A day after the NFL players were dealt a blow with a judge’s decision to give the owners’ lockout a permanent stay, both sides met Tuesday with some implied movement—but not much public movement.
Sure, both sides talked during ordered mediation. NFLPA chief DeMaurice Smith and NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, along with U.S. Judge Magistrate Arthur Boylan, went to lunch together Tuesday afternoon, but shortly after they returned the meeting was over. And there isn’t another mediation session scheduled until after June 7.
"We had a good discussion today," NFL lead negotiator Jeff Pash told ESPN. "I've said it many times: The only way we're going to get this accomplished is face-to-face dialogue and really digging into the issues, and I think we had a good step in that direction today. And I hope that we'll continue, confident it's going to continue, and we'll be back early next month to continue that process."
This lockout situation looks to be headed for a long and bitter battle, with the team owners now holding the upper hand in their quest for a bigger share of the revenue from the $9 billion dollar empire. The players certainly look like they could be in trouble with this week’s ruling that comes a few weeks after a judge’s ruling briefly ended the lockout before the owners got that overturned.
Now the next best bet for the players is a pending ruling on the NFL owners’ $4 billion TV lockout fund, which they set up to get from their television partners no matter whether games are played or not this fall. The players wouldn’t be paid anything during this lockout period.
Contact Terrance Harris at email@example.com.
(Photo: John Pyle/Landov)