League, union negotiate for 20 hours over three days

On Thursday, after word emerged that the league and the players’ union would continue their negotiations with the involvement of a mediator after more than seven days without meetings, we reported that the two sides had agreed to engage in seven straight days of face-to-face negotiations.

Obviously, the two sides aren’t bound to that commitment, and either party could walk away at any time.  Through three days of talks, however, no one has stormed out.

Albert Breer of NFL Network reports that, over the last three days, the parties have spent roughly 20 hours negotiating.  Per Breer, they’ll be at it again on Monday.

The fact that the talks are continuing and that the two sides are honoring the vow of silence indicates that the two parties are serious about getting a deal done.  At the current pace, the parties will continue to talk through Thursday, the seventh day of negotiations.

One potential buzz kill comes from the February 24 hearing in the “lockout insurance” case, which needs to proceed if the union hopes to have a shot at conjuring any real leverage before March 4, the day on which the current labor deal expires.  It will be important for the lawyers to not say or do anything at the hearing that could disrupt the momentum, if any, that has been built at the bargaining table.

Friday, the union will meet with all agents in Indianapolis.  At that time, the agreement not to talk about the negotiations will face its stiffest test yet, as the union leadership strikes the balance between informing the hundreds of assembled agents and keeping that information secret.

The best approach would be for the two sides to work out an agreement on all major issues by Thursday, and to then commence the process of obtaining approval from the owners and from the players.

From the league’s perspective, 24 of 32 owners must agree.  Peter King of Sports Illustrated reported in his excellent profile of Commissioner Roger Goodell that, if/when Goodell recommends a deal, more than enough owners will agree to its terms.  For the players, a simple majority is needed to accept the contract.  If the Executive Committee and the board of player representatives sign off, it’s likely that the players will agree, too.

It could be more than a bit optimistic to hope for an agreement in principle by Thursday night.  But it also would have been more than a bit optimistic as of last Thursday morning to hope for 20 hours of direct bargaining before sunset on Sunday.

41 responses to “League, union negotiate for 20 hours over three days

  1. 20 hours over 3 days isn’t anything to get excited about.
    I’ve worked more than that in just one day many,many times

  2. deconjonesbitchslap says: Feb 20, 2011 7:01 PM

    “less than 8 hrs a day. typical unions.”

    Your sibling parents must be so proud.
    Now run along and hide like a good scab.

  3. Wow, i sure hope they don’t pass out from exhaustion from all that work they are doing.
    Whew! 20 hours over 3 days!!! Someone call OSHA!!!! They are working too hard!

  4. iknowfootballandyoudont says: Feb 20, 2011 7:01 PM
    20 hours over 3 days isn’t anything to get excited about.
    I’ve worked more than that in just one day many,many times


    But you probably weren’t doing a difficult job….like talking.

  5. God what a bunch of self important idiots. No wonder this Nation is nothing but a bunch of sign carrying morons that listen to talk radio and think it’s true.

    They don’t just work the 7 hours. You meet before with your people. You meet after. You meet late into the night. It’s like trying a case (done it many times as well as participated in negotiations), you may only be in court for 7-8 hours but your day runs 18-20.

    It’s OK to not be ignorant America. It really is.

  6. Wow 20 whole hours ? That’s more than 6 and a half hours a day. How could they stand working such horrendously long hours when the only thing at stake is their livelihoods ?

  7. Time to get realistic – a deal wont be reached for a long time.you optimists are ignoring the fact Ownership will not take a deal that isn’t a significant reversal from the last one and the players aren’t going to concede to it until they’ve missed a good handful of paychecks.

    Also, you people with the “Think of the fans; Greedy;Golden Goose; and Just make it happen; rhetoric need to gain perspective – no side should be expected to accept a bad deal just so the fans don’t miss out.

    No one wants missed games but no one wants to take a bad deal. Translation: accept the start of the season in October at the earliest and accept that the issues are too difficult for most of you simpletons to comprehend.

  8. scytherius says: Feb 20, 2011 7:55 PM
    They don’t just work the 7 hours. You meet before with your people. You meet after. You meet late into the night. It’s like trying a case (done it many times as well as participated in negotiations), you may only be in court for 7-8 hours but your day runs 18-20.


    I think the main issue is that, 7 hours or 12 hours or 14 hours…..

    Sitting in a chair and talking to people does not, in most people’s eyes, constitute “work”.

    At least not in the eyes of people who do ACTUAL work (In physics, mechanical work is the amount of energy transferred by a force acting through a distance. Like energy, it is a scalar quantity, with SI units of joules.)

  9. @iknowfootball. Unless you are a doctor you are exaggerating.


    I’m not a doctor and i’ve pulled 24 hour shifts on deployments a few times.Not to mention day for me out there was atleast 12+ hours of construction.

    7 hours a day, sitting at a table negotiating..gimme a break..

  10. Heck if I was meeting to decide how to divy up my share of a multi billion dollar pie I could could 3 straight 24 hour days!!!!!!!

  11. I like ESPN’s story:

    “NFL, Union ‘working hard’ in talks with mediator”

    Sadly, it is news that they are “working hard”. What a joke.

  12. “Peter King of Sports Illustrated reported in his excellent profile of Commissioner Roger Goodell that…”

    Sucking up to Peter King again.

  13. If the parties involved want a deal done then it will get done. All this posturing is merely for public consumption. Frankly, I’m looking forward to March 4, 2011. Then time will be up one way or the other.

  14. Lol @ the union nuthuggers giving thumbs down to anyone that makes an anti union comment. Don’t hate on those of us with great jobs who aren’t getting pimped by a union. And if you are sitting down there at the union hall playing cards waiting for the phone to ring, don’t hold your breath.

  15. Those of you who are criticizing the parties for “only” meeting for 7-8 hours each day are overlooking two things: First, this is not only a weekend, but also a long holiday weekend; and second – and even more exquisitely – this is the weekend upon which future Super Bowls will be played if the owners do get their way on the 18-game front.

  16. They don’t talk and you crap on them….they are talking and you crap on them….people, make up your minds.

  17. Love all the idiots crying about how many hours per day the negotiations have been. Do you want football or not? 20 hours in a matter of three days is a lot better than 10 minutes a week, like it has been.

    Besides, nobody’s acting like this is strenuous work. There is no illusion that “oh my god, these guys are sweating and laboring to hammer out a new deal”. This is just to show how serious the two sides are about negotiating a new deal.

  18. I could care less if they put 4 hours a day in as long as something productive is getting done and they work something out by March 4th! I would love to see them in there for 12 hours a day but like i said as long as it is productive I will not bash them….. for now !

  19. it seems like that the messages left on this board are from people who really are dissatified with their chosen line of work, who are bitter because the 2 sides only talked for 20 hrs instead of 40 hrs. my suggestion is to go find more satisfying work where you are treated better. while you are at it leave the sarcasm at home or better yet go tell your employer. I dont think these players owe anyone an apology just because their employers arent allowed to crap on them whenever they choose.

  20. WOW, I cant believe all the people who have no idea how the business side of anything works. The people you are complaining about not working hard are billionaire owners. Their job consists of sitting at a table and negotiating. Aside from that, you also dont understand how much work it is to negotiate billions of dollars.

    When I was in my 20’s I worked mindless hard labor jobs. You do what you’re told for long hours at average or below average pay. I am now on the other side of that. I make decisions, negotiate, sit in meetings etc. In my opinion, it is more difficult now than it ever was in a hard labor job.

    This is in no way disrespectful of any type of work. I am just saying there is no way you can determine what is or isn’t hard work in a field that is foreign to you. Just be happy they’re negotiating and not still bashing each other on twitter like a bunch of middle school girls.

  21. Speaking of work, etc: What day has far and away the highest worker absentee rate of any workday in the entire year?

    If you answered the day after the Super Bowl, maybe you should audition for “Jeopardy.”

    And how many of you here have the day off today?

    This will be the day after the Super Bowl if the owners prevail and the 18-game schedule is implemented.

    I’ll leave everyone here to connect the dots.

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