The good news is that mediation in the fight between the NFL and the players hasn’t ended. The bad news is that it won’t continue until the middle of May.
Albert Breer of NFL Network reports that mediation has adjourned until the tentative date of May 16.
In the interim, Judge Susan Nelson presumably will issue a ruling on the pending motion to lift the lockout, an analysis that possibly has become complicated by comments from Mike Vrabel indicating that the union is still acting as a union. Thus, mediation would occur while the two sides are awaiting an appeal of Judge Nelson’s ruling, which means that one side necessarily will have less leverage when mediation continues.
The fact that mediation has ended for nearly a month confirms that neither side is serious about trying to work out their differences. If they were, they’d find a way to keep talking.
Further complicating matters is the report that up to 70 players will try to intervene in the Brady antitrust lawsuit. With more players and more lawyers involved, it’ll be even harder to make progress.
UPDATE: Breer now reports that NFL general counsel Jeff Pash said that “part of pushing mediation back was Judge Boylan’s schedule, for all those panicking.” But there are seven other Magistrate Judges in the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota. And if issues in Judge Boylan’s schedule were poised to emerge only a week after mediation began, why did Judge Nelson give him the assignment in the first place?