FILE - In this March 20, 2010, file photo, George...

FILE - In this March 20, 2010, file photo, George Cohen, director of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (FMCS), appears in Washington. The NFL and its players' union agreed Thursday, Feb. 17, 2011, to mediation in their labor dispute, two weeks before the collective bargaining agreement expires. The FMSCS, an independent U.S. government agency, is overseeing negotiations in Washington beginning Friday. Credit: AP

INDIANAPOLIS - Even after seven days of intensive negotiations before a federal mediator in Washington, there still are significant issues separating the NFL and the NFL Players Association in their ongoing pursuit of a new collective-bargaining agreement.

The two sides will take a break during the weekend after mediator George Cohen said in a statement released Thursday that "some progress was made, but very strong differences remain."

Cohen will resume overseeing negotiations on Tuesday. Owners are scheduled to meet Wednesday and Thursday at a hotel near Dulles Airport in Northern Virginia. If no deal is reached by midnight Thursday, owners are expected to impose a lockout.

"Our time together has been devoted to establishing an atmosphere conducive to meaningful negotiations and, of course, matters of process and substance," Cohen said. "I can report that throughout this extensive period the parties engaged in highly focused, constructive dialogue concerning a host of issues covering both economics and player-related conditions. The tenor of the across-the-table discussions reflected a noteworthy level of mutual respect even in the face of strongly held competing positions . . . At bottom, some progress was made, but very strong differences remain on the all-important core issues that separate the parties."

Meanwhile, attorneys for the NFL and players' union have taken their dispute over $4 billion in television revenue before a federal judge in Minnesota. U.S. District Court Judge David Doty in Minneapolis has jurisdiction over NFL labor matters, and agreed Thursday to unseal some evidence in the case but did not immediately issue a decision.

The NFLPA wants Doty to overturn a decision that would allow the league to retain $4 billion in rights fees from the networks in the event of a lockout. The union contends the league unfairly negotiated the contracts to use the money as leverage in CBA talks.

Coaches and general managers were briefed during a 45-minute session Thursday about operational issues that could arise in the event of a lockout.

"It was a presentation on issues related to the possible expiration of the collective-bargaining agreement," said Greg Aiello, the NFL's senior VP of communications. It was the same presentation that was made to other club people in December in Fort Worth."

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