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Key figures arrive for Thursday’s talks in Minnesota

Roger Goodell, DeMaurice Smith, AP

We (I) predicted several weeks ago that the NFL and the NFLPA* would strike an agreement in principle on June 30.  We (I) now predict that I’ll be scraping egg off o’ my face when the clock strikes midnight on the last day of the sixth month of the year.

But the parties are still trying to get something done, and key figures have arrived for the talks after the owners and players skipped two days of meetings.  Albert Breer of NFL Network, who braved the ice and snow of Minnesota earlier this year only to now be bakin’ potatos, bakin’ in the sun.  He has posted on his Twitter page a list of the folks who are present at the meeting.

For the players, the attendees include DeMaurice Smith, Jeff Saturday, Domonique Foxworth, Sean Morey, Brian Waters, Richard Berthelsen, and Jim Quinn.  Apparently not present is attorney Jeffrey Kessler, possibly because he’s tied up with the NBA labor mess.

Owners in attendance include Patriots owner Robert Kraft, Chiefs owner Clark Hunt, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, and Giants co-owner John Mara, along with Commissioner Roger Goodell.

Although the two sides were once closer to a deal than they are right now, a deal remains in striking distance.  To get there, the owners must resist the urge to capitalize on the players’ sense that a deal is inevitable — and De Smith must muster the nerve to know when the time is right to close.

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22 Responses to “Key figures arrive for Thursday’s talks in Minnesota”
  1. narutofan10 says: Jun 30, 2011 11:32 AM

    since when are they further from a deal…first time i am hearing it they will have it done soon

  2. grpatriot says: Jun 30, 2011 11:34 AM

    Mike, how do you know a deal is closer? I haven’t heard that? Until I hear Goodell or De Smith say we’re close, I’m not buying it.
    Just because it makes sense to do a deal now, is meaningless. Since when does common sense enter into this equation? The minute De Smith choose the Legal option, common sense goes out the window!
    Why the clandestine T-con with a select group of players? That’s the question. Why throw cold water on good news? Could it be De Smith wants to litigate? I know the Legal Team wants to. Payback for the Owners opting out?
    Until a player that was on that T-con leaks out what was talked about, all we’re doing is guessing.

  3. dequan81 says: Jun 30, 2011 11:37 AM

    I find it interesting that Jerry is there. His name hasn’t been linked to the aggressive meetings that past 2 weeks. I don’t think I’ve ever heard the Chiefs owner being present. I hope this goes well and I hope you’re right (this time) Mike. I hope I can read some positive news when I wake up tomorrow morning!

  4. twitter:Chapman_Jamie says: Jun 30, 2011 11:40 AM

    The fact is no one knows how close they are to reaching a deal. All we are hearing is speculation and De Smith running his trap. It is irritating to say the least that the media wants to keep getting the fans hopes up and then letting them down. How about everyone in the media stops the speculation about where they are in regards to making an actual deal and just let us know who is there.

  5. ac0117 says: Jun 30, 2011 11:46 AM

    ” We (I) now predict that I’ll be scraping egg off o’ my face …”

    What else is new

  6. dylanmusicfane says: Jun 30, 2011 11:49 AM

    just give us football ….

  7. chadmurdigan says: Jun 30, 2011 11:50 AM

    DeMo looks like he just swallowed Reggie Bush’s Heisman in that picture with the story.

  8. eagiants says: Jun 30, 2011 11:58 AM

    The rollercoaster continues. Just get it done boys and girls.

  9. mvp43 says: Jun 30, 2011 11:59 AM

    To get there, the owners must resist the urge to capitalize on the players’ sense that a deal is inevitable — and De Smith must muster the nerve to know when the time is right to close.

    ———————————————-

    If both men can do this………its a win for the owners, players & fans. Everyone saves face.

    This is the hardest part of any negotiation.

    Close the deal!

  10. tntitansfan10 says: Jun 30, 2011 11:59 AM

    I am one of the biggest (not fat) NFL fans you will find….but im preparing for Sec football now which will ease a lot of this frustration. Screw the NFL

  11. Southpaw says: Jun 30, 2011 12:01 PM

    In my head… it makes so much sense to think “okay well the last two days, the top heads ironed out details, and today, everyone in the major groups on each side are coming together to make it official”

    …but that’s simply too good to be true. And here I thought I would have all long weekend to get excited for business to start on Tuesday and have something to talk about.

  12. pftstory says: Jun 30, 2011 12:02 PM

    Although the two sides were once closer to a deal than they are right now, a deal remains in striking distance.

    Really? What did they have the pen in their hands and then out them down? How could this be something stated as a fact?

  13. thephantomstranger says: Jun 30, 2011 12:04 PM

    I think it’s best not to make predictions. They’re clearly moving closer to an agreement, so just let us know when it’s done.

  14. gregwestlake says: Jun 30, 2011 12:05 PM

    Well since De Smith told pro bowl players yesterday a deal is not even close, im not going to get my hopes up.

  15. isphet71 says: Jun 30, 2011 12:17 PM

    The players are almost certainly dragging their feet to lop a few weeks off of training camp without losing preseason games. This will get done at the last minute.

  16. hobartbaker says: Jun 30, 2011 12:21 PM

    There were a couple more players and at least one other owner, but Carl Eller ate them on the elevator coming up. Which turned out to be a bit of a waste of time as none of their suits fit him anyway.

  17. waitingguilty says: Jun 30, 2011 12:25 PM

    You’ve lost it man. You keep making statements like “They were closer than they are now” and lecturing the sides on how to negotiate.

    Who do you think are you? You know absolutely nothing about what is going on in these negotiations, you know nothing about playing pro sports, and you know nothing about owning a pro sports club.

    I’d venture a guess that once this CBA is done and a 10 year agreement is in place, we will get the inside story from both sides. And NOTHING you have predicted or opined about for the last 6 months will even remotely match up with what actually happened.

  18. CKL says: Jun 30, 2011 1:12 PM

    Ahhhh now the dragging out of things makes more sense. Both sides were all waiting for Kessler to be occupied with the NBA so they could make progress. Pretty smart! :D

  19. vetdana says: Jun 30, 2011 1:30 PM

    I have never seen so many people make predictions on nothing more than pure “emotion” with precious few facts used for support ! The predictions we are seeing are nothing more than what we would like to see happen. A “cub” newspaper reporter is first taught to get the 5 W’s in a story before, reporting same. Who, What,When, Where and Why. Anything less is considered “yellow” journalism. Even if this labor dispute is not settled until next year, today, we are much closer to a resolution, than we were yesterday. But….we still do not know when an agreement is made….UNTIL…it is announced !

  20. bearskoolaid1985 says: Jun 30, 2011 2:16 PM

    I feel sorry for the NBA fans. Kessler (THE NFL HATING LAWYER) will now be called Kessler (THE NFL/NBA HATING LAWYER)

  21. jutts says: Jun 30, 2011 3:32 PM

    Mike,
    You should contact the NFL and the Labor side tell them the fans are starting to loose interest. I’m sick and tired of these rich bastards messing with America’s favorite past time. How can 32 owners screw with all off us, and its not called a MONOPOLY?

  22. shadowgm1 says: Jun 30, 2011 6:07 PM

    In the words of my good friend Larry: “Giiiittttt’errrr dooooonnnnnnneee.”

    This negotiation “back and forth” is beginning to approach farcical proportions at this point. Neither side is going to attain 100% of what they wish.

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