A league source confirmed that another clandestine meeting between players and owners occured Tuesday, and where's the surprise? Commissioner Roger Goodell last week said there would be more meetings, and Kermit Bye -- the presiding judge at last week's hearing at the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals -- strongly suggested the two sides continue meeting and hammer out an agreement outside of court.
So they're trying, and I don't know what transpired, but I can tell you this: That they're talking is positive. Period.
I reiterate what I said last week, and that is this: The players must know they're operating from behind, and I can't believe they heard anything at last week's hearing that told them that one of the two judges who favored the league in a permanent stay is about to swing to their side. That doesn't mean it can't happen. It just means that there were no signs.
You either continue to play a losing hand, hoping for a court decision in your favor, or you start to cut your losses. I'd suggest they're starting to cut their losses, hoping to hammer out an agreement while the court sits on an appeal.
Now, that doesn't mean the owners aren't part of this process. They can't be sure what happens with the Eighth Circuit, though I know they like their chances. Still, they're losing money while the lockout persists -- with NFL counsel Paul Clement last week calling it "a self-inflicted wound" -- and would like to reach a settlement that puts them back in business.
Maybe these talks facilitate that. All I know is that we won't hear from the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals for another one to two weeks, minimum. In the absence of anything there, it behooves both sides to resume talking -- this time without lawyers. And they have. That's a start.
No surprise league, players back to talking
Posted on: June 7, 2011 7:10 pm
Edited on: June 7, 2011 7:43 pm