On Thursday, the owners and the NFL Players’ Union agreed to extend talks another 24 hours from the original deadline of 10:59 CT, meaning that the league will stave off a lockout for another day. While encouraging for obvious reasons, this is far from an indicator of a coming deal between the two sides.
The level of disagreement between the owners and the union simply seems too great to resolve within this 24 hour reprieve.
Before the extension Thursday, Jason Witten, the Cowboys’ All-Pro tight end and players’ representative to the union, spoke as though the lockout had already gone into effect—which is perhaps a sign that the players see a lockout, of however long, inevitable.
“Hopefully this lockout will get done pretty quickly and it won't take long so that we have an offseason to refine our stuff and make that transition," Witten said, per the Dallas Morning News. "Both sides are constantly working and plugging away, trying to get something done.”
If a lockout does indeed go into effect tonight, the players will be prohibited from contacting members of the staff, meaning that, unless the players can band together to continue through the coming months as normally as possible, the team’s offseason could be thrown into disarray.
"You don't know how long the lockout could go," Witten said. "It might be done today. It might be done six months from now."
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