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NFLPA leaders sound pessimistic

The NFL Players Association held a conference call today to assert their position that the union in no way wants a work stoppage this year. However, the tone of the briefing was pretty pessimistic. In short, all signs continue to point to a lockout of the players once the collective bargaining agreement with the league runs out in March.

There are no meetings - zero - scheduled as of today between the union and the league on a new deal.

The union says the league remains committed to seeking about $1 billion in annual givebacks from the players. The union wants to see the league's books to prove the worthiness of that request. 

"We’ve had over 30 meetings," said NFLPA chief counsel Richard Berthelsen. "At every meeting we’ve asked them for their financials. At every meeting they’ve said we are not claiming we have losses. ... So there’s no reason to open our books. ... We don’t believe that information is forthcoming because it’s not going to show any need for major change."

Not good news for fans.

---Mark Gaughan

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