NFL Labor Dispute: Deal Possible 'Within The Next Week?'

I think we should file this one in the "we will believe it when we see it" column, but one legal expert thinks that the NFL and NFLPA could reach a new collective bargaining agreement "within the next week."

"I've always been very optimistic about the prospects for reaching a deal. Now, I think it's possible they may reach a deal within the next week or so," said Roger Abrams, a law professor at Northeastern University.

Abrams has such confidence because of federal mediator George Cohen, who is now in the middle of the talks between the two sides.

The newly-mediated talks are continuing today for the fifth straight day. That has to be a good thing, as does the fact that we have not heard the public posturing from either side that had become prevalent before Cohen was brought in to mediate the labor negotiations.

"Things are going well right now," [NFLPA Executive Committee member Charlie] Batch said, while climbing into a car bound for an airport Monday afternoon. "We'll see how things progress over the last couple of days. Any time that you're talking, you have to feel better."

The simple fact that there seems to be real negotiating going on -- or at least meetings from which neither side is storming away -- has to encourage NFL fans.

The current collective bargaining agreement expires March 3. A lockout of NFL players is expected if that happens.

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