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Roger Goodell hopeful new CBA will be signed soon

John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

Optimism over a new collective bargaining agreement between the NFLPA and NFL prior to the current one expiring following the 2020 season remains high.

Commissioner Roger Goodell just talked about how he views current negotiations following NFL meetings on Wednesday. Always a pragmatic individual, Goodell showed a surprising level of confidence that something could get hashed out soon.

“We’re hopefully that we all see the benefits of doing something earlier and getting something done,” the longtime commissioner said, via NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport.

After both sides displayed confidence something could get done during the summer, talks ended immediately prior to the start of the regular season.

Even then, it appears that the two sides are closer to an agreement than they were prior to a brief work stoppage back in 2011. Eventually, the current CBA was hashed out before a regular-season game was missed.

Among the aspects of current talks is the possibility of a 17-game schedule. Goodell noted that this remains part of the conversation.

There’s certainly other things to work out here, too. Among them, NFL players are concerned about the lack of guaranteed pay in contracts today.

The league’s current drug policy banning the use of marijuana as a pain-killing alternative has also been a point of contention.

The good news here is that the NFL is in a tremendous spot financially. Both sides will want to work as hard as possible to avoid a work stoppage.

That has not prevented the NFLPA from preparing its players for this possibility.