On Friday afternoon, after months of contentious back and forth, the NFL and its players’ union agreed to extend their negotiating deadline by one week.
Then they promptly took three days off.
The next meeting with federal mediator is on Monday at 3:00 p.m., which is led ProFootballTalk’s Mike Florio to question if any one is truly committed to this deal. Those involved in the talks are flying into Washington, DC, this morning, instead of Sunday.
Although, it’s not clear why any of them left town in the first place. Shouldn’t they have been holed up in a hotel room close by, preparing their next proposals?
George Cohen, the mediator leading the discussion, reminded everyone that the NFL has only been in mediation for 11 days, which is much shorter time period that he is typically used to. So, again, why did they wait until a week before the deadline to begin the process? They knew this was coming for two years, yet did almost nothing but issue press releases.
Sports pundits love to talk about a “sense of urgency” during games, but there doesn’t appear to be much urgency in these talks. Yes, the deadline got them talking, but pushing back the deadline just led to more delays. With a month to go before the NFL Draft — and no indication that they’ve come to an agreement on any of the key issues — it seems like more extensions and more waiting are all we have in store.