Jason La Canfora and Albert Breer of NFL Network report the NFL and players are scheduled to return to Judge Arthur Boylan’s chambers next Tuesday and Wednesday for the latest set of mediated talks. Boylan broke the last mediation by requesting the sides return with proposals, and this week’s secretive talks in Chicago could have been an effort for each to better understand the other’s position before putting those together.
The ruling coming off the injunction appeal hearing is expected to create major leverage points, one way or another, in the negotiations. The players will seek to have Nelson’s injunction upheld, while the league is seeking a broader ruling that could lead to the dismissal of the antitrust case altogether.
NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith and NFL commissioner Roger Goodell made the trip to suburban Chicago for the summit, as did influential owners Jerry Jones, Robert Kraft, Jerry Richardson, John Mara and Art Rooney — all members of the league’s labor committee. A number of players accompanied Smith to the meeting as well, including Mike Vrabel, Tony Richardson, Brian Dawkins, Kevin Mawae, and Jeff Saturday. U.S. Magistrate Judge Arthur Boylan was also in attendance.
Though there were not any major breakthroughs, according to sources, ideas were exchanged between the parties.