Posted by Will Brinson
Mediation in the Brady v. NFL matter resumes Tuesday, and there will be some changes in the people present for the two parties.
For starters, NFLPA Executive Director DeMaurice Smith won't be present at the mediation, due to "a family medical emergency," per Mark Maske of the Washington Post.
Meanwhile, Albert Breer of the NFL Network reports that the NFL's negotiating team will feature Commissioner Roger Goodell, lead counsel Jeff Pash, Panthers owner Jerry Richardson, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, Broncos owner Pat Bowlen, and Packers CEO Mark Murphy.
Out of the owners present, only Richardson -- considered perhaps the lead negotiator for the owners -- is a holdover from last week. And it's interesting that the group heading into the second week of court-ordered mediation is in stark contrast to the group (Bob Kraft of the Pats, Clark Hunt of the Chiefs and Art Rooney of the Steelers) that was in Minnesota last week.
Jones, as you'll recall, allegedly had a bit of a confrontation with the players when the two sides mediated before George Cohen in Washington, D.C. That's not to say this will end poorly, because however the two sides act over the course of the mediation ends up reflecting on their position to Judge Susan Nelson.
And maybe it's a good thing that a new group of owners gets to see the proceedings and gauge the NFLPA's position at this point in time through an in-person experience.
Smith's absence is regrettable, certainly, but a family illness is one of the things that get you excused from almost any mediation. It probably also means that we're unlikely to see any settlement on Tuesday.
But that was likely to be the case anyway -- as our own Mike Freeman wrote recently, this second round of mediation might theoretically hold more water because it's court-ordered, but it's just about as likely to produce a happy ending to this labor dispute as the UFL is to produce football that will satisfy America come the fall.
For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed.