The Dallas Cowboys’ Jerry Jones was among the six owners that returned to negotiations with the Players’ Union on Thursday, just a day--after two extensions--before a lockout goes into effect.
Of course, the two sides could agree on another extension; but, failing that, the owners could initiate the lockout or the NFLPA could choose to decertify and take their chances with a lawsuit in court. Either way, these would represent a threat to the 2011 season.
The players’ union has called for the owners to “open the books” so to speak on their financial records, in order to bridge a reported $800 million gap in the negotiations. The owners have opened up some records, but not enough for the players to be satisfied--basically, the players want a financial ‘full monty’ from the owners.
"We have requested access to fully audited financial statements since May 2009," Smith said, per a report today by ESPN's Adam Schefter. "We believe that is the appropriate information to analyze the league's request to write a multibillion check to the owners."
NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith has called the information given up by the owners “utterly meaningless.” NFL lead negotiator and rhetorical question-aficionado Jeff Pash contends that the owners have offered more information, and that they were open, still--in the 14th day of mediated talks--to negotiate further.
"Has [the NFLPA] gotten everything it wants? Evidently not. Have we offered to provide more? Absolutely," Pash said. "And is it a subject that we're prepared to discuss? Absolutely."
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