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NFL and NFLPA have hope after early CBA extension talks


The NFL and the Players Association have, so far, had two meetings regarding a new collective bargaining agreement. To date, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport said Tuesday the talks have been described as “cordial” and “amicable.”

In short, no one is being taken to court yet and talks may be heading in the right direction.

The current CBA — set to expire after the 2020 season — was agreed upon in 2011 after a 132-day lockout. There were two even worse work stoppages a few decades ago when the 1982 and 1987 NFL seasons were both shortened by player strikes.

Seeking to avoid that kind of labor dispute, the NFL and NFLPA are getting a jumpstart on their 2021 negotiations.

It is unlikely a new deal gets done before the start of the 2019 season. The talks would have to progress at an extremely rapid pace, and discussions are still very early on, Rapoport said. By 2020? It’s possible.

The expiration of the CBA is still two years away, so the biggest question the two sides can answer in these preliminary meetings is just how much work they have to do.

So far, Rapoport said, topics of interest in these discussions have centered around issues such as stadium credits for owners — money to pay for upgrades that they want to not come out of the cap — and the expiring DirecTV deal. Nothing, in other words, that should cause talks to blow up.

Plus, both sides are making plenty of money this time around, so that helps as well.

It’s still early on, but these reports seem encouraging.