Updated 10:20 p.m. ET Wednesday
The owners and players know the clock is ticking and are taking Wednesday's negotiations into the night. NFL Network's Albert Breer reported that the talks will continue past business hours and that both sides are aware negotiations are hitting a critical period.
The two sides began this round of talks at 9 a.m. ET and met for more than 11 hours. The league and owners were represented by commissioner Roger Goodell, Panthers owner Jerry Richardson, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, Patriots owner Robert Kraft, Chiefs chairman/CEO Clark Hunt, Giants owner John Mara and Steelers president Art Rooney II. The players were represented by NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith and general counsel Richard Berthelsen, Colts C Jeff Saturday, Ravens CB Domonique Foxworth, Falcons OT Tyson Clabo and retired players Sean Morey, Don Davis and Pete Kendall.
Clabo was a new face at the negotiations, as he was invited to help represent the interests of the hundreds of pending free agents who will be affected by the rules that will govern the post-lockout weeks.
According to Breer, progress was made on smaller issues and language, but the problems in core areas remain.
The two sides are expected to work on those core issues Thursday, Friday and possibly the weekend.
On Wednesday morning, Drew Brees, Peyton Manning and Tom Brady had released a statement, saying, "it is time to get this deal done." The league responded that "now is the time to reach an agreement."
Reports indicate that a deal could be reached this weekend, or at least by the July 21 owners meeting so that it can be ratified at that time. The Hall of Fame game featuring the Bears and Rams on Aug. 7 remains in jeopardy.