Are you ready for some court-ordered federal mediation?
Representatives for the NFL’s owners and Players’ Association will meet face to face today in Minneapolis for the first time since March 11, when the talks broke off, the union decertified and, finally, the lockout went into effect.
US Magistrate Arthur Boylan met with players’ reps on Tuesday, owners’ reps on Wednesday, and will oversee the second round of mediated talks today in his chambers in the Minneapolis Federal Courthouse.
Only two of the 10 named plaintiffs (players past and present) are present for the negotiations, and only four of the 33 defendants (all 32 NFL owners and Commissioner Roger Goodell). The owners present are Robert Kraft (Patriots), Clark Hunt (Chiefs), Jerry Richardson (Panthers) and Art Rooney (Steelers).
One of the names curiously absent from Minneapolis today is Cowboys’ owner Jerry Jones.
Jones’ absence is indeed kind of weird, considering his omnipresence around league matters like this. Then again, maybe that dramatic and, as one player described, “Jerry Maguire”-style speech in the last round of negotiations left the other owners to wonder if they wouldn’t be better served with Jones back in Dallas. At any rate, that’s where Jones remains as the negotiations pick back up.
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