Locked-out officials have asked for NFL owners to become involved in negotiations, according to sources familiar with the talks. But the owners have declined, so far, prolonging the stalemate.
During the player lockout, owners were heavily involved in the talks, and players believe this can in fact speed the negotiation process along.
The officials think the same thing could happen with this impasse but so far owners don't seem interested in doing so.
While commissioner Roger Goodell has been in on the talks, sources on both sides estimated this fight will continue for at least another week and maybe a lot longer.
Despite what was perhaps the worst week for the replacement refs -- leading to Bill Belichick being so frustrated he put his hands on an official -- there appears to be no end to the conflict on the immediate horizon.
Both sides met over the weekend in what were some of the more intense talks yet, sources familiar with the situation said, but the sides aren't close.
Sources said the NFL Referees Association made concessions in both compensation and pension requests, but those concessions were rejected by the league's lawyers. No counteroffer was made to the officials, a source said.
One NFL source told CBSSports.com: "There has been no discussion of owners getting directly involved. They are fully apprised and supportive of our goal to improve officiating long term and our bargaining position. We did not view what occurred yesterday as concessions. There are significant differences on a full range of issues [economic and non-economic]."
So it appears the two sides are as far apart as ever.
Originally posted by Mike Freeman on CBSSports.com