Not So Secret Meeting Brings Players and Owners Back To Bargaining Table

Roger GoodellIt’s been a difficult offseason for Cowboys fans this year, mostly because of the ongoing lockout. The Cowboys news has been so sparse that most blogs will post just about anything including Felix Jones’ favorite Ninja Turtle (Donatello), Tony Romo’s choice of cake for his wedding, J-Rat’s new diamond studded toothbrush, Dez and his attempted jewel heist, and the world’s largest scoreboard getting a tune-up.

Well – maybe the days of rehashing the same old and tired rants or posting about silly non-football stuff will soon be coming to an end. Maybe, in a week or so, we can start posting about real Cowboys news again… Real Cowboys trade talk based on sourced information and not speculation… Real Cowboys news that we’ve been craving for nearly four months now…

There’s some news floating around that the owners and the players are talking again, in what might be the most unsecretive, secret meeting since FDR, Winston Churchill and Josef Stalin got together at Yalta.

Dallas Cowboys team owner Jerry Jones was among five NFL owners that met secretly with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and DeMaurice Smith, the head of now decertified NFL Players Association (NFLPA), in Chicago on Wednesday according to several reports.

Federal mediator Magistrate Judge Arthur Boylan was in attendance and he canceled scheduled mediated sessions next week so the players and owners can continue to “negotiate in secret”.

The secret meeting is so secret that both sides released a joint statement (in secret of course) regarding their progress.

“The parties met pursuant to court mediation. Owners and players were engaged in confidential discussions before Chief Magistrate Judge Boylan. The court has ordered continued confidentiality of the mediation sessions.”

One source said any potential deal still was a ways away; however, the hope would be that the two sides could reach an agreement sooner rather than later, potentially even later this month.

The key words there being “sooner rather than later” and “later this month”.

This sounds like a ground breaking achievement considering all the rancor that we’ve seen from both sides thus far. Any negotiation can only come from both sides getting together to discuss the issues, and it looks like both sides were willing to do just that, albeit in secret (not really).

Of course, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones is knee deep in all of this and while everybody else involved refused to comment, Jones as always had something to say,  “We’re trying. I think the fact that we’re meeting is good.”

One unidentified player added, “That was the point of the meeting. No lawyers.”

We can only hope that some substantial progress comes out of this and that this black cloud hovering over the 2011 NFL season is finally lifted and we can start talking and blogging about real football again soon.

Stay tuned…

Comments
  1. Jerry

    1. The owners, being the “owners” exercised their legal right to opt out of an existing agreement. This action was neither illegal, inappropriate nor unethical.
    2. In continuing mediation/negotiations for a new agreement the players walked away, disenfranchised and then filed an antitrust lawsuit against the owners.
    3. One could and of course the players did argue, that negotiations were going nowhere. However, they were negotiating. That then was the key and remains the key to this day. Imagine they did not walk away and have been negotiating all this time. I’m just guessing, but feel pretty confident there would be a deal by now or fairly close. Just a guess.
    4. This point is most concerning to me: The players, not getting what they wanted, not only walked away from negotiations, but in order to “get their way”, they deceitfully disbanded as a union so as to threaten the entirety of the NFL as we all know and love today and initiated antitrust litigation. They say they are no longer a “union” but still have all the same players serving them while everyone still calls them the NFLPA. This is disingenuous and a sham. Either be unionized and fight to the end as a union or decertify and let every player go on their own individually with ownership, but don’t lie to us by saying the game means everything to you while simultaneously trying to destroy the entity you profess to love. I do no begrudge you trying to obtain a raise, that’s why they call it “bargaining”. However ,in the end, you are equally greedy and want more without making the equal investment or taking the ongoing totality of risk.