Talks between NFL players and owners on a new Collective Bargaining Agreement went "backward" on Thursday, according to a report by Chris Mortensen of ESPN. There are more meetings between the two sides scheduled for Friday in Minneapolis, though it is unclear if those will actually happen.
Mortensen sites player sources who say the setbacks in talks began when owners proposed a deal that would give players 45 percent of the league's estimated $9.3 billion in annual revenue, a sharp decrease from the 48 percent it was believed the two sides had nearly agreed upon. This happened due to the owners agreeing to give the players the 48 percent, but only after taking between $400 million and $500 million in expenses before the total revenue would be split.
The sources said the new amount was "unacceptable" and that the offer "sets us back to March 11 ... before the lockout."
The players' side, led by Colts C Jeff Saturday, has been keeping their colleagues informed about the status of negotiations through a conference call. Saturday spoke with player representatives from each team on Thursday before returning to the meetings with the owners.