Five insights from Goodell's speech
March 3 is a true CBA deadline; 18-game season not a deal-breaker
DALLAS -- NFL commissioner Roger Goodell fielded more than 30 questions during his annual state of the league news conference on Friday, but he had no answers about resolutions to the NFL's pending labor problems.The clock is ticking on an March 3, 11:59 p.m. ET deadline for the expiration of the collective bargaining agreement between the team owners and players union. The commissioner emphasized how he and his staff and team owners are willing to work around the clock to get a new agreement completed in time. NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith has stressed that his group doesn't want an interruption to a game and business that has grown into a multi-billion dollar entity.
Here are the five things we learned from the Goodell speech:
1. March 3 is a true deadline: Goodell said the NFL is prepared for every type of outcome -- whether it's an agreement or no agreement -- in labor talks with the NFLPA, but he acknowledges the importance of getting a deal done with the players by March 3. Following the news conference, New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft said a deal could be done in a week if both sides work at it. Not getting a deal in time, Kraft said, would be "criminal." Goodell stressed extending the labor problems past March 3 could lead to a reduction in revenue that would affect both sides. A negotiating session is scheduled for Saturday. More sessions are on the docket for next week.
John Clayton, a recipient of the Pro Football Hall of Fame's McCann Award for distinguished reporting, is a senior writer for ESPN.com.
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