So much for burning the post-dinner oil.
Amid reports that the NFL and the players’ union would break for dinner and then reconvene with the mediator, the mediated bargaining sessions have ended for the day after starting at 3:00 p.m. ET. Albert Breer of NFL Network reports that the two sides will reconvene with the mediator on Tuesday morning at 9:00 a.m. ET.
That said, meetings without the mediator will continue Monday night, with the possibility that the mediator will call the two sides together again.
Much work still remains. Mark Maske of the Washington Post reported earlier in the day that the two sides remain $750 million to $800 million apart in the annual revenue split. It’s a huge gap but it suggests progress in the range of $200 million to $250 million, since the league wanted to take another $1 billion off the top each year, and the union wanted to give nothing. On Sunday, Barry Wilner of the Associated Press reported that a deal on the revenue split may not be enough to get a deal done, given disagreements on the expansion of the season and the rookie wage scale.
In our view, it’s always been and always will be about the money. If they reach a deal regarding the dollars, they’ll reach a deal about everything else.
Either way, it’s a good thing it’s not about maintaining the vow of silence, which has flown out the window in recent days.