The owners and the players reconvened on Wednesday, for the first time in months without a mediator/chaperon/babysitter.
And yet somehow they have found a way to stay in the same room together for an entire day.
Albert Breer of NFL Network reports that the Wednesday session is expected to continue into the night.
The overtime session comes amid a dispute as to how close the talks are — or aren’t — to completion. Saints quarterback Drew Brees, a member of the NFLPA* Executive Committee and one of the 10 named plaintiffs in the Brady antitrust lawsuit, told Scott Kaplan and Billy Ray Smith of XX 1090 in San Diego earlier today that a deal is close.
“We’re very close to a settlement,” Brees said. “We’re at that point in the negotiations where there’s just a few more details that need to be ironed out.”
Other players, including Steelers safety Ryan Clark and Bengals receiver Chad Ochocinco, say it’s not close. Mike Silver of Yahoo! Sports has promised to explain it all in a new column that will be coming soon.
Our guess is that Brees has decided to play with the owners the game that the owners have been playing with the players — creating pressure to do a deal by building expectations that a deal is coming. With fewer and fewer remaining disagreements, someone needs to blink. The owners think it will be the players. The players are letting the owners know it won’t happen.
And so once the owners realize that, the two sides can compromise on those final remaining issues.