(KDKA/AP) – While at a meeting with NFL owners in Atlanta to discuss the current state of labor negotiations, Commissioner Roger Goodell says he wants to see progress from both sides.
After the meeting, Goodell said, “it’s time to get to the table and negotiate. It takes a commitment to get it done. We have to see that.”
The owners opted out of the current collective bargaining agreement that expires on March 4 back in 2008. They are looking to decrease the players’ share of revenue to around 50 percent; they also want to extend the season to 18 games and institute a rookie wage scale.
Both sides are far apart in negotiations and the NFLPA’s executive director, DeMaurice Smith, is expecting a lockout.
Goodell told the NFL Network that all 32 teams are “prepared for all outcomes.”
Jeff Pash, the league’s lead negotiator, thinks a deal could be struck by March 4, but he doesn’t believe the union is committed to getting a deal done.
“If the focus is, and it has to be a shared commitment, one side can’t do it alone. We need to see a parallel commitment by our negotiating partner,” Pash said.
Within the last two weeks, the union filed a collusion claim against the owners. The claim accuses the team of conspiring to restrict players’ salaries last off-season, but the league agreed to extend that deadline.
The collusion claim is before the same judge that is hearing a complaint from players about the television contract the league setup with their broadcast partners.
The union says the contracts were written to guarantee the owners revenue in case of a lockout. The union also said by spreading out the revenue over a lockout year, the league didn’t maximize revenue in other seasons that players would have had a share of.
When asked about the collusion claim and the TV contract, Goodell said it’s “more litigation. I’ve said before, this is not going to get resolved through litigation. It will get resolved through negotiation.”