On a conference call with media today, union president Kevin Mawae was asked if there is a timetable on negotiations for a new Collective Bargaining Agreement. The current CBA expires on March 3.
“There is no timetable,” Mawae said. “Our deadline passed last month as far as the players are concerned. But we will continue to discuss and try to get a deal done all the way up until a deal does get done.”
Added Mawae, “The further we go along in the process without getting it done, then the more our players are digging in for the long [stretch] of the lockout.”
Union executive director DeMaurice Smith made similar comments in a letter to players earlier this month, according to a report by The Associated Press.
Wrote Jimmy Golen of The AP, “In a letter to the players that was seen by The Associated Press, NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith said the union had an ‘internal deadline’ for agreeing to a new collective bargaining agreement.”
“That deadline has now passed,” Smith wrote in the one-page letter dated Dec. 1, according to Golen’s report. “It is important that you protect yourself and your family.”
However, union assistant executive director George Atallah told ProFootballTalk.com on Dec. 4 “that the ‘internal deadline’ relates to planning only.”
So which is it?