WASHINGTON – The NFL and the NFL Players Association agreed to a 24-hour extension of the deadline to reach a new deal on the collective bargaining agreement on Thursday evening.
NFLPA executive committee member Jeff Saturday(notes) confirmed the extension as he left the meeting shortly after 5 p.m. ET. The league and the union have until Friday at 11:59 p.m. to reach a new CBA deal. League and union representatives met throughout the day at the office of Federal Mediation and Conciliation Services.
Prior to reaching a deal to extend the CBA talks, the union was set to file decertification paperwork in federal court. In addition, the union was expected to seek an injunction to prevent a possible lockout by the owners and file a class-action lawsuit against the NFL. Quarterbacks Drew Brees(notes), Peyton Manning(notes) and Tom Brady(notes) would be named as plaintiffs in a class-action lawsuit, a sign of extreme union strength at this point.
"To all our fans who dig our game, we appreciate your patience as we work through this," said NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith, who was flanked by NFLPA president Kevin Mawae, the union's lawyers and several other players following the mediation. "We're going to keep working. We want to play football."