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La Canfora: NFL in negotiating session with locked-out officials Friday

By Eye on Football staff | CBSSports.com
Replacement refs will work the season opener unless the NFL and the locked-out officials can came to terms. (Getty Images)

The following is a report from CBSSports.com's NFL Insider Jason La Canfora. Follow him on Twitter at @JasonLaCanfora.

The NFL and the locked-out officials have been at an impasse since late July, but a league source tells CBSSports.com that the NFL is in negotiating session with the locked-out officials today.

The league is prepared to open the season without them, but in all of these cases deals generally don't get done until the last minute and there could be renewed progress with Wednesday's kickoff looming.

The sides have been unable to bridge a gap on finances, the number of crews and other issues like duties beyond the game-day responsibilities. An ESPN report suggests that the two sides are $45 million apart over seven seasons. On Friday evening, Mike Arnold, the lead negotiator for the NFLRA, issued this statement:

"Reports on the economic gap between the NFL and the NFLRA are inaccurate. Ongoing negotiations with the NFL will be conducted in a confidential and professional manner."

The NFL said it will not confirm any meetings or comment on them in any manner.

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