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Goodell says four owners will attend mediation next week

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell leaves a federal courthouse after NFL labor dispute talks in Minneapolis Reuters

Lost in the shuffle regarding the lifting of the lockout and the confusion as to when or if the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit ever will issue a ruling on the league’s motion to stay the lifting of the lockout pending resolution of the appeal is the fact that mediation tentatively was scheduled to reconvene in Minneapolis on May 16.

It’s no longer tentative.

During Wednesday’s ProFootballTalk Live, Commissioner Roger Goodell said that mediation will indeed continue on May 16.  Goodell also said that four owners will attend the session.

Asked whether the four owners will have the ability to strike a deal without a vote being conducted by all 32, Goodell explained that both sides will submit any deal that’s reached to a vote.  For a post-decertified NFLPA, however, the players have no ability to vote on a proposed agreement.  Instead, the players who are the parties to the lawsuit have the power to negotiate a settlement, subject to court approval.  All other players would then have the ability to object to the settlement as part of the approval process, or to file their own lawsuit.

In other words, it’s much easier for the players to have present at mediation everyone who needs to be there in order to strike a deal.  Given that Judge Nelson’s order requiring mediation contemplates the presence of persons who can make decisions without further consultation, the league is taking a risk by not having all of the owners present — or by sending a smaller group of owners without full authority to strike a deal.

As a practical matter, the players may decide not to push the issue, given that by all appearances neither side intends to get serious until the Eighth Circuit completes its review of Judge Nelson’s decision to lift the lockout.  Eventually, however, the players could choose to make a stink about the league’s decision to negotiate subject to the eventual approval of a deal by a vote of the full ownership group.

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39 Responses to “Goodell says four owners will attend mediation next week”
  1. prophetic11 says: May 11, 2011 1:44 PM

    If Paul have 3 apples and Sarah has 2 apples, how many apples would they have combined?

  2. mondzy805 says: May 11, 2011 1:48 PM

    What a joke. Get a deal done ASAP. We fans, want a full season in 2011, anything less will be uncivilized.

  3. prophetic11 says: May 11, 2011 1:48 PM

    *has

    That question is as irrelevant as the story…………..

  4. xsorethumbx says: May 11, 2011 1:49 PM

    any reasoning why they arent in mediation this week?

  5. jimr10 says: May 11, 2011 1:53 PM

    I continue to ask if you think all owners should be present, why not all the players.
    you have become so biased agains the owners i hate to ever read one of your one-sided articles.

  6. txchief says: May 11, 2011 1:57 PM

    Having a mediation session with that many parties present would be anarchy and ridiculous as well.

  7. teampriest31 says: May 11, 2011 1:58 PM

    I would like to know who the 4 owners are, even though it has very little revelance to the lockout.

  8. jamaltimore says: May 11, 2011 2:05 PM

    Once people start realizing there will be no No football on september 11th, Congress will step in and this deal will get done real quick. Until then both sides will continue to act like idiots who can’t sit down and agree on anything because they think they are above the law. Between the watering down of the contact, the lawlessness of the players and rule’s that make no sense the league is already losing some of it’s popularity. With stewards like dsmith and goodell there’s no reason it’s going anywhere but down.

  9. dolfan8385 says: May 11, 2011 2:07 PM

    everyone knows that both sides are waiting to get the upper hand on the other before anything will go any further. So you could have all 32 team owners there. Pointless

  10. usher716 says: May 11, 2011 2:14 PM

    Ralph Wilson, Mike Brown, Al Davis, Bud Adams

  11. vadog says: May 11, 2011 2:14 PM

    They will be the four most opinionated, obstructionist owners in the league to match the entrenched unethical players!

    I submit ALL professional sports need an international governing body to make and enforce the rules!!!

  12. Reggie's Bush says: May 11, 2011 2:16 PM

    It is actually just Jerry Jones and his 3 egos attending.

  13. ashburninsider says: May 11, 2011 2:18 PM

    How hard is this??? The owners will willing to give 50%, helath benefits for life, Retirment in exchange for a rookie wage scale and that they get to keep there 50%. Seems fair enough to me. Whats the problem???? Get rid of De Smith would be a good start.

  14. hedleykow says: May 11, 2011 2:19 PM

    Unfortunately, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit was confused even further by the NHL’s recent begging of the the court to side with the NFL.

    The three judges responsible for the case are unable to settle their differences over the interpretation of the “icing” rule in hockey. Presently, the judges are split 2-1 in favor of german chocolate.

    Progress was made last week, however, when all three judges agreed that Raji’s TD dance in the Packers playoff game with the Bears could be considered lude and lascivious.

  15. benh999 says: May 11, 2011 2:19 PM

    Would you drop this “only four owners” crap? By what stretch of the imagination would it be remotely productive to have a majority of 17 owners along with, for the sake of argument, 17 corresponding player reps, and lawyers for both sides all stuffed into a single room?

  16. cardiovascularendurance says: May 11, 2011 2:19 PM

    While the NFL may be losing some popularity, a possible San Jose vs. Tampa Bay Stanley Cup Finals won’t cause too many fans to fully defect to the NHL.

  17. txchief says: May 11, 2011 2:24 PM

    The LAST thing football needs is for the politicians to get involved!

  18. zaggs says: May 11, 2011 2:25 PM

    First day, if players dont make a counter offer ot the leagues last offer goodell goes public with fail. Day 2, players dont make an offer, league makes another offer, players complain it has too many big words and can’t find time to read it what with Cribs on TV.

  19. burntorangehorn says: May 11, 2011 2:26 PM

    jamaltimore says:
    May 11, 2011 2:05 PM
    Once people start realizing there will be no No football on september 11th, Congress will step in and this deal will get done real quick.
    ==================================
    It just won’t seem like it’s really September 11th without football.

  20. vahawker says: May 11, 2011 2:41 PM

    txchief..politicians got involved the minute Dee da Dee was elected as Grand Poobah. His only goal has been self serving promotion to further his own self interest(seems the very definition of a politician)

  21. p4ever says: May 11, 2011 2:43 PM

    Go ahead Good’Old moron, shut down the League; that will remove the barriers that are preventing other start-up leagues from being succesful. The only reason the league has this success is the antitrust exemption therefore you better negociate in good faith. The idiots owners would still have to pay the stadium’s bills (at least the portion they didn’t cheat the taxpayer of)…

  22. gregjennings85 says: May 11, 2011 2:48 PM

    “next week”???

    Get this done tomorrow.

    There are billions at stake, and these negotiations are moving slower than Israel-Palestinian talks.

  23. nineroutsider says: May 11, 2011 2:51 PM

    Without a ruling, this whole process is a waste of time. The owners have wanted a lockout all along and the players have wanted a lawsuit all along. Just send the lawyers and tell the media that both parties were teleported in and out of the session.

    We just need the Court to hurry up and rule and not worry about trying to get a deal done. The ruling will be the catalyst for the deal, unfortunately, so the quicker the better.

  24. macbull says: May 11, 2011 3:02 PM

    Roger is simply giving lip service to try to pacify NFL fans, hoping they will continue to buy the NFL brand.

    Only 4 owners out of 32 going to mediation…you tell me how serious the NFL is?

    Write this down…the NFL will not even try to negotiate a contract with the players until 4 weeks before opening day…around August 11.

    Anything Roger Goodell says between now and then is just BS meant to appease NFL fans.

  25. djstat says: May 11, 2011 3:03 PM

    And that’s why the fans have no patience for either side. They are idiots who cannot even meet properly to get a deal done.

  26. vahawker says: May 11, 2011 3:14 PM

    p4ever…how do you negotiate in good faith when the people you attempted to negotiate with walk out of the room and away from the negotiations without reading the offer you submitted and without making ANY offers of their own? Now tell me, can you honestly look in the mirror and tell yourself the Dee da Dee was the one who negotiated in good faith?

  27. siggy00 says: May 11, 2011 3:31 PM

    Art Rooney, Jerry Richardson, Mike Brown, John Mara.

  28. grandsonofcoach says: May 11, 2011 3:35 PM

    Mike, you seem to be fair and balance on most issues, but you continue to harp on this 32 owners thing. I can’t imagine anything more inefficient than getting 32 egos in a room to negotiate. And while yes, maybe 24 hours may have to pass IF a tentative settlement were reached it seems much more efficient than 1700 some players hitching their collective hopes and dreams to some of the richest players in the league and their own negotiating interests and risk having at least some % of those 1700 players saying we got screwed and resorting to further litigation.

  29. encinitasraider says: May 11, 2011 4:05 PM

    What does the NFL stand for?

    NOT FOR LONG….hahaha

    Should of kept AL DAVIS as Head Of State for the Owners, this deal would have been done!!!!

    i hope fans dont watch a game if they make us miss 2 games or more

  30. jakek2 says: May 11, 2011 4:06 PM

    *quick -> quit

  31. rad312 says: May 11, 2011 4:14 PM

    Enough about the attention of having all 32 owners in attendance…..it means nothing. As with all past negotiations the owners will have a subset of owners represent the owners and all contract offers will be reviewed on schedule con-calls with all 32 owners and then voted upon. Nothing new…..business as usual as proven out on previous negotiations.

    However as PFT continues to focus solely on the owners, let’s apply the same criteria to the players. Are all of the players named in the suite planned to be in attendance? If not, do the players that plan to be in attendance carry the voting rights of all named players in the lawsuit?

    I would guess the answer of ‘No’ to both questions however good-forbid PFT take an unbiased approach to their reporting and journalism…..

  32. zizzod says: May 11, 2011 4:32 PM

    Yeah sounds like a lot will be accomplished. I won’t hold my breath

  33. mick730 says: May 11, 2011 4:59 PM

    “Once people start realizing there will be no No football on september 11th, Congress will step in and this deal will get done real quick.”

    Oh really? And the Republican controlled House and the barely Democrat controlled Senate will agree on what? Exactly?

    Not going to happen.

  34. wavy77 says: May 11, 2011 5:00 PM

    June 3rd is the date we’re all waiting for. Even though it’s not like the final ruling on the lockout will be the last word, at least it’s a step closer to something different than the complete nonsense we’re in the middle of right now.

    Mediation probably won’t be effective until a lockout is kept in place, unfortunately, but players will more or less lose all their leverage if the lockout is kept, and the only thing players can threaten with would be to join a competing league.

    A lot of this rumors about shutting down etc is probably more a smoke screen than anything else. Both parties genuinely want a solution even if it doesn’t look like it for an average fan. I think a new CBA will be agreed upon when it’s least expected, and not after a lengthy lockout or a shutdown.

  35. andrewfbrowne says: May 11, 2011 5:09 PM

    Why would anyone think this would go quickly once lawyers get involved, they bill by the hour. They get paid by the hour, if ever there was proof they were still acting like a union that is it. They do not want to kill the job and be forced to get another one.

  36. moggy6actual says: May 11, 2011 5:21 PM

    p4ever says:
    May 11, 2011 2:43 PM
    Go ahead Good’Old moron, shut down the League; that will remove the barriers that are preventing other start-up leagues from being succesful. The only reason the league has this success is the antitrust exemption therefore you better negociate in good faith. The idiots owners would still have to pay the stadium’s bills (at least the portion they didn’t cheat the taxpayer of)…

    —————-
    The NFL does NOT have an anti-trust exemption. Major League Baseball is the only professional sports league with broad antitrust protection.

  37. pooflingingmonkey says: May 11, 2011 6:37 PM

    It wouldn’t be a bad thing if one of the four owners was indeed Mike Brown. Only he and Bills owner Ralph Wilson voted against the current deal that the owners are so against today.

    Brown and Wilson may field crappy football teams, but from a practical business standpoint, they are quite astute.

  38. thefiesty1 says: May 11, 2011 11:00 PM

    Which four owners? You might make some progress in reaching a settlement if Jones and Richardson stay home. They’ve caused enough animosity already to kill any chance of coming to some sort of an agreement.

  39. bmac187 says: May 12, 2011 7:48 AM

    jimr10 says:
    May 11, 2011 1:53 PM
    I continue to ask if you think all owners should be present, why not all the players.
    you have become so biased agains the owners i hate to ever read one of your one-sided articles.
    ————————————————–

    What part of “for a post-decertified NFLPA, however, the players have no ability to vote on a proposed agreement. Instead, the players who are the parties to the lawsuit have the power to negotiate a settlement, subject to court approval” don’t you understand?

    Simply put, all the players don’t have to be there to agree.

    All the owners have to agree. Thats why he suggests they should all be there.

    And people on here say the players are stupid.

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