Patriots owner Robert Kraft spoke with reporters here in Dallas media center, and brought his fastball on a variety of issues.
Let’s start with the collective bargaining agreement. Kraft says the lawyers are mucking it up:
“In my opinion, we could get a deal done in the next week,” Kraft said. “If business people sat down on both sides, and we tried to get the lawyers in the background. . . . Get lawyers away from table. Lawyers are deal breakers, not deal makers.”
Hmmm. NFLPA head DeMaurice Smith’s background comes as a prosecutor then trial attorney. NFL chief labor negotiator Jeff Pash got his start under fellow lawyer Paul Tagliabue.
We don’t think Kraft was referring to Smith or Pash when he spoke, but his sound-bite ready comments seem to oversimplify the issues between the two sides. Kraft confirmed one of the business people in the room
We thought the comments from Steelers owner Dan Rooney were more telling than Kraft’s words. He told Albert Breer of NFL Network that he would be optimistic if the two sides were talking, and pessimistic otherwise.
Told that a bargaining session is scheduled for Saturday, Rooney replied: “I mean serious talk.”
Commissioner Roger Goodell confirmed to Rich Eisen on NFL Network two more negotiating sessions are scheduled next week as well. We’ll have to wait and see if they are serious or not.