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NFL Lockout, Labor Issues: NFL, NFLPA Reps Conduct Formal Pre-Super Bowl Bargaining Session

Representatives for the NFL and the NFLPA met Saturday morning for two hours in the first formal negotiation session I believe since this past November. The current CBA expires in less than a month and with a potential NFL Lockout in 2011, time is running out for a deal to get done. Both sides have been battling in the media for the past few months, but hopefully the PR battle will cease while negotiations continue.

The two sides released a joint statement following the session, which is one of the few issues on which they can apparently agree at this point:

The NFL and NFL Players Association met for two hours today in a continuing effort to narrow the differences and reach a fair agreement that will benefit the players, teams and fans. We plan to increase the number, length and intensity of bargaining sessions so that we can reach agreement before the March 4 expiration of the current CBA.

No details have been released as to the results of the meeting and I wouldn’t expect any details at this point. Confidentiality is often an important part of labor negotiations and both sides have already done enough negotiations via the media.

As for what went down during the two hour session (not even a third the length of today’s Hall of Fame selection meeting), it potentially would play out as follows, although this is more just one of many possibilities (this is based on some training I was involved in during a law school internship):

One side would make an offer to the other side and they might discus that offer and debate the merits of it. The side receiving the offer would potentially decide to then hold a caucus with its own negotiating members to discuss the proposal and either decide it’s worth accepting or come up with a counter proposal. The negotiators wouldn’t usually just accept or reject an offer out of hand without a caucus of some sort out of the ear-shot of the other side. Often the caucuses can be what take longer than anything else during the negotiations.