No deal Friday: NFL, NFLPA* release joint statement on “constructive” talks

AP

The NFL and NFLPA* negotiations will reportedly break Friday without any champagne popping, but it appears we’re inching ever closer to a deal.

The two sides released a joint statement Friday.  Here it goes, from Albert Breer of NFL.com:

“The discussions this week have been constructive and progress has been made on a wide range of issues.  Our legal and financial teams will continue to work throughout the weekend.

“We will continue to respect the confidentiality orders of Chief Magistrate Judge Arthur Boylan and will therefore refrain from commenting on specific issues or aspects of the negotiations.  We will provide additional information as developments in the process continue,” the statement reads.

Breer writes that only two real issues remain: The settlement details of the litigation, and player safety issues related to the offseason.  (We’re uncertain what happened to the right of first refusal idea.)   The Legacy Fund for retired players is reportedly no longer seen as a stumbling block.

NFLPA* chief DeMaurice Smith said he will continue to talk or meet with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell through the weekend.  The player and owners are scheduled to meet with Boylan Tuesday.  The owners meet Thursday the 21st, and the goal will be to have them vote on a CBA then.

There is no cold water in sight.