- Associated Press - Wednesday, July 6, 2011

NEW YORK (AP) - Lawyers for the NFL and the players’ association are again sorting out contract language and details that could speed the process in reaching a new collective bargaining agreement.

A person with knowledge of the situation told The Associated Press that attorneys began meeting for a second straight day Wednesday at a Manhattan law firm’s headquarters.

The person spoke on condition of anonymity because a judge has directed that details of the court-ordered mediated negotiations not be disclosed.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and NFLPA chief DeMaurice Smith are expected to return to the negotiations Thursday, along with several owners and players.

Both sides are running out of time before the preseason will be impacted. Some training camps are set to open in less than three weeks and the first exhibition game, at the Pro Football Hall of Fame inductions, is Aug. 7 in Canton, Ohio. The St. Louis Rams and Chicago Bears are scheduled for that game.

Just as critical is having a window for free agency once a new CBA is reached. Depending on the rules for free agency, hundreds of players could become available in what will be a signing frenzy.

Teams still need to instruct rookies they drafted and sign rookies who were not selected in April. Those clubs with new coaches haven’t been able to install offenses or defenses or learn unfamiliar playbooks.

General managers don’t know what the salary cap will be _ or even if there will be one; 2010 didn’t have a cap.

The regular season is scheduled to begin Sept. 8 with New Orleans at Green Bay.

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