A day after reportedly reaching a settlement on the issue of a rookie wage scale, players and owners broke in the afternoon, leaving behind several representatives who planned to work through the weekend. Continue reading after the jump.



The NFL and NFLPA issued a joint statement Friday, marking the end of labor negotiations in New York without a resolution to the lockout.

“The discussions this week have been productive and progress has been made on a wide range of issues. Our legal and financial teams will continue to work through the weekend. We will continue to respect the confidentiality orders of Chief Magistrate judge Arthur Boylan and will therefore refrain from commenting on specific issues or aspects of the negotiations. We will provide additional information as developments in this process continue.”

No major breakthroughs were relayed Friday as the sides prepare to meet Monday night in Minneapolis with Boylan, their court-appointed mediator.

Speaking to reporters around 5 p.m. Friday, DeMaurice Smith said he and NFL commissioner Roger Goodell would speak before Monday’s meeting.

“Roger and I will either meet or talk this weekend,” he said.

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said he would remain in New York through the weekend and might attend legal meetings.

Several reports indicated Friday that the economics of a new collective bargaining agreement have largely been decided. ESPN reported that the salary cap will be $120 million with $21 million in wiggle room. NFL rookies took a 50 percent cut in wages according to reports Thursday.

Issues yet to be resolved reportedly include player safety, outstanding litigation, and the right of first refusal, which, if the owners have their way, could give teams more leeway in retaining potential free agents.

If a deal gets done before Thursday’s owners meetings in Atlanta, owners would need to ratify a new CBA at those meetings, and the players would have to recertify and approve the deal.

The Browns are set to begin training camp July 23, with most teams following several days later. The first preseason game is scheduled for Aug. 7 between the Bears and the Rams in Canton, Oh., following this year’s Hall of Fame inductions.

For what it’s worth, coach Lovie Smith says the Bears will be ready for that game.