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Patriots

NFL Players, Owners Meet Again In Boston

By Barry Wilner, AP Sports Writer
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Robert Kraft, owner of the New England Patriots, left, talks with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell while arriving at the NFL football owners meetings in Indianapolis, Tuesday, May 24, 2011. (AP Photo/AJ Mast)

Robert Kraft, owner of the New England Patriots, left, talks with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell while arriving at the NFL football owners meetings in Indianapolis, Tuesday, May 24, 2011. (AP Photo/AJ Mast)

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BOSTON (AP/CBS) – NFL owners and players have met for the second straight day in Hull, Mass., 18 miles south of Boston, as they attempt to close in on a new collective bargaining agreement.

Jonathan Colter, general manager of the Nantasket Beach Resort, told The Associated Press that some of the participants still were “up there” in the conference room late Thursday afternoon.

But none of the owners or players is scheduled to stay at the resort tonight, meaning this set of meetings is over unless they are moved elsewhere.

Among those in attendance are Commissioner Roger Goodell and members of his labor committee, and players association chief DeMaurice Smith and several players.

The two sides have exchanged proposals on a variety of issues after meetings over the last three weeks. The main topic as been how to divide revenues — $9.3 billion last year — and league owners were briefed this week on a plan that would give the players just under 50 percent of total income. An off-the-top expense credit of about $1 billion that went to the owners would be eliminated.

Among the topics that have not been on the front burner but are now being discussed are a rookie wage scale and a more specific breakdown of benefits for retired players. Those are not minor issues, but they could fall into place once the sides can agree on a formula to split the revenues that some predict will skyrocket in the next few years. A lengthy new CBA –say between six and eight years — would enable the league to turn to its broadcast partners and negotiate more lucrative contracts.

One item that has the players’ support is a salary floor keeping teams within 90 percent of the cap. Recently, particularly in 2010 when there was no cap, several teams whose revenue streams don’t match up with the richer clubs did not spend anywhere near what those teams did.

The proposal would require the full salary cap spending to be in cash.

(TM and © Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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