While a 24-hour extension to continue collective bargaining agreement negotiations isn't much time, it appears the NFL and NFLPA are working toward a more long-term extension, using the extra day to hammer out the deal. The two sides agreed on a stop-gap solution in the 11th hour on Thursday, just before the close of Judge David Doty's option. The extension allows the two sides to continue to negotiate without a work-stoppage as they try to form a consensus on the press issues in the new CBA.
According to a report, the 24-hour window is meant to allow the two sides to piece together firm details of a longer extension, perhaps lasting another week. The owners and NFLPA need to figure out if contracts could still be signed, how drug testing would work and whether the extension would simply continue the current CBA with no strings attached.
Before Thursday's extension, the CBA was set to expire at 11:59 p.m. Ahead of that deadline, the NFLPA was expected to decertify, paving the way for an antitrust lawsuit. As a formality, the owners would have to vote to stop work, creating a lockout situation. Those moves are all on hold now, but could happen tomorrow if a longer extension is not agreed upon.
Consider Thursday's move a stay of execution. The federal mediator was pushing for negotiations to continue, and the owners, apparently, proposed an extension on Thursday morning. For once during the negotiations, the NFLPA held the power and could have killed the deal -- no matter the public backlash -- by rejecting the offer. They didn't, so talks will move forward on Friday.