NFL denies NFLPA's claim of talks

Updated: February 16, 2011, 12:23 PM ET
By Chris Mortensen | ESPN

As part of the increasing communication gap between the two sides, the NFL has denied there were any collective bargaining negotiating sessions scheduled this week, as a union official had claimed Monday.

A union spokesman told ESPN Monday the league failed to confirm two sessions this week that had been on the docket. The union official said the two sides had previously scheduled the meetings, pending confirmation from the league.

The negotiating sessions were tentatively set for Tuesday and Wednesday, the union official said.

NFL spokesman Greg Aiello called the union's claim "complete fiction."

"There were no meetings scheduled so there was nothing to reconfirm," Aiello said.

The NFL filed an unfair labor practice charge with the National Labor Relations Board Monday against the union.

The NLRB is a federal agency that enforces the nation's labor laws and referees labor-management disputes.

The current collective bargaining agreement expires at 11:59 p.m. ET March 3. The NFL Players Association has said it is expecting the owners to lock out players; the NFL's filing with the NLRB says that the union wants to "run out the clock" and, essentially, avoid reaching a new CBA so it can decertify and file an antitrust lawsuit.

Chris Mortensen is ESPN's senior NFL analyst. Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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