Don't expect a labor agreement until at least next week at the absolute earliest.
The NFL and NFLPA concluded seven consecutive days of mediation meetings Thursday, but "very strong differences remain on the all-important core issues that separate the parties," according to a statement released by Federal Mediation and Conciliation director George H. Cohen, who conducted the meetings.
Despite the progress that was made, the NFL and NFLPA will resume the mediation process next Tuesday in Washington, D.C., Cohen did not specify how long the meetings will last.
"Our time together has been devoted to establishing an atmosphere conducive to meaningful negotiations and, of course, matters of process and substance," Cohen said in the statement. "I can report that throughout this extensive period the parties engaged in highly focused, constructive dialogue concerning a host of issues covering both economics and player-related conditions. The tenor of the across-the-table discussions reflected a noteworthy level of mutual respect even in the face of strongly held competing positions."
On one hand, it's a good sign that the two sides have scheduled another session next week because it shows their dedication to working out their differences on the journey to reach a new collective-bargaining agreement. The current CBA expires March 3.
On the other hand, it's got to be frustrating that they've met for seven consecutive days and haven't reached a resolution. While they're displaying an urgency to come together in the face of an historic deadline, there are clearly some issues that are blocking a new CBA.