The good news is that the NFL and the players resumed their not-so-secret negotiations on Tuesday.
The better news is that the lawyers were told to stay away.
Adam Schefter of ESPN and Jason LaCanfora of NFL Network each have supplied attendee information that makes clear the absence of the men whom both sides perceive to be an impediment to the process. LaCanfora reports that the same cast of characters as last week attended this week’s session. For the owners, that was Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, Patriots owner Robert Kraft, Panthers owner Jerry Richardson, Steelers owner Art Rooney, Giants co-owner John Mara, and Commissioner Roger Goodell. For the NFLPA*, the persons present consisted of executive director DeMaurice Smith, Chiefs linebacker Mike Vrabel, Broncos safety Brian Dawkins, Jets fullback Tony Richardson, Colts center Jeff Saturday, and NFLPA president Kevin Mawae.
Also attending was U.S. Magistrate Judge Arthur Boylan.
Per Schefter, the meeting occurred at a hotel in New York City. By all appearances, the talks will continue Wednesday.
As long as the parties can keep the lawyers out, there’s cause for real optimism. Kraft said earlier this year that, if the lawyers were pushed away from the table, a deal could be reached in a week. With three days of talks last week and one this week, maybe we’ll have some unexpected good news in time for the weekend.