Negotiations between players and owners to end the 2011 NFL Lockout, which some thought might be concluded Friday, will continue into next week.
The league and players issued a joint statement on Friday.
The discussions this week have been constructive and progress has been made on a wide range of issues. Our legal and financial teams will continue to work through the weekend. We will continue to respect the confidentiality orders of Chief Magistrate Judge Arthur Boylan and will therefore refrain from commenting on specific issues or aspects of the negotiations. We will provide additional information as developments in this process continue.
The primary stumbling block, per the Boston Herald, is that players want changes to practices and offseason workout rules in order to enhance player safety.
Less than a day after breathless media reports had a deal all but done, the two sides were wrangling unproductively over what the players see as “culture of the game issues” crucial to achieving a settlement while the owners see merely as “workplace rules.”
What the players seek is a reduction in contact drills and full-pad practices, a reduction in offseason workouts, and other changes designed to increase player safety and make violations of rules already in place enforceable. The players’ biggest concerns are coaches violating practice and workout rules already in place that are designed to protect their safety.
It seems the money issues have been settled. Let’s hope this bit of wrangling does not hold up a deal for long.