimistic about the NFL's labor talks will point to the sides' decision to push back the bargaining deadline by a week and think, as commissioner Roger Goodell put it, "The fact that we're continuing this dialogue is a positive sign."

And those who are pessimistic will think, as league lead negotiator Jeff Pash put it, "We've got very serious issues. We've got significant differences."

Pash's observation has been obvious all along. From shortly before Thanksgiving until the day before the Super Bowl, the sides went more than two months without formal bargaining on a new collective bargaining agreement.

The sides are using this weekend to assess their positions before resuming talks in front of a federal mediator Monday. Then they will have until the end of Friday to reach a new CBA thanks to two extensions of the previous deal. It was to have expired Thursday.

What will happen is still anyone's guess. A deal could be reached at any time. Talks could break off. The sides could agree to another extension.

After having such a hard time arranging full-scale sessions, the league and players have spent time at the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service on 11 of 15 days. According to mediator George Cohen, the tenor of the talks has changed.

The parties reached a "level of dialogue" and "constructive discussion" where they "fully, frankly and candidly talk to each other," Cohen said Friday.

Pash gave Cohen and his colleagues at the FMCS, a U.S. government agency, credit for that.

"What the mediators bring to the process is a structure and a discipline that wasn't always there," Pash said. "They inject a seriousness of purpose to it. And they encourage you. They keep you going."

So can a deal get done by Friday?

"The reality is what is going to move the needle is the fact we are into March, when season tickets and sponsorships have to be set and people need to make decisions to set the gross revenues," player agent Peter Schaffer said. "There's urgency there."

What do extensions mean? Who knows? 03/05/11 [Last modified: Saturday, March 5, 2011 10:10pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Buccaneers-Vikings Turning Point, Week 3: Overreaction vs. reality

    Bucs

    "None of us really know how this group of 53 guys is going to come together and how we're going to play this season."

    Vikings receiver Stefon Diggs torched a porous Bucs secondary Sunday with eight catches for 173 yards and two touchdowns. [Getty Images]
  2. Jake Dotchin on rule violation: 'It's hurting me'

    Blogs

    While defenseman Jake Dotchin continues to practice with the Lightning, it's uncertain when - or if - he'll get any preseason action.

    Jake Dotchin violated an unspecified team rule, which is why he hasn't played in the first four games.
  3. PolitiFact: Trump's Mostly False claim that NFL ratings are 'way down'

    Bucs

    The statement

    "NFL attendance and ratings are WAY DOWN. Boring games yes, but many stay away because they love our country."

    Quarterback Jameis Winston is sacked during the first half of the Bucs' 34-17 loss to the Vikings on Sunday. (LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times)
  4. Bucs couldn't connect on or stop deep passes in loss to Vikings

    Bucs

    If two things were established as storylines entering Sunday's Bucs-Vikings game, it was that Tampa Bay was still struggling to establish the deep passes that were missing from its offense last year, and that …

    Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Stefon Diggs (14) gets into the end zone for a long touchdown reception as Bucs free safety Chris Conte (23) cannot stop him during the second half. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]
  5. Nine Gators, including Antonio Callaway and Jordan Scarlett, face felony fraud accusations

    Blogs

    Nine Florida Gators face at least 62 potential felony charges on accusations of credit card fraud. 

    Star receiver Antonio Callaway is among at least four Florida Gators who face potential felony charges on accusations of fraud.