NFL, union commit to intensive bargaining sessions, sort of

When I was asked to guest host The Dan Patrick Show on Friday (presumably after six or seven other guys said “no” and/or “hell no”), I thought it would make sense to try to clunk together the heads of NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith regarding the labor discussions, especially since we’re now less than 100 days from the expiration of the current Collective Bargaining Agreement.

Unfortunately, Goodell and Smith weren’t available.  So we instead lined up NFL outside labor counsel Bob Batterman and NFLPA spokesman George Atallah.

Batterman complained that the NFLPA is spending too much time in the halls of Congress and not enough at the bargaining table.  Atallah said that the NFL isn’t being truthful about the contention that the players get 60 cents of every dollar.

The good news, if there is any, is that Atallah committed to devoting two weeks to intensive negotiations during the month of December.

Since Batterman appeared before Atallah, we contacted the NFL after the show to ask whether the league would agree to spend two weeks at the five-star resort of their choice in the hopes of getting a deal done before the end of the year.  (We’ll supply the eggnog.)

Said NFL spokesman Greg Aiello:  “We have told the union leaders that we will be available to meet almost any time and are working with them on scheduling our next sessions.”

That’s not the kind of clarity we were hoping for, but we’ll keep pressing both sides to get together and get it done.