After four days of mediation between NFL owners and its players, the judge gave both sides a break until May 16.
The decision gives both sides nearly a month to regroup and possibly come to an agreement over the labor disputes.
“There’s a lot of uncertainties right now,” Executive Vice President Jeff Pash and the NFL’s lead negotiator said, according to the Associated Press.
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, however, remains confident in having a full 2011 season. The first preseason game is in about 3 1/2 months.
“We’re planning to play a full season and we’re going to negotiate as hard as we can to get that done,” Goodell reportedly told Giants season-ticket holders in a conference call during a break in the mediation session.
With the NFL averaging around $9 billion in annual revenue a year, the league and players disagree on how to divide the money.
Some of the issues surrounding the lockout are benefits for retired players, and a proposal by the NFL to have an 18-game schedule, instead of 16. The league also wants to lower the amount of guaranteed money rookies can make.
“It has a negative impact on everybody, especially our fans,” Goodell told the Associated Press about the lockout. “We need to get these things addressed immediately. We feel there’s plenty of time to get that done. On behalf of the 32 clubs, we’re going to do everything we can to make sure we play our full season this year.