The NFL and the NFL Players Association are going to mediation to try to resolve their differences as the expiration of their collective bargaining agreement draws near.
The Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service has been engaged to try to bring the sides together after talks had broken down last week.
The league then brought an unfair labor practice suit against the players earlier this week.
The owners had claimed the players were not bargaining in good faith, instead biding time before the current CBA expires on March 3, then possibly retaliating with an antitrust litigation against the league if a new deal is not reached.
FMCS director George H. Cohen said "I have had separate, informal discussions with key representatives of the NFL and NFLPA during the course of their negotiations for a successful collective bargaining agreement," in a statement released on Thursday.
"At the invitation of the FMCS, and with the agreement of both parties, the ongoing negotiations will now be conducted under auspices in Washington, D.C. commencing Friday, February 18."