WASHINGTON, D.C. (KDKA/AP) – For the third consecutive day, the NFL and the players’ union met with a federal mediator to negotiate a new collective bargaining agreement before the current one expires.

After the eight-hour meeting, NFLPA Executive Director DeMaurice Smith and Commissioner Roger Goodell declined to speak with media about the negotiations.

Prior to the meetings Smith and Goodell agreed with the federal mediator not to make public comments about the negotiations.

After months on not talking and canceled meetings, the third day of meetings have resulted in more than 20 hours of negotiations.

The current CBA expires at the end of the day March 3. The union has repeatedly stated that the team owners want to lock out the players as soon as the next day, which could threaten the 2011 season.

Steelers’ quarterback Charlie Batch along with other current and former NFL players were at the negotiations representing the union on Sunday.

Both sides plan to continue meeting on Monday to work towards a compromise on several issues regarding the CBA.

The biggest issue separating the sides is how to divide about $9 billion in annual revenues. Among the other significant points in negotiations: the owners’ push to expand the regular season from 16 games to 18 while reducing the preseason by two games; a rookie wage scale; and benefits for retired players.


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