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NFL faces legal heat from NY as lockout talks continue

DeMaurice Smith in an undated file photo.

DeMaurice Smith in an undated file photo. Photo Credit: Getty Images

Members of the NFL Players Association and team owners were determined to spend the weekend — their first together during this grueling and at times mind-numbing negotiation for a new labor agreement — in Manhattan, hashing out a framework to resolve their issues and guarantee the upcoming season will go on as scheduled.

New York's attorney general, however, is more interested in recouping potential monies his state’s citizens will lose out on regardless of when, or if, a settlement is reached.

“While we are hopeful that the NFL and its players will reach an agreement to end the ongoing lockout in the near future, this office will take all appropriate steps to protect New Yorkers, many of whom rely on the significant economic activity generated by the NFL,” Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said Thursday.

Schneiderman’s office could seek triple any damages incurred if the 32 NFL teams are proven to have acted as an illegal cartel. Already, the Jets have canceled their camp at the state college in Cortland, N.Y., costing an estimated $4.5 million in business activity.

NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith, Commissioner Roger Goodell, owners and players were expected to finalize the details of a new revenue split, which is reportedly getting closer to agreement, at a Manhattan law firm throughout the weekend.

Many have pointed to July 15 being the deadline date for a settlement, if the NFL hopes to enjoy a full training camp prior to the annual Hall of Fame Game exhibition opener in Canton, Ohio.

The regular-season opener is slated for Thursday, Sept. 8, when the defending Super Bowl champion Green Bay Packers host the New Orleans Saints. The first full Sunday of NFL action is scheduled for the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terror attacks, with the Giants visiting Washington and the Jets hosting Dallas.



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