NFL Notebook: Goodell -- No set timetable for deal
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Headed into contact talks with the players' union, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell says there is no timetable to reach a new agreement.
Goodell and the owners will meet with the NFL Players Association tomorrow to begin negotiations, although the initial session is expected to deal with procedural questions.
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The collective bargaining agreement expires after the draft in 2011. But if the two sides don't reach an agreement by next March, the final year of the agreement calls for an uncapped year, something that has not happened since free agency and a salary cap were instituted in the 1993 contract.
"We are not focused on that," Goodell said. "We are focused on getting an agreement that works for the long term. We're not specifically setting any deadlines or dates."
Goodell will be at the meeting, but Jeff Pash, the NFL's attorney, will be the league's lead negotiator. The union recently selected DeMaurice Smith to succeed the late Gene Upshaw as executive director.
Running back Leon Washington returned to the team after boycotting practice the past three weeks while in a contract dispute. Washington, selected for his first Pro Bowl last season as a kick returner, was back on the field to start New York's final week of team activities. Washington is due to earn $535,000 this season, the final year of his rookie deal.
Detroit reached a deal with offensive tackle Jon Jansen, who passed his physical and was signed after the team cut tackle George Foster earlier in the day.
Cornerback Leon Hall pleaded guilty to a reduced charge in his drunken driving case, allowing him to avoid jail time. Hall pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of reckless operation of a vehicle in Batavia, Ohio. He was sentenced to attend a three-day program that deals with how alcohol and drugs affect driving. The rest of his 30-day sentence was suspended. Hall also must perform 64 hours of community service. Hall also faces punishment from the NFL under its conduct policy.
Philadelphia added former Dallas Cowboys defensive coordinator Brian Stewart to its coaching staff. Stewart will be a special assistant to the defense, working primarily with the secondary. Sean McDermott, the secondary coach last season, now is running the defense while defensive coordinator Jim Johnson is on an indefinite leave of absence to continue treatment for a cancerous tumor on his spine.
Assault charges against offensive lineman Jeremy Bridges stemming from an incident at a North Carolina restaurant have been dropped. Bridges was a member of the Carolina Panthers when he was arrested Dec. 7 in Charlotte. It marked the second time in 16 months that Bridges was arrested on an assault charge. He was convicted of pointing a gun at a woman outside a strip club a day before the Panthers reported to training camp in 2007.
First Published June 2, 2009 12:00 am