NFL Talks Continue – No End In Sight

From the New York Times-

After the tumult of Thursday, the N.F.L. went mostly silent Friday. That was in recognition of the mourning for the Patriots owner Robert Kraft’s wife, Myra, whose funeral in Boston was attended by other owners, league officials and the players association executive director, DeMaurice Smith.

But it was also a testament to how quickly the volume had been lowered after the dramatic series of events Thursday evening brought the league — depending on what time you checked — to the brink of a labor settlement or to open hostility.

By Friday morning, Smith had calmed players, some of whom earlier had felt rushed by the owners’ approval of a settlement players said they had not seen, said a person briefed on Smith’s Thursday night conference call.

In Boston, Smith spoke to N.F.L. Commissioner Roger Goodell after the service for Kraft’s wife. And players had turned to seeking changes to a couple of settlement terms.



With a settlement seemingly in reach, it is clear that Smith and Goodell will get the credit for herding their constituencies during negotiations that sometimes seemed absurd.

Some players want an opt-out between the six- and eight-year mark of the 10-year deal. They want more time to re-form their union and negotiate issues that must be collectively bargained (including drug testing and personal conduct policies) than the three-day window the league set out in its agreement. And San Diego receiver Vincent Jackson is believed to still be seeking either a financial settlement or free agency as a named plaintiff.