Mason Eyes Lockout End This Week

The Ravens’ player representative said the two sides are closer in CBA negotiations.

Posted by Ryan Mink on Tuesday, July 5th, 2011 at 3:03 pm | Categories: Ryan Mink

In late May, Ravens wide receiver and player representative Derrick Mason said owners and players weren’t getting any closer and he didn’t see a deal getting done until maybe July.

Now that the 4th of July has passed, Mason’s feeling more optimistic – so much that he’s eying a potential collective bargaining agreement and end of the lockout by week’s end.

“I think they’re closer than what they were, but I think there’s still a lot of ground to cover,” Mason told 105.7 The Fan Tuesday morning.

“In these next four days hopefully we can cover a lot of ground, put in place a lot of things and try to get this deal worked out before the week is up.”

There was reported progress last week, including a late-night negotiating session last Thursday. The two sides met again Friday before breaking face-to-face talks for the weekend.

Lawyers from the owners and players sides reconvened Tuesday morning in Manhattan, where they are reportedly working out the details and language to set up a potential deal, according to the NFL Network’s Albert Breer.

They will be joined by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, NFL Players Association Executive Director DeMaurice Smith, U.S. Magistrate Judge Arthur Boylan, owners and players Thursday and Friday to continue negotiations.

“I thought right after the 4th was going to be a critical time to try to work out the deal,” Mason said. “I think everybody sees it that way now. So that’s why now they’re going in and going to try to hammer it out in four days for the rest of this week and see if they can get a deal done.”

Mason also spoke about the class-action complaint that several retired players filed Monday, claiming they have been left out of negotiations.

The Ravens’ 37-year-old wideout, who said he knows he’s nearing his own retirement, expects retired players to be “taken care of more than they have been” under previous CBAs and did not agree with the legal action taken.

“I don’t think a class-action lawsuit with the retired players now is going to help any,” Mason said. “If it slows it down, who is it going to help? Let’s hammer out a deal and trust that we are going to take care of the retired players because we understand that one day we are going to be those guys. We’re not going to leave them out in the cold.”

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