NEW YORK — With time running short to keep the NFL’s preseason intact, owners and players engaged in another long round of labor talks Thursday, trying to break the impasse that has kept the league shut down for four months.
Each group turned out in force for the latest negotiations at a Manhattan law firm.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and eight of the 10 members of the owners’ labor committee were present, including Jerry Jones of the Dallas Cowboys and John Mara of the New York Giants.
Two new participants Thursday were Green Bay Packers CEO Mark Murphy and San Diego Chargers owner Dean Spanos.
NFL Players Association chief DeMaurice Smith and a half-dozen current or former players also were there, including Indianapolis Colts center Jeff Saturday, Baltimore Ravens defensive back Domonique Foxworth, and Giants defensive end Osi Umenyiora. Umenyiora is one of 10 player plaintiffs in a federal antitrust lawsuit against the league.
After about six hours, Smith and some of the players’ group left the building for about 20 minutes while their lawyers stayed behind.
The NFL locked out players in March, after negotiations broke down and the old collective bargaining agreement expired, and now the preseason is fast approaching. With each passing day, the need to arrive at a deal to end the NFL’s first work stoppage since 1987 becomes greater.
The Hall of Fame game that opens the exhibition season is scheduled for Aug. 7 between the St. Louis Rams and Chicago Bears, who hope to be able to start training camp at the end of next week. Yet camps will not open without a new CBA in place.