In perhaps the clearest sign yet that the owners and players are extremely close to a deal, we have a report that the two sides don’t plan to meet face-to-face for negotiations again, unless it’s necessary.
Albert Breer of NFL.com reports that the the remaining details of the CBA are expected to be worked out via email, phone, videoconference, Skype, Twitter, and Instant Message. (Yes, we added the last three with no factual evidence.)
Casual Saturday is wrapping up, as the lawyers for both sides have left the building. Communication may continue Sunday between lawyers, but it won’t with face-to-face meetings. DeMaurice Smith and Roger Goodell are also said to be in communication.
The slowing pace of things is a sign that both sides are comfortable with where things stand. The two sides will meet with mediator Arthur Boylan Monday evening and Tuesday. Breer reports those meetings could take place in New York, rather than Minneapolis.
At this point, it would be a surprise if an agreement isn’t reached next week.
UPDATE: Boylan will meet with the parties in New York City.