The latest rumor going around is that there is a possibility of an extension to the labor talks that might avoid an immediate work stoppage at the 11:59 PM EST deadline. That deadline is supposed to go into effect tonight, depending on what the NFLPA decides to do about decertification of the union. The big key: The NFL owners providing more financial data to the player's union.
The subject of "stopping the clock" on the current collective bargaining agreement in order to allow for more time to negotiate is being discussed Thursday, according to sources with knowledge of the situation.
Doing so would allow for the sides to continue negotiating a new deal beyond Thursday's 11:59 p.m. ET deadline and would, in essence, begin a period of no football activity -- halting any player transactions.
The NFL entered Thursday's session prepared to reveal more financial data, the source said. The NFL Players Association has been asking for the owners to open their books and reveal more economic data about expenses and revenue. After meeting with mediator George Cohen on Wednesday night, the source said, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and his negotiating team were in a position where they would be inclined to reveal more financials at Thursday's session.
A time extension or "stopping the clock" occured during the 2006 labor negotiations, and a deal ultimately was collectively bargained. The NFLPA also is prepared to decertify Thursday should there be no deal or extension.