WASHINGTON (CBS/AP) – The NFL and players’ union have agreed on a 24-hour extension of labor talks before the midnight deadline, according to the NFL Network.

The league owners proposed extending talks Thursday morning.

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Now, if no new deal is reached, the NFL owners would then lock out the players as soon as the current collective bargaining agreement expires at 12:01 a.m. Saturday.

Staring at the first pro football work stoppage since 1987, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said early Thursday “We’re working hard.”

The biggest sticking point all along has been how to divide the league’s revenues, including what cut team owners should get up front to help cover certain costs, such as stadium construction. Under the old deal, owners received about $1 billion off the top.

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They entered these negotiations seeking to add another $1 billion to that.

Among the other significant topics: a rookie wage scale; the owners’ push to expand the regular season from 16 games to 18 while reducing the preseason by two games; and benefits for retired players.


AP Pro Football Writer Howard Fendrich, Barry Wilner in Washington, and Sports Writer Joseph White in Chantilly, Va., contributed to this report.

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