Sports Business Journal reports federal mediator George Cohen has convinced the union to agree to a 7-10 day extension and they're awaiting word on whether the league will agree.
Commissioner Roger Goodell and several NFL executives met with Cohen early on Friday morning. It's unclear whether they'll agree to an extension but the momentum certainly seems to be heading that way.
It cannot be underestimated how important it was for the players to agree to an extension first. Now, it's in the owners' court. Should they not agree, talks will die. The Players Union will de-certify and likely sue the NFL for anti-trust violation. The litigation will drag into August and September, and the NFL as we know it will cease to exist.
PFT continues to spearhead just how critical the owners' decision today will be:
ESPN’s Chris Mortensen writes that "anything less" than the owners agreeing to extend talks would be a "shock" at this point, with talks likely to resume Monday after a weekend off. A final answer on a possible extension is expected to come Friday at 5-6 p.m. ET, roughly the same time we learned about the 24-hour extension of talks on Thursday.
The importance of getting that extension can’t be overstated. Cardinals kicker Jay Feely called Friday a "drop dead" day for the negotiations, which echoes the words of Michael Silver on Yahoo! Sports.
Agreeing to an 7-10 day extension would be a very strong sign that both sides believe a deal can be worked out.
As we and others, like Deaspin's Drew Magary, have said since this whole bloody mess started, the owners are the reason why we have to deal with this ridiculous labor dispute. The NFL Players liked the old CBA. The fans liked the old CBA. The owners made a mint off the old CBA.
But, apparently, $4 billion in revenue isn't enough for the Jerry Richardsons of this league. Thus, we are here in early March contemplating the fate of America's greatest sport.
If the owners turn down the agreed extension, blame for all this should fall completely on them.