Yesterday brought news of a secret meeting between NFL owners in Chicago. It was notable because the owners involved in the meeting - Jerry Jones, Jerry Richardson and Robert Kraft - are the point men for owners' negotiating interests in the labor battle. Also joining them was commissioner Roger Goodell, and, it turns out, DeMaurice Smith, executive director of the not-NFLPA.
Obviously, they were talking about the labor situation, but what exactly they were talking about remains to be seen. ESPN and the NFL Network are reporting what they know right now on their respective television stations, both of which contribute significantly to the league's revenue.
Since talks broke up in March, resulting in the lockout, the lawyers have done most of the work as the fight moved into the courts. Against the backdrop of endless legal fighting, more than one observer and participant has suggested that players and owners should sit down absent the lawyers and hash out a deal. That sounds a little naive to me, but I'm a cynic's cynic.
The thing is DeMaurice Smith is one of those lawyers, the lawyer elected to lead the NFLPA in this fight. That's not exactly letting the players and owners sit down to solve the issue...but it could be a starting point for that. No word if Jeff Pash, the NFL's legal point man, was on the scene for the meeting.