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Owners, union keep dialogue going on 18 games, Goodell says

NEW YORK -- NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said the NFL Players Association has made its counter proposal to the owners' plan for an 18-game regular season.

"We continue to have dialogue," he said Tuesday before a special performance of the play "Lombardi" to benefit the NFL Player Care Foundation. "I think that's a positive thing."

The owners want to play 18 regular-season and two preseason games instead of the current breakdown of 16 and four. That's one issue to be hashed out during the collective-bargaining negotiations between the league and the players union. The current agreement expires in March, raising fears of a potential lockout.

The next meeting between the two sides is scheduled for December in Dallas.

"It just has to be more progress," Goodell said. "Time is getting short. We need to have significant progress so that we reach that agreement that makes sense for the players and the clubs and the fans."

The Player Care Foundation offers grants to retired players who need help paying for health care or other expenses. Goodell said he expected that pensions for retired players would increase in the new CBA.

"I think it's complex," he said of how best to help retired players. "Some are medical programs. Some are making sure we address unique issues that affect our players. Some are just pure financial issues."

Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press

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