NFL

Owners, players hold secret meetings

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NEW YORK (AP)

The NFL and its players held talks Tuesday in New York, seeking a resolution to the labor impasse.

Three people familiar with the meetings confirmed to The Associated Press that the two groups met. They spoke on condition of anonymity because the meetings were supposed to be confidential.

One of the people confirmed the sides met in New York.

NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said the league has no comment on the meeting, first reported by the NFL Network.

This is the second time in the last week the two sides have met, including a three-day session outside Chicago that included Commissioner Roger Goodell and NFL Players Association head DeMaurice Smith. The idea is simple: face-to-face negotiations are more likely to lead to a new collective bargaining agreement than court actions.

Last Friday, both sides appeared before the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in St. Louis, arguing whether the owners' lockout of the players is legal. The lockout is approaching its third month, with the first preseason game just two months away.

If the federal appeals court orders the lockout lifted, the owners would need to implement a system for free agency, perhaps with a salary cap, and would not get the new business model they are seeking.

The federal appeals court has said it will rule in ''due course.'' Judge Kermit Bye, however, advised the two sides to work it out, saying the court's decision likely will be ''something both sides aren't going to like.''

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