NFL says report that there is a March deadline on CBA talks is 'baseless'

The NFL wanted to be clear: There is no March deadline on labor talks with the union.

Early Thursday, an ESPN report said that the league was setting an artificial deadline of March 18 — which is the start of the 2020 league year — for new collective-bargaining talks this year. That wasn’t true, a league spokesman said.

NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said Thursday afternoon the ESPN report regarding a deadline on CBA talks this year was “inaccurate and baseless.” George Atallah, the assistant executive director of external affairs at the NFLPA, also refuted the report of a deadline.

ESPN has changed its story to say “both sides would prefer to have a deal in place soon so that changes in the CBA structure could go into effect at the start of the new league year on March 18.”

Union met Thursday

The union met in Los Angeles on Thursday, Yahoo’s Charles Robinson said, with one subject at the front and center of talks: a 17-game schedule.

Players have been concerned about the longer schedule due to safety reasons.

While the NFL and NFLPA both strongly deny that there is any deadline on talks, getting something done is crucial for both sides. The NFL is still riding an incredible wave of popularity, and a work stoppage could set that back. Even without a deadline, there seems to be urgency to get something done soon.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell answers a question during a news conference before Super Bowl LIV. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

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