MIAMI GARDENS, FL - MARCH 03: A view of Sun Life Stadium behind a locked gate as the NFL lockout looms on March 3, 2011 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
No, there is no new deal yet, but we can assume that there are positives coming out of the talks that happened between players and owners in negotiations. It was well after midnight when the parties involved started to leave and head back to their hotels. Albert Breer, for NFL.com, noted that the first two people that were seen leave did so well after midnight.
They are all scheduled to return at 8 AM Eastern, about seven hours after the meetings tonight broke up and with how long the talks went on Thursday it appears that there is a sense of urgency to perhaps get something done before the holiday weekend.
We have no details other than a conference call that DeMaurice Smith made to about 50 Pro Bowl players that said that they still were not close. Of course, this could have been motivated for many reasons. He could have been simply tempering things to not get hopes up. It could have been to protect the players from going out and doing stupid stuff with their money anticipating the ending lockout only to have talks break down at the last minute, putting them in a financial bind. Also, it could have been the truth.
Naturally, in this day of real-time information, we seek immediate knowledge. Unfortunately, negotiating techniques have not come so far and it is work.
I have no idea if there will be an agreement in principle by the end of Friday before the holiday weekend, but at least the length of the negotiating tells us one thing -- they are serious about getting a deal done, especially in the wake of the NBA beginning its own lockout.
If anything new happens, we'll make sure to get the info out. Until then, it's more speculation and anticipation (and probably some holiday planning.