Well, we have a twist to the news that the NFL and NFLPA* will be meeting for four days in Minnesota this week.
No owners or players are expected at this round of talks, according to Albert Breer of NFL Network. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, NFLPA* chief DeMaurice Smith, and their respective staffs will be there. So will attorneys for both sides. Breer describes it as “part of the process.”
The obvious question: Why wouldn’t the usual suspects be there?
I’m not the legal expert around here and can only speculate. But the location of the talks and those present could possibly indicate the two sides are working on settling the antitrust case between the league and the players.
It has been almost a month since the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals heard the case, and it’s possible the two sides are trying to get a settlement out of the way.
It’s open for debate what this tells us about progress towards a new CBA. Perhaps the two sides are showing trust in their leadership and a lot can get done this week with fewer voices in the room.
At some point, presumably, everyone will need to get back in the room together.