This week’s round of negotiations in the NFL lockout were expected to feature no owners or players — just their representatives, namely NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, NFLPA* Executive Director DeMaurice Smith and both sides’ lawyers.
But now the owners and players have decided to meet face to face after all.
Albert Breer of NFL Network reports that owners and players are arriving in Minneapolis to re-join the talks on Thursday, following three days of meetings between their legal teams. Thursday’s meetings will feature a select group of owners and a select group of players, as well as Goodell, Smith and the lawyers.
At the moment the sides are scheduled to wrap up their meeting on Thursday and not get together on Friday, but they’re leaving their schedules open for Friday in case they think they should keep it going at the end of the day Thursday.
We’d have to assume that this is a good sign. After the lawyers have traded proposals this week, it doesn’t seem likely that the lawyers would call in their clients if they didn’t think a face-to-face meeting was going to be productive.