With one month to go until the regular season begins, it’s highly unlikely that a new labor deal will be struck before the Packers and Bears kick off from Chicago on September 5. But that isn’t stopping the two sides from working toward an eventual consensus.
Per multiple sources, the NFL and NFL Players Association held a bargaining session on Monday. It’s the first full-blown meeting since three days of planned talks in mid-July ended on the first day, and it comes eight years to the day after the signing of the current Collective Bargaining Agreement.
Previously, the two sides had planned to resume their negotiations on July 29. That session was postponed; the league and union met today.
Preliminary sessions have been positive. but it’s unlikely that any potentially contentious topics were addressed in the early meetings. Eventually, they’ll begin grappling over the key issues: How to carve the billions-dollar pie, and whether and to what extent the league will be permitted to take money off the top for stadium construction and renovation.
Eventually, the two sides will be fighting — that’s inherent to collective bargaining. But they’re trying desperately to shield the fans and the media from any evidence of acrimony, no matter how inevitable it is.