MINNEAPOLIS, Minnesota — National Football League club owners and players resumed negotiations on a new collective bargaining deal on Thursday, day 107 of a lockout that threatens the start of training camps.
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and players' lead negotiator DeMaurice Smith met alongside team owners, players and a federal mediator even as they were poised to be joined in a deadlock by their basketball counterparts.
NBA commissioner David Stern said his league was expecting to lock out NBA players when their union deal expires just after midnight on Friday morning.
While the NBA claims only eight of 30 teams are not making money, the NFL is at odds with players over how to divide $9.3 billion in annual revenues from the most popular American spectator sport.
The first NFL work stoppage since 1987 is preventing trades and free agency signings as well as team contact, with draft choices and players unable to work out at team facilities or communicate with coaches.
Some owners and players have said this weekend is a pivotal moment in talks because teams could still begin pre-season training camps later this month as planned if a settlement is reached in the next week.
Details from the talks have been kept private, some of the sessions being staged in secret locations around the nation.
A sign of closeness was seen in the fact Smith and Goodell spoke to 155 NFL rookies-to-be in Florida before returning to Minnesota to resume talks.
Pre-season workouts are set to start in three weeks, with the first pre-season game scheduled on August 7.
There is also concern regarding an impending legal decision from the US Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals regarding the legality of the lockout, one member of the three-judge panel having warned both sides that their ruling might not please either owners or players.
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