NFL Labor Talks Almost Blow Up

I hope everyone enjoyed their Fathers Day weekend. Here is something that some of you may have missed.

After what seemed like some significant progress regarding negotiations to end the NFL lockout, word has it that they came very close to blowing up again.

Two weeks ago, as I reported here on LSS, there were some secret meetings taken place, reportedly without any lawyers present – just the player representatives and owners.

The Washington Post reported that a framework to an agreement was being laid out and that the lockout could come to an end within two to three weeks.

Unfortunately, on Saturday reports began to filter in that not only were the rumors as positive as had been projected, but that all talks almost broke down after lawyers were invited back to the bargaining table.

Adam Schefter of ESPN explains,

At a time when many are waiting for and anticipating a deal between owners and the NFL Players Association, there was a point Tuesday when talks clearly regressed.

One person close to the talks even went so far as to say, “This almost blew up yesterday.”

How close it did is a matter of opinion. Fact is, the moment came shortly after lawyers from both sides were brought back into the process at an undisclosed location in the Washington, D.C., area. As tensions rose and anger grew, two sources said NFLPA leader DeMaurice Smith instructed his lawyers to “stand down.”

With the lawyers removed from the direct negotiations, the process was said to get back on track and to a good spot. The scenario is an example of just how tenuous these talks can be and how quickly they can be derailed.

Multiple sources familiar with the talks said progress is being made, but they cautioned there’s “a lot of drama and a lot of room for mistakes left.” 

To say this is going to be done in two weeks, one source said, “is borderline insane.”