After a hiatus of more than a month, negotiators for the National Football League and the NFL Players Association will meet over the bargaining table today in New York, less than 48 hours before the expiration of their contract Thursday at midnight.
A spokesman for the NFL Management Council, the league's labor negotiating arm, said management will present its first comprehensive proposal to the union today. During their last session in Washington June 7, 8 and 9, the league turned down union demands that players receive 55 percent of the NFL's gross income, to be apportioned on the basis of seniority with performance incentives.
Talks are expected to continue through Thursday.
In New York yesterday, the agent for Dallas Cowboys Ed Jones and Jay Saldi and Tim Wrightman of the Chicago Bears filed suit in U.S. District Court to block the players association from taking over their contract negotiations. The union has said that players who are not signed when the NFL-NFLPA contract expires could not continue to negotiate on their own . . .
Former St. Louis Cardinals defensive end Kirby Criswell, sentenced last month to a five-year prison term, says a magazine story dealing with another player's drug problems may have hurt his cause before sentencing.
Criswell was convicted June 3 of conspiring to manufacture and distribute methamphetamine, a stimulant. Just prior to his sentencing, the first-person story on drug abuse by Don Reese appeared in Sports Illustrated.
"He (Reese) hurt a lot of people. He hurt me, and I've never even met the man," said Criswell, free on bond pending an appeal. "That story came out the Monday before the Friday I got sentenced. He happened to play defensive end, too."
In St. Paul, Minn., linebacker Scott Studwell has been released from Hazelton Rehabilitation Center, the third starter from last season's Minnesota Vikings to have undergone treatment for chemical dependency.
Studwell said his treatment was "mostly for alcohol" but admitted having used cocaine on an "experimental basis"--though no longer.
Asked if the NFL has a serious drug problem, Studwell said, "I don't know much about it because I'm not so much personally involved. I think the newspapers are playing this thing up." . . .
The Baltimore Colts traded offensive guard Robert Pratt to the Seattle Seahawks for an undisclosed future draft pick, team officials said. Pratt had asked to be traded by the Colts, who finished 2-14 last season.