An earlier report indicating the owners had requested an extension of the current collective bargaining agreement was confirmed, but the NFLPA still wants confirmation that the request will lead to meaningful talks in an effort to get a deal done. The NFL and NFLPA are meeting with a mediator, as well, who is pushing for both sides to accept an extension and continue to work towards a new CBA while avoiding a work stoppage.
With the way the talks have been going, and the lack of a middle ground between the two sides, it's understandable for the NFLPA to be wary of an extension. After all, the owners have been preparing for, and threatening, a lockout for months, only now looking like they're serious about bargaining. However, the two sides are talking on Thursday ahead of the deadline, and an extension may be a possibility.
Extension of CBA deadline talks said to be "legit but fragile'' according to source in the room.
In addition to the extension, ESPN's Chris Mortensen is reporting the owners made a "significant proposal" on Thursday and the union is mulling it over. While Mortensen offers few deals about the proposal, the union is, apparently, looking into the core of the deal and considering an extension. In a bargaining process where the owners have been sitting on the power, seeing the union with the ball in their court on Thursday is an odd twist on the negotiations, as well.
While it may be a long-shot, there's still a chance for an extension, which is good news no matter the eventual outcome. If the NFL and NFLPA can begin to come together, we may avoid a lockout after all. There's still a long ways to go, and a lockout is the most likely outcome, but it's an intriguing development in the situation.
For the latest from the meetings, check out the rest of our NFL lockout StoryStream.