League, Players Go Long In Tuesday Talks

Whether anything major was accomplished no one was willing to say after the NFL and its players met for 9½ hours on Tuesday.

Of the 13 sessions with federal mediator George Cohen, this was the longest day, starting just before 9 a.m. and running through 6:30 p.m. at the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service building in Washington, D.C.

Just about the only news that came from the talks was the announcement by the NFL Players Association that it had retained International Investment Bank to help the players interpret financial numbers. That could be a sign that the union expects to receive more info from the owners – that’s something they’ve been seeking for the past two years. An auditor from the bank arrived at the negotiations Tuesday afternoon.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell led the league contingent, with lead negotiator Jeff Pash, league outside counsel Bob Batterman, Atlanta Falcons president Rich McKay and Chiefs chairman Clark Hunt, who arrived in the afternoon. NFLPLA executive director DeMaurice Smith was joined by seven members of the union’s executive committee, including Chiefs OLB Mike Vrabel.

The two sides are scheduled to meet again on Wednesday morning. They face a Friday evening deadline that would signal the end of the current collective bargaining agreement.

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