Matt Vensel is in his first year at the Star Tribune after covering the Ravens for the Baltimore Sun for six years. He is a Pittsburgh native and a Penn State grad. Follow him at @mattvensel.

Mark Craig has covered the NFL for 23 years, and the Vikings since 2003 for the Star Tribune. He is one of 44 Pro Football Hall of Fame selectors. Follow him at @markcraignfl.

Master Tesfatsion is the Star Tribune’s digital Vikings writer. He is a 2013 graduate of Arizona State and worked for before arriving in Minneapolis. Follow him at @masterstrib.

Report: 18-game season off the table

Posted by: under Vikings off the field Updated: March 10, 2011 - 9:19 AM

While most of the discussion surrounding negotiations between the NFL and the players union continues to focus on financial transparency in the hope of reaching a new collective bargaining agreement, Jim Trotter of reported a new detail Wednesday night.

NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith told Trotter that an 18-game season is off the table in negotiations with owners. The 18-game season was considered one of the major issues in the labor battle.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has said repeatedly that fans want 18 games. The two extra games reportedly will generate $500 million more for the league. The players argue that increasing the amount of games in the regular season is a safety issue.

"First of all, the league has never presented a formal proposal for 18 games," Smith told "But more importantly, it's something that our players don't want. Eighteen games is not in the best interest of our players' safety, so we're not doing it."

Here is Trotter's story that addresses the main issues as the two sides stare down a Friday afternoon deadline to agree on a new CBA. Any optimism or hope that was generated by the extension last Friday has faded as the sides argue publicly over how much financial data the owners should turn over to the union.

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