Last year at this time, the NFL and NFLPA were on a bankers-hours schedule, meeting (when they actually were meeting) from the middle of the morning until the middle of the afternoon to try to hammer out a new labor deal. Now, the league and the union are getting back together to discuss a far more narrow question regarding the involvement of Saints players in the team’s three-year bounty system. And the meeting started when the CBA meetings would typically be convening.
That’s precisely what happened today, as chronicled by the Twitter account of the guy who was perpetually stationed outside last year’s meeting places: Albert Breer of NFL Network.
Per Breer, the parties arrived at the league’s Park Avenue offices on Monday afternoon for a 4:30 p.m. ET meeting. Said NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith of the process, “Our team will meet with the NFL today, ask hard questions and will expect to see all documents and direct evidence of a pay-to-injure scheme. That is what a fair process dictates. I will get a full briefing by our team and after that, the next step will be to consult with players about what was learned. Only then will we confer with the NFL.”
Even then, the NFLPA should resist making any recommendations regarding player discipline.
The meeting itself consisted of a fairly small group, with the league represented by V.P. of law and labor policy Adolpho Birch, director of security Jeff Miller, and director of investigations Joe Hummel. The NFLPA contingency consists of a legal team led by general counsel Richard Berthelsen.
UPDATE 7:52 p.m. ET: Breer reports that the meeting ended at 6:45 p.m. ET.