NFLPA, CBA, NFL
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Following a report that the NFL set March 18 as a deadline for the NFL Players’ Association to agree to a new collective-bargaining agreement, NFLPA executive George Atallah has now vehemently denied the report.

Atallah, the NFLPA’s assistant executive director of external affairs, pushed back against an earlier report that the NFLPA had until the deadline to agree to a new CBA.

The current CBA between the NFL and NFLPA isn’t set to end until March 2021. However, early reports on Thursday suggested the NFL set a soft deadline for March 18, when the new league year begins. If the NFLPA failed to agree to a new CBA by then, the league would table talks indefinitely.

The strong denial by Atallah is also backed up by ESPN’s Dan Graziano. According to ESPN’s report, no hard deadline has been set by either side. While both sides would like to come together on a CBA structure that could go into place for the upcoming season, key issues remain that are preventing a deal.

NFLPA leaders recently met with players in a private meeting to discuss CBA negotiations. While owners continue to push for a 17-game season as part of a new CBA, players remain adamantly opposed to the proposal.

It remains the biggest hurdle preventing both sides from reaching agreement on a new deal. While there appears to be no timetable for a new CBA to be reached, there is clearly not a deadline for either side.