NFL owners hold secret meeting in Chicago Wednesday


One week after the meeting in Indianapolis, a smaller group of NFL owners met Wednesday in a western suburb of Chicago.

Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune reports that Patriots owner Robert Kraft, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell were among those who arrived in the Chicago area on Tuesday before leaving Wednesday.   Panthers owner Jerry Richardson was also believed to be present.

The men flew in and out of DuPage Airport, a small airport that handles private jets.  We could try to speculate what the men were discussing beyond “labor strategy” but the reality is we just don’t know.  For fans looking for a kernel of optimism, it’s a good sign that the big boys are talking in advance of Friday’s appeal.  We wonder who else was in the area, if anyone.

The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals will hear an appeal regarding whether the lockout will be lifted on Friday, June 3.

44 responses to “NFL owners hold secret meeting in Chicago Wednesday

  1. Don’t accept any dinner invitations, De Smith. Rumor has it the boys are cooking up a plan to dispose of the troublesome Labor leader, and bury his remains in the west end zone of the new Giants Stadium.

  2. i heard they met to see if those owners wanted to do a sequel to the three stooges…… yuk yuk yuk

  3. At least someone is meeting about something. Now if they could just get someone, anyone from the players side to meet maybe we could get a cba cooking.

  4. No NFL in 2011…Iv said it for over a year…when will you all start to believe me?

  5. They just all happened to fly in for a Portillo’s run.

    Nothing to see here..
    move along..

  6. Haven’t these guys heard about video-conferencing. They each could have probably saved cost of an office furlough with a little technology.

  7. I wonder if Bears ownership, or Packer’s ownership were invited to attend.

    If I owned the Bears and wasnt invited, I would feel very very snubbed. And suspicious. (same for packers, maybe a 45 minute drive away).

  8. They flew into a small airport, which handles private jets and met in secret…They also ate fish tacos for lunch…Also Brett Favre is currently spreading cow flop on his corn field

  9. Since NFLPA has decertified itself and become a “trade association”, seems to me the Teamsters should start an organizing drive, start from the bottom of the NFL rosters, send organizers out to get cards signed until they’ve got enough to qualify for an election, and run on a platform of making a deal and getting the season started.

    I have to believe the bottom half of each team’s roster seriously wants to play, and is in real jeopardy of getting cut if there is no season in 2011 and teams have two classes of draft picks moving into 2012 season.

    The Teamsters could make a deal that includes a salary cap and floor, preserves free agency, has a rookie cap and spreads the savings around to veterans and retirees.

    If the old union is impossible, get a new union.

    I’m union and it’s time to get this show moving.

  10. Tomorrow’s News Flash: The players hold a secret meeting in Nashville- Reach a tentative agreement on pregame meals.

  11. Yeah! The topic of discussion:

    what brand of champagne should they drink when the Appeals Court says “you win!!!”

  12. The ownership shill comments are so easy to spot… they’re written well, have a central theme, and have excellent punctuation. Pretty much the opposite of every other comment on this site.

    Anyway, what I really wanted to say in this comment is that Stephen Ross definitely wasn’t at the secret meeting. He was too busy paying someone to punch poor people in the face for his own amusement.

  13. smacklayer says:
    Jun 1, 2011 9:57 PM
    At least someone is meeting about something. Now if they could just get someone, anyone from the players side to meet maybe we could get a cba cooking.

    There’s no one from the players side to meet with.

    They de-certified.

  14. Dear Mr Goodell, and “my” owner, Mr Bidwill: My season ticket balance was due today. Yesterday one of your sales minions attempted to call me (with caller ID blocked – very clever, but blatantly obvious that this is no accident) to ask if I had “any questions”. It is YOU who really have the question – where is my payment? Well, fellas, here’s the deal: you’re not getting ONE MORE PENNY out of me until this labor clusterphuck is resolved. Why on earth should I give you more money, towards a season that might not even happen? Or might only partially happen? Or (gasp!) might be played, in full or in part, with replacement players? Meanwhile, you’re laying people off and cutting pay – despite being approx $30m below what the salary cap would have been last year, had their been one, and well below the salary floor, had there been one. I paid full price for my tickets and received a substandard product as a result of your cost-cutting. So now, when you’re not yet out a dime, you want MY full payment, while sticking it to your employees? SHAME ON YOU. All season ticket holders everywhere need to do likewise and withhold payment until these idiots all belly back up to the bargaining table and get a deal done. I’m ready to just tell these JAMFs to stick it, and revert to being a college football fan. IDIOTS!!!

  15. Working on new sheet music for the fiddles. Players don’t stand a chance. They will wait it out this time and the players will have to decide to lose a year or not but the owners will win this one now or later. They have all the cards and are willing to wait. Fans don’t really matter because they believe you are already hooked on the junk for life,,,,,,,,,,,they are willing to gamble that you will be lining up for fix no matter when they come back.


  16. “lovesportsandsurfing says: Jun 1, 2011 10:04 PM

    No NFL in 2011…Iv said it for over a year…when will you all start to believe me?”

    Two questions: 1. Who the heck are you? 2. Why should ANYONE care about the answer to question #1?

  17. AlanSaysYo says:
    “The ownership shill comments are so easy to spot… they’re written well, have a central theme, and have excellent punctuation. Pretty much the opposite of every other comment on this site.”


    As opposed to the player shills who write intelligible, emotional rambling comments that are often difficult follow, never address facts of the case, call Goodell names, and blindly follow your union/non-union leaders off a cliff.

  18. I like seeing Kraft with those Jerry windbags Jones and Richardson. He is a moderate and sensible man. This deal will get done by him and other owners like him, not extremist nutters that want to dominate and humiliate the players. Let Kraft, Irsay, Mara, etc talk to some of the higher-profile player agents, lock De Smith, his team of dorks, Mike Brown, and the Jerrys in a closet somewhere, and a deal will get done.

  19. screw the owners, screw the players, screw the legal system, screw the fans, screw the reporters, screw espn, screw myself, screw my family, screw whoever reads this, screw…well u get my point! lmao

  20. @6250claimer

    I’m with you, in fact I didn’t even make one payment towards this year’s season tickets. I know some of these guys don’t want to lose their seats, but my team has been garbage for a decade and they play in a dump, so I don’t have to worry about getting good seats next year if I even want them. Even without the lockout, the Niners were on my sh@tlist, although I love the Harbaugh hiring.

    All of you guys that are stoked about the court decision coming soon (which should favor the league), enjoy not having a season this year. If you are commenting on a football blog in May, I’m sure come September your tune will change.

    Of course, my tune will change if the court’s decision in the league’s favor motivates the players to strike a deal. Like I said before, I don’t think it will…I think the players are just as committed as the owners. I have never spent a NFL Sunday with the Mrs. and I don’t plan on staring now…someone step up and make a play!

  21. Funny how we keep hearing these same three names together: Jones, Kraft, and Richardson.

    Have they formed a cabal? Or a rockabilly trio? I could see Richardson playing a little slapback on a stand-up bass.

  22. AlanSaysYo says:Jun 1, 2011 10:37 PM

    The ownership shill comments are so easy to spot… they’re written well, have a central theme, and have excellent punctuation. Pretty much the opposite of every other comment on this site

    Thank you. What you effectively said was that the ownership shills were well educated and competent in their writing and debate skills, obviously college educated, and that the player shills were a bunch of uneducated, incompetent, and undisciplined individuls. Again, I thank you for your analysis.

  23. Lovesportsandsurfing,

    I agree with you, I don’t believe there will be a season either. They have not learned anything from previous work stoppages in all sports including their own. Everyone says there is too much money to lose. I see their point but I think both sides are dug in and they won’t concede things with the other side. Good, let them be locked out all year!

  24. Yeah ; here’s a summary of the meeting, hey Jerry got any three’s………… nah ..go fish. Hey Ziggy, pass me the pretzels. Dan (Rooney) you deal the next hand, Kraft can run a football team but cant deal cards for s–t!

  25. @willycents …

    Obviously he’s not a regular reader. If he were, he’d have said you can tell the owner shills by their delusional belief that all good things trickle down to the rest of humanity from the glistening pores of the filthy rich, so the patriotic have a duty to protect them from all enemies foreign and domestic. And of course, you can also tell owner shills by their nauseating condescension in talking to the lower classes (i.e. anyone who disagrees with them). As for their coherent line of thought and sparkling prose … well, I have missed some posts. It’s best not to comment on what I haven’t seen.

  26. They met in a basement in Aurora, Illinois to tape a segment on a public access TV show. The segment will air Saturday night between 11:30-1.
    Party Time! Excellent!

  27. Maybe they met to discuss how many more seats Jerruh could cram into his stadium or to discuss the fact that his flatscreen is now only the SECOND largest in the world, which is now a problem. LOL

  28. If this were Gene Upshaw, we’d have football. This under educated, loud mouth, poor excuse for a lawyer is ruining our game. DDDDDirt Bag Smith is so unqualified its a joke. He truly couldn’t settle a dispute concerning two kids fighting over water ice. Gene Upshaw, a class act and a gentleman is truly missed. Players! throw him out!!!!

  29. The players will have to give in if we want football next season. The owners are not going to back down and may increase there offer a little bit as it this goes on, but I dont think the players will get what they truly want.

  30. Interesting that the owners meeting consisted of the most ardent hardliners whose main interest is crushing the players union forever.

  31. @oldbyrd …

    Oh come on. De Smith wouldn’t have been my first choice for that position, either, but the man is not undereducated.

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