ST. LOUIS, MO - JUNE 3: Executive Director of the National Football League Players' Association (NFLPA) DeMaurice Smith leaves the Thomas F. Eagleton U.S. Federal Courthouse after the NFL lockout hearing on June 3, 2011 in St. Louis, Missouri. NFL players and the league met in court today for a federal appeals hearing on the legality of the three-month-old lockout. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
These developments just keep getting better and better. Albert Breer of NFL.com reported yesterday that the Owners and Players continued their talks yesterday, this time at an "undisclosed location" with a mediator. The underlying meaning to all of this is that the lawyers for both sides are not involved in the talks, and they are not happy. From Pro Football Talk:
On Monday, Daniel Kaplan of SportsBusiness Journal said during an appearance on PFT Live that the lawyers for both sides aren’t pleased at all with the fact that they’ve been excluded, as of last week, from negotiations on a new labor deal. The fact that the talks are occurring in the presence of a mediator makes the indignity even more insulting for the lawyers.
My apologies to our lawyer readers, but this is great news, and I'm encouraged that both sides have figured out that they'll have more progress without the lawyers ensuring every word spoken is the correct word. This also signals that both sides have taken the timeline of Colts Owner Jim Irsay, who has consistently said a deal needs to be done by July 4 for there to be a full season.
Two weeks ago I was at my most pessimistic level with regards to the lockout, and I really thought we wouldn't be having a season at all. Now, with these new developments, I really don't think we'll miss any football games. Both sides get credit for trying to hammer out a deal. Let's hope they follow through and get that deal done.