By Rachel Cohen, AP Sports Writer

NEW YORK (AP) – The NFL and its players are making progress on a deal to restart pro football and save the 2011 season.

At the end of three long days at the negotiating table, the league and the players’ association issued a joint statement Friday saying, “The discussions this week have been constructive and progress has been made on a wide range of issues.”

The sides’ legal and financial teams will continue to work over the weekend, and NFLPA chief DeMaurice Smith says he and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell will talk or meet again in the next couple of days.

The two sides are scheduled to head to Minneapolis early next week, where they will meet with mediator and U.S. Magistrate Judge Arthur Boylan.

After a four-month lockout, the players and owners moved ahead this week on issues including rookie contracts and a salary cap.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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