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NFL Lockout Negotiations Slowed; Court Rules On Earlier Injunction

It's been a busy day in the land of the NFL lockout, triggered by a surprise decision from the 8th circuit court. The NFL and NFLPA have been hard at work recently, working toward a settlement that would allow the lockout to be lifted and for a new collective bargaining agreement to be put in place. And while the 8th circuit court was expected to rule on whether a lockout was legal at some point, many believed the decision would be placed on the back-burner as the league and players hammered out a settlement; talks have been full of progress and a deal may be near already.

But on Friday morning, the court issued its ruling on the NFL's appeal of Judge Susan Nelson's ruling that the lockout should be lifted. The 8th circuit court of appeals ruled the lockout was legal, however, giving the owners a bit of momentum heading into the late stages of negotiations. Though the ruling was for the owners, it may not have that great of an affect -- the two sides have already come far enough that the issue should be able to be settled at the bargaining table.

Progress in these late stages of negotiations is slow, with both sides working over key issues in hopes of reaching an agreeable settlement. Lengthy meetings were held Friday in New York, and may continue throughout the weekend, though it's unclear if the talks will go into overtime with the deadline to reach an agreement to save the preseason looming.

Albert Breer: Regardless, again, still hearing very little progress on key issues. They're still working, but seems like movement has slowed seriously.

Sports Illustrated's Jim Trotter, however, was hopeful, tweeting he expects an agreement by the middle of next week and for the league to begin its offseason shortly thereafter.

Having said all of that, look for a cba agreement by the middle of next week, with league biz to resume a week or so after that.

A deal may be close, but plenty of work is left to be done. With a deadline looming, let's hope the lockout finally ends once and for all.

For the latest news and updates on the ongoing labor battle, stay with our NFL lockout StoryStream. Head over to Field Gulls for a breakdown of the lockout.