Sides working toward deal in NFL labor talks

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Sides working toward deal in NFL labor talks

Associated Press

Don't break out the tailgate gear just yet. An end to the NFL lockout might not be imminent.

It does appears much closer than at any point in the last three months, though.

Recent progress in labor talks between the league and players has sparked a new sense of optimism, and team owners have been told to be ready to extend their one-day meetings in Chicago next week.

The two sides made progress in labor negotiations held Tuesday at an undisclosed location in Maryland. Those talks will go through at least Wednesday and quite possibly to the end of the week.

A person with knowledge of the talks told The Associated Press that finalizing an agreement by next week's owners' meetings is unlikely. But a framework for a new collective bargaining deal could be presented in Chicago, with further tweaking extending the work stoppage until the end of the month.

A new CBA could be in place before the July 4th weekend, the person added, speaking on condition of anonymity because details of the meeting are not being made public.

Another person familiar with the talks told the AP that the owners and players are "headed in the right direction" and that lawyers "are back in the room" after being excluded from sessions the past two weeks.

Previous "secret" meetings have taken place in Chicago and New York. Such sessions have been critical in past NFL negotiations, dating back to the 1980s.

Still, it would be premature to predict that lockout is about to end, the people familiar with the talks told the AP. Yet the atmosphere of negotiations has been more positive than it was previously, creating "a sense of movement," they said.

That movement toward an agreement might be in both sides' best interest after a federal appeals court judge warned the owners and players they might not like the upcoming decisions in legal actions sparked by the lockout. Indeed, the court could delay any rulings if a new CBA appears to be near.

On hand at the meetings were NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell; NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith; several owners, including the Giants' John Mara and the Cowboys' Jerry Jones; and a large group of players that includes NFLPA president Kevin Mawae, Jeff Saturday, Mike Vrabel, Tony Richardson and Domonique Foxworth.

Although no deadlines have been set for the opening of training camps, the 32 teams soon must decide whether to delay them, particularly those clubs that stage a portion of camp out of town. Settling before July 4 almost certainly would provide for full training camps at previously planned locations.

First would come a free agency period, including the signing of undrafted rookies, and probably minicamps, which already have been canceled by the lockout that began March 12.

The lockout also has cost the league and some teams advertising and sponsorship money, and some players have not collected workout bonuses. At least seven teams have instituted paycuts or furloughs of employees who are not players.

Gary Tanguay hits the road to Houston for "Tanguay Takes America"

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Gary Tanguay hits the road to Houston for "Tanguay Takes America"

CSN and Tanguay to Provide Daily Patriots related stories from various cities on the way to Houston on TV, Online and through Social Media All Week Long

The New England Patriots are Super Bowl bound and will take on the Atlanta Falcons in Houston on Sunday, February 5th.  CSN New England’s Gary Tanguay is also Houston-bound, boarding a CSN trailer today and starting his road trip to Super Bowl 51 – and fans can get an inside look as TANGUAY TAKES AMERICA!
 
Tanguay departed from the CSN studios in Burlington, MA this morning at 6AM and has already logged more than 300 miles on his journey to Texas.  He will be making several Patriots-related stops along the way including places like New Jersey, Washington, DC, Pittsburgh, Atlanta, New Orleans and more. 
 
"I'm looking forward to telling many off the field stories from the road," said Tanguay. “I’ll be checking in throughout each day on TV, online and on social media and look forward to bringing Patriots fans different types of stories that they normally don’t see.”  
 
“Tanguay Takes America” will be a fun, interactive way for Patriots fans to get ready for the big game as the New England Patriots continue their “drive for five”. This is just the beginning of the robust Patriots Super Bowl coverage that CSN will offer over the next two weeks and through game-day.
 
Among the stops and visits that Gary will make:

  • A visit to the city of the team they just beat (Pittsburgh), plus the city of the team they’ll play (Atlanta)
  • The Capitol Impact of the Patriots going to another Super Bowl
  • A meet-up with Troy Brown at his home in West Virginia
  • Stops in towns that hold roots of success for some of the current Patriots
  • A visit to where the Patriots Dynasty began 

Patriots fans can follow Gary’s journey via @Gary_Tanguay and CSNNE on Twitter and Facebook, as well as on CSNNE.com and on CSN’s television programming. 

Brady makes 'The Hangover' reference, calls QB group his wolf pack

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Brady makes 'The Hangover' reference, calls QB group his wolf pack

Tom Brady, Jimmy Garoppolo and Jacoby Brissett are starting to make a habit of this.

After clinching the AFC East title during the regular season, they made sure to grab a picture together that they could throw on their respective social-media pages. They did the same again on Sunday night. 

Sporting their brand new AFC Championship hats -- and Brissett, who didn't dress for the game, in a championship t-shirt -- the trio posed in front of their lockers like the three best friends that anyone could have.

When Brady posted the shot on his Instagram page Monday morning, he captioned it with a speech from the movie "The Hangover," calling Garoppolo and Brissett part of his "wolf pack."