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League, NFLPA* issue joint statement on not-so-secret talks

A. Boylan AP

What initially appeared to be a clandestine meeting of a subset of owners but then became a secret NFL-NFLPA* negotiating session eventually has become an off-site mediation gathering prompted by U.S. Magistrate Judge Arthur Boylan (pictured).

The league and the union-turned-trade-association issued a joint statement on Thursday regarding the situation:  “The parties met pursuant to court mediation.  Owners and players were engaged in confidential discussions before Chief Magistrate Judge Boylan.  The court has ordered continued confidentiality of the mediation sessions.”

Thus, given that Magistrate Judge Boylan instigated the talks, the only truly good news to come out of the two-day get-together comes from the fact that the lawyers were left out of the process.

Whether the lawyers return when mediation resumes remains to be seen.  It also remains to be seen whether any real progress has been made.  Hopefully, the lawyers have been excluded from the process until the time comes to put the “wherefores” and “heretofores” into a written settlement agreement.

Still, the fact that the parties didn’t agree to these talks on their own makes us much less optimistic about the possibility that the concrete blocks of an eventual house of labor peace have been dropped into place.

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25 Responses to “League, NFLPA* issue joint statement on not-so-secret talks”
  1. ralphshere says: Jun 2, 2011 2:47 PM

    I like that the Mediator brings both to the table.

    Neither side has to be there capitulating to court leverage.

    No face has to be saved.

    Hopefully a breakthrough will come.

    Both sides cannot be moronic enough to strangle a golden goose.

  2. jsin001 says: Jun 2, 2011 2:49 PM

    Screw the fans let’s be greedy. How about we say screw the Players and owners and see what money either side has left to “mediate” about. Bet they would change their minds about lockouts real quick.

  3. myballsmyrules says: Jun 2, 2011 2:49 PM

    The problem is not with the lawyerS. The problem is with only ONE lawyer. The SHYSTER that is leading the gullible players over a cliff.

    The league has lawyers that were involved in presenting THREE proposals to the players side. However the ONE lawyer representing the “partner wannabes” refused to submit them to the full membership and refused to counter.

    So the only attorney(thief/snake oil salesman/brainwasher) that needs to be left out of the room is……………wait for it…………..DEmoron

  4. zoxitic says: Jun 2, 2011 2:52 PM

    When a lawyer makes a statement like this:

    “Hopefully, the lawyers have been excluded from the process”

    It tells you everything you need to know about lawyers.

  5. eagiants says: Jun 2, 2011 2:53 PM

    Sadly I knew not to get my hopes up. Sigh.

    Two weeks from tomorrow we should have our next court ruling which should lead to another appeal…can’t wait.

  6. chargerdillon says: Jun 2, 2011 2:53 PM

    Unless a Judge mandates that football be played at the expense of going against the owners, we will not have football until the players bend over and take it.

    Their one chance to win would’ve been if the lockout hadn’t remained in place and since it is in place the owners can sit with their middle fingers up and wait for the players to fold like a deck of cards.

    Who would’ve ever guessed a bunch of 20-somethings who spent a couple years in college (and didnt get a degree mind you) and had been handed million dollar contracts wouldn’t know how to spend their money wisely.

  7. pastorinisflak1281 says: Jun 2, 2011 2:53 PM

    I’ve got a not so secret statement for the owners and players: You are killing football.

  8. lovesportsandsurfing says: Jun 2, 2011 2:54 PM

    Nobody cares.

  9. nfl25 says: Jun 2, 2011 2:56 PM

    i just cant take it no more

  10. nfl25 says: Jun 2, 2011 3:00 PM

    chargerdillo

    Their one chance to win would’ve been if the lockout hadn’t remained in place and since it is in place the owners can sit with their middle fingers up and wait for the players to fold like a deck of cards
    ————————————————–

    if folding like a deck of cards means preparing a counteroffer, or sitting down and negotiating, then yeah we need the player to “fold like a deck of cards”

    will you really be that hurt if a player makes 4.6 milla year instead of 4.7 mill a year?

  11. deljzc says: Jun 2, 2011 3:01 PM

    The issues beyond money right now (ego, precedent towards future agreements) is what each side may hold out going into the season.

    The owners CAN’T back down on the decertification and litigation tactic or the players will always go to this route every four years. The players CAN’T except anything less than 2009 %’s or budge from a revenue % split towards a fixed sum.

    That’s really the crux of the problem. There is little middle ground because both sides kind of want to fundamentally change how CBA’s are resolved.

    Whether lost games really kills the golden goose or just injures it is still up for debate.

    I’m just not convinced the “big issues” are not worth to each side losing the 2011 season (or a big chunk of it).

    I hope the owners win (I think there position is better for fans long-term), but if the lockout continues, I still wonder how long the players hang on to their position and think it will go into the season.

  12. ottograham says: Jun 2, 2011 3:02 PM

    Honestly could care less. Madden 12 comes out soon enough and I can begin virtually playing these fools. Think about it… I dont have to listen to any rants from players, I can choose what uni (color, helmet, socks, shoes) they were, and virtually how they play the game. hmmmm.
    I feel like an owner. Ill be damned if these electronic slave players of mine demand more money…

  13. seatown12 says: Jun 2, 2011 3:06 PM

    My season tix were renewed months ago. The fantasy league that I run is renewed and ready to go. I’m becoming angrier by the day, and this Judge Arthur Boylan seems to be the ONLY person atempting to help ME and MY situation. We just want football, just like it was, just like we paid for.

  14. bobwhitequail says: Jun 2, 2011 3:06 PM

    “…the only truly good news to come out of the two-day get-together comes from the fact that the lawyers were left out of the process

    …Still, the fact that the parties didn’t agree to these talks on their own makes us much less optimistic”

    I think Mike is right on in this article. Nothing new except that the fact that the lawyers (Kessler especially) weren’t there. That is important IMO because it may mean that at least Boylan (sp?) sees Kessler as just trying to continue the suits and can only bring things backwards.

    There is no way Kessler is going to kill his cash cow by actually negotiating/reaching an agreement. Before he was made lead council he made $25 million on these suits from 2006-2010. Now that he is the lead council, lord knows how much he is raking in.

  15. smittydub says: Jun 2, 2011 3:10 PM

    Attn NFL Shills, your immaturity is exceeded only by your lack of wit…waaaaay too much time on your hands.

  16. Rhode Island Patriots Fan says: Jun 2, 2011 3:12 PM

    The logical question here is: Why did U.S. Magistrate Judge Arthur Boylan feel compelled not to wait three more business days for the next mediation session scheduled for June 7 in Minneapolis? Why meet now in Chicago?

    In my view, court-ordered mediation is not the environment most conducive to reaching an agreement, especially at this late stage. The NFL owners should come to the negotiating table with the leverage of a lockout, and the players should come with the leverage of antitrust lawsuits and the real prospect of a lost season, including the loss of $9Bn plus in revenue for both sides. That should be incentive enough to get a deal done by themselves.

  17. realitypolice says: Jun 2, 2011 3:20 PM

    eagiants says:
    Jun 2, 2011 2:53 PM
    Sadly I knew not to get my hopes up. Sigh.

    Two weeks from tomorrow we should have our next court ruling which should lead to another appeal…can’t wait.
    =================

    Keep your head up.

    The next court ruling will be the decider. Whoever loses may file a pro-forma appeal, but will know that their leverage is forever compromised.

    They will then adjust their position and the new CBA will be agreed upon by Mid-July.

    This has been the plan all along, and everything you’ve heard to the contrary is just background noise.

    Trust me, I stayed at a Holiday Inn Express last night.

  18. 4gone says: Jun 2, 2011 3:22 PM

    Glad he referred to it as “secret talks” and not negotiation. The players would have to respond to an offer (with something other than calling it the worst offer in the history of sports) for it to be negotiation. I would feel so much better if there were offers and counters going back and forth. Need something to wash away that “line in the sand”.

  19. geobh says: Jun 2, 2011 3:30 PM

    I JUST CANCELLED SUNDAY TICKET. TIRED OF BILLIONAIRE’S AND MILLIONAIRE’S POSTURING OVER MONEY THAT COMES OUT OF MY POCKET.
    NEED A FEW MILLION MORE PEOPLE TO WAKE UP AND START CANCELLING SEASON TICKETS AND FOOTBALL PACKAGES, THEN SEE HOW FAST THEY SETTLE THIS CRAP.

  20. pixelito says: Jun 2, 2011 3:38 PM

    I like what “realitypolice” had to say… I think I’ll put all my chips on that theory.

  21. mathsimillion says: Jun 2, 2011 3:40 PM

    From the looks of that photo the years sure haven’t been kind to Luke Wilson :)

  22. derekjetersmansion says: Jun 2, 2011 3:58 PM

    THE SECOND “OFFER” YOU SIMPLETONS TALK ABOUT WAS NOT AN OFFER!!!

    If it was an offer, do you think the players would be stupid enough to dismiss it out of hand like the offer on March 10?

    De Smith may be misguided, but he’s not an idiot.

  23. bearskoolaid1985 says: Jun 2, 2011 5:48 PM

    The minute the lawyers get back into the talks you can kiss a new CBA good bye. Kessler the NFL hating lawyer hasn’t earned enough money yet and he wants to drag this out as long as possible$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

  24. thephantomstranger says: Jun 2, 2011 6:17 PM

    There’s only one lawyer I trust to be involved in this, and that’s this guy:

    Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, I’m just a caveman. I fell on some ice and later got thawed out by some of your scientists. Your world frightens and confuses me! Sometimes the honking horns of your traffic make me want to get out of my BMW.. and run off into the hills, or wherever.. Sometimes when I get a message on my fax machine, I wonder: “Did little demons get inside and type it?” I don’t know! My primitive mind can’t grasp these concepts. But there is one thing I do know – when a man like my client slips and falls on a sidewalk in front of a public library, then he is entitled to no less than two million in compensatory damages, and two million in punitive damages. Thank you.

  25. macjacmccoy says: Jun 2, 2011 7:20 PM

    No lawyers my Ass. DeMaurice Smith is the highest powered and the most detrimental lawyer on either side of the arguement when it comes to the progress of a new cba getting done and he was involved.

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