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Making sense of the not-so-secret ownership meeting

NFL And Players Resume Mediation Getty Images

Rosenthal opted not to speculate earlier tonight regarding the possible reasons for the reported Chicago-area meeting involving several owners and Commissioner Roger Goodell.  But since I just sat through a three-hour, thirty-minute Team PFT baseball game that went into two extra innings (we lost 8-7 in the bottom of the ninth), I had plenty of time to try to connect the dots.

For starters, the various owners who reportedly attended — Pats owner Robert Kraft, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, and Panthers owner Jerry Richardson — are members of the team negotiating a new labor deal.  So (and excuse us while we venture far onto a limb here) the meeting most likely was related to the ongoing labor dispute.

The next lockout-related development comes on Friday, when the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit takes up arguments regarding whether the lockout will be lifted.  But there’s nothing for the owners to do at this point; it’s a matter that’s currently in the hands of the lawyers.

On Monday, June 6, the NFL must formally respond to the complaint in the Tom Brady antitrust action.  That’s another function for the lawyers, which will require little or no direct input from owners — and definitely not a full-blown sit-down.

On Tuesday, June 7, mediation is scheduled to continue in Minneapolis, before U.S. Magistrate Judge Arthur Boylan.  It could be, then, that the negotiating team got together to make specific decisions for approaching the next set of talks.  If the two judges who have ruled both in favor of a temporary stay and a full stay send signals via their questions and comments making clear their willingness to allow the lockout to remain in place, the players could be softened up and ready to be receptive to a significant move by the NFL closer to its bottom-line position.

Given that the full ownership met last week in Indianapolis and in light of the requirement that at least 24 of them must approve any offers made to the players, it could be that the owners voted in Indy to give Goodell and the negotiating team a new ceiling of authority, and that the negotiating team met separately to come up with a plan for using it once mediation resumes in six days.

Whatever the specific reason for the clandestine Chicago-area meeting, it had to be something sufficiently important to justify a face-to-face session, and not a conference call.

UPDATE:  Well, there goes our theory.  Per multiple reports, NFLPA* officials also were present, converting what appeared to be a strategy session into a negotiating session.  It remains to be seen whether any progress was made.

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26 Responses to “Making sense of the not-so-secret ownership meeting”
  1. willycents says: Jun 1, 2011 11:37 PM

    My conjecture on the purpose of the meeting is: They wanted to see the windy city, have broiled muskie down at Rosie’s place, and talk to the leadership of the SEIU about unionizing the owners group of the NFL.

  2. bobwhitequail says: Jun 1, 2011 11:37 PM

    Meanwhile De Smith and Jeffrey Kessler had a secret meeting about how to respond to a new NFL offer after June 3. The meeting lasted 30 seconds resulting in the following resolution, “whatever it is, just ignore it and keep suing, suing, suing!”

  3. 2011to2020lions says: Jun 1, 2011 11:39 PM

    Bottom line deals if they win and a top accepting offer if they lose, now lets play some football

  4. time2speakup says: Jun 1, 2011 11:44 PM

    This is a straw, and I for one am grasping at it with hope. What else is there?

  5. mick730 says: Jun 1, 2011 11:45 PM

    I think all of them met to decide which one of them will get to mount De “Dig It’s” head on their den wall after the 8th rules against the union.

  6. saberstud75 says: Jun 1, 2011 11:55 PM

    The players have a similar meeting scheduled via twitter to discuss what their bottomline must be to afford the minimum levels of bling, escalades, and purple drank.

  7. txchief says: Jun 2, 2011 12:17 AM

    They just wanted some Lou Malnati’s deep dish pie, and the frozen stuff they ship out just isn’t quite the same.

  8. lionsmaverick says: Jun 2, 2011 12:35 AM

    Anyone smell a little hope??

    Maybe they are decidng how much they can give up to finally end this thing… Ah, just wishful thinking.

  9. megabeast37215 says: Jun 2, 2011 12:44 AM

    Break them owners, make the litigators cry uncle and negotiate like grownups. Offer, counter offer, repeat process…

  10. ernestbynershands says: Jun 2, 2011 12:45 AM

    Bob, Rog, and Jerrah. Meeting before a Decisive Day, June 6, in a long struggle.
    Are they the Allied commanders making final prep for D Day assault, June 6 1944.
    Or Larry, Curly & Moe prepping another dose of their schtick?
    For certain Monday, June 6, will be D-Day. But is D for decisive or delay?

  11. southmo says: Jun 2, 2011 12:46 AM

    Watching DeMaurice win a court case is like watching the team you hate the most win the Super Bowl.

  12. bravin4evr says: Jun 2, 2011 1:11 AM

    It’s amazing how many stupid postings are made here. The owners know that they need a cba completed before more lawsuits are filed attacking the draft and individual teams. This could happen even if the stay is upheld. They owners really don’t need more lawsuits or anything attacking the current structure of the league.

  13. tmaczoozoo says: Jun 2, 2011 3:11 AM

    They just wanted to get thier freak on in private…

  14. ralphshere says: Jun 2, 2011 3:22 AM

    GIT ‘Er DONE !!

  15. folkcrusader says: Jun 2, 2011 4:46 AM

    Both parties are paying for extremely high level legal representation, one benefit of such representation is that it also gets you access to the legal system at it’s highest levels. It’s quite reasonable to assume that the NFL legal team has received at least partial disclosure on the upcoming ruling and were approving strategy contingent to that ruling.

  16. blackcatnfl says: Jun 2, 2011 5:02 AM

    The republican national convention will be just as important. And by “important” I mean completely pointless.

  17. chapnastier says: Jun 2, 2011 6:13 AM

    I’m still confused as to why the owners have to tell you media types what they are doing. “Secret”? First the media complains about a private gathering of guys playing football and now they are complaining about this. Babies.

  18. tnsteve says: Jun 2, 2011 6:59 AM

    If these teams are losing so much money, I don’t understand why they can’t simply meet via teleconference from their home cities and save all the costs of meeting in person…seems like a complete waste of money even in good financial times.

  19. gbfanforever says: Jun 2, 2011 7:08 AM

    “The players have a similar meeting scheduled via twitter to discuss what their bottomline must be to afford the minimum levels of bling, escalades, and purple drank.” And still you’ll say with a straight face that you’re not a racist, lol. Go back to telling the “jungle bunny” jokes at your tavern. If you hate blacks so much, quit watching football.

    And it’s also laughable you don’t have problems with owners meeting to decide how much less to pay players in order to afford minimum levels of 5th and sixth houses, 100+ foot yachts, servants, $5000 suits etc.?

    Remember, it’s not the owners that fans pay to see on Sunday, it’s not the owners that risk permanent physical injury, and owners don’t have non-guaranteed contracts with their business interests like players do.

  20. rocketdogsports says: Jun 2, 2011 7:56 AM

    There is only one thing I want to read about: Two groups of grown men working together to divide up ten billion dollars and making plans to play some god damned football.

  21. chapnastier says: Jun 2, 2011 8:16 AM

    gbfanforever says: Jun 2, 2011 7:08 AM

    “The players have a similar meeting scheduled via twitter to discuss what their bottomline must be to afford the minimum levels of bling, escalades, and purple drank.” And still you’ll say with a straight face that you’re not a racist, lol. Go back to telling the “jungle bunny” jokes at your tavern. If you hate blacks so much, quit watching football.

    And it’s also laughable you don’t have problems with owners meeting to decide how much less to pay players in order to afford minimum levels of 5th and sixth houses, 100+ foot yachts, servants, $5000 suits etc.?

    Remember, it’s not the owners that fans pay to see on Sunday, it’s not the owners that risk permanent physical injury, and owners don’t have non-guaranteed contracts with their business interests like players do.
    —————————————————-

    Where to begin with this nonsense? First you pay to see the players that come and go. This is simply proven by the fact that you cant name all of your teams week 17 starters from a year ago. Next why does this have to be racist? White guys buy Escalades. Hell just this morning I passed a white guy driving one, had big old chrome rims on it too. I also remember white guys drinking purple drank while I was in college too. The bling thing? Well White guys look pretty damn dumb with with jewelry on so they don’t buy as much. This is simply due to skin complexion as it correlates to fashion. I must say though as a white guy I would have a big a$$ Rolex.

    There I just proved all of your points wrong. Stop claiming everyone to be racist.

  22. daytonaken says: Jun 2, 2011 8:23 AM

    I think have Jerry Jones and his humongous ego on the owners negotiating team is a recipe for disaster. He’s screwed up the Cowboys, the Superbowl seating and that plastic surgery…

  23. apopnj says: Jun 2, 2011 8:23 AM

    It seems it is all about the leverage and if that is the case, the owners will win hands down. The owners have other ventures most likely that are making money for them and most are financially sound. On the other hand, the players do not have the same fiscal responsibility with entourages, cars, exuberant life styles and basically living pay check to pay check. If the 8th Circuit Court rules in place of the owners and they have all the leverage, the players will fold like a cheap suit. D. Smith may not be the right person for this job. You can pretty much read his hand, he is so predictable. The owners probably love him to lead the charge. I think D. Smith is way over his head and there is no way but down for him and he will take the players down with him.

  24. ajtexans says: Jun 2, 2011 8:43 AM

    Won’t matter what the proposal is because De Stroy will ignore it, make some silly ass comment about how the players just want to play and declare it ‘worst deal ever II’

  25. jw731 says: Jun 2, 2011 8:59 AM

    Since this entire fiasco is so juvenile….They are considering putting everyone on “double secret probation”…Whatever that is.

  26. mick730 says: Jun 2, 2011 10:05 AM

    gbfanforever, I assume by your name that you are a Packer fan. Do you mean to tell me that you come to Lambeau to see the players rather than the team? Which players? Whatever your stance on organized labor and its activites, as a Packer fan, you can’t be serious. The players, each and every one of them, no matter how much we like or dislike them from a football standpoint, come and go. All of them. The team endures. A real fan of the Packers should know that.

    It’s the team that matters. It’s the tradition, the memories, the way the Packers keep family members who may be spread all over the country, together. That’s what’s important. And the reason I support the owners is because, one, I’m a owner of the Packers, I want the tradition to continue, the game to grow, and I don’t want the Packers to become financially incapable of competing with the likes of the big city teams in Chicago, Washington, New York, Dallas and Philly.

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