The NFL owners and the NFL Players Association continue to meet in Chantilly with a federal mediator Wednesday in order to hash out a new agreement before the current Collective Bargaining Agreement expires at 11:59 p.m. on Thursday. If the two sides cannot reach an agreement by then, an NFL lockout will officially begin.
The meeting will end in the afternoon so the owners can have their own separate meeting. The NFLPA has brought its executives, as well as committee member Drew Brees and president Kevin Mawae.
The feeling compared to the one before the Tuesday meeting is a little more optimistic. Seattle Seahawks guard Chester Pitts, who was among the players present, was certainly hopeful a deal would get done.
Seattle Seahawks guard Chester Pitts, part of a large group of players who accompanied NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith to the negotiations, said he was "cautiously optimistic" about the talks.
"The fans should know that both parties are hammering away at it and really trying to get a deal done," said Pitts, who attended the first 3½ hours of Tuesday's talks.
Part of the reason may be Tuesday night's landmark ruling that found the league in violation of the CBA for negotiating television deals that continue to pay the league even in the event of a lockout. This could potentially add to everyone's desperation to get a deal done, since now the league will be hurting financially from a lockout as much as the players.