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Extension applies only to labor negotiations, not league business

Roger Goodell

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, center, leaves after football labor negotiations with the NFL players involving a federal mediator in Washington, Thursday, March 3, 2011.(AP Photo/Alex Brandon)


When word emerged that the NFL and the players’ union had agreed to extend the expiration of the CBA by 24 hours, it was unclear whether the extension gave teams another day to sign available free agents or to re-sign players on the roster who are due to become free agents.

It’s now clear. We think.

Contrary to reports that business may continue on Friday, Adam Schefter of ESPN reports that the only thing that will continue are the labor negotiations. No other league business may be done.

And since the NFL business day ends at 4:00 p.m. ET, the 2010 league year already has ended. The only question is whether another extension will be negotiated, whether a new CBA will be negotiated, or whether a lockout will be imposed.

As a practical matter, then, a non-lockout lockout essentially has begun. Teams can’t sign or re-sign or cut players. The only thing that keeps it from becoming a full-blown non-lockout lockout is the ability of coaches to talk to players.