Bills player rep Wilson 'definitely optimistic' about labor talks

Buffalo Bills safety George Wilson likes what he sees and hears about the players' recent discussions with NFL owners to end the lockout. He also cautions against being swept away by expectations of an imminent settlement.

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"We're definitely optimistic we're moving in the right direction," Wilson, the Bills' player representative, told The Associated Press on Saturday. "Right now, we feel like we're having meaningful discussions. ... We feel we have the right people in the room, discussing the right things, and both sides want to get a deal done. But even though we're moving in the right direction, we're not there yet."

Wilson said conference calls held in the last two days mark the first time in a while that players have been briefed on a lockout that's in its fourth month.

"That's because there haven't been any developments the last little while," he said.

The players also were told that more updates will come next week, when NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, NFL Players Association executive director DeMaurice Smith, several owners and players are scheduled to meet again at an undisclosed location.

"There's definitely going to be talks every week because time is of the essence," Wilson said.

One NFC team executive told NFL Network's Albert Breer on Wednesday night that he believed the sides were "within striking distance" of a deal. However, another AFC team executive said: "There are enough legitimate issues to where it could all fall down still. They're dealing with that stuff."

One such issue is the rookie salary system, which was broached for the first time Thursday since the secret meetings began May 31. The parties have spent much of the last four weeks discussing the biggest issue, which is how to split revenue and account for growth in the players' take.

"The CBA is far from just a percentage of revenue," Wilson said. "There's so much more."

Training camps are scheduled to open in about one month, with two teams -- the Ravens and Jets -- already announcing they will remain at their in-season facilities rather than stage out-of-town camps because of the lockout. The Ravens won't go to Westminster, Md., and the Jets won't go to Cortland, N.Y.

The first preseason game, which pits the Chicago Bears against the St. Louis Rams, is scheduled for Aug. 7 in Canton, Ohio.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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