DeMaurice Smith

DeMaurice Smith and the NFLPA will regroup and start again Monday.

The NFL and NFLPA have agreed to extend the collective bargaining agreement for seven days, so negotiations on a new labor deal can continue.

The current drop-dead date for a deal is March 11 at 4 p.m. CT and the two sides will continue negotiations on Monday, avoiding a lockout, at least for now.

Although it isn’t a new deal, the second extension, which follows yesterday’s 24-hour extension, is a good sign. If the week-long extension hadn’t been agreed upon, the potential for a long and bitter lockout would have increased greatly.

Now, there’s a glimmer of hope a deal can be completed as soon as next week.

Unfortunately, no transactions are allowed during the extension and teams cannot speak to prospective free agents. However, teams can speak with agents, so progress can still be made on new contracts.