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Among the other significant points in negotiations: the owners’ push to expand the regular season from 16 games to 18 while reducing the preseason by two games; a rookie wage scale; and benefits for retired players.

The NFL and union went more than two months without holding any formal bargaining sessions, until a meeting Feb. 5, the day before the Super Bowl. The sides met again once last week but called off a second meeting that had been scheduled for the following day.

The most recent deal was signed in 2006, but owners exercised an opt-out clause in 2008.


Associated Press Writer Bill Draper in Kansas City, Mo., contributed to this report.