NFLPA, owners resume mediated talks

BY foxsports • April 14, 2011

The NFL and its locked-out players have resumed mediation.

Commissioner Roger Goodell, Carolina Panthers owner Jerry Richardson and New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft were in the league's contingent that arrived at the federal court house in Minneapolis on Thursday.

NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith was joined by lawyers and free-agent linebackers Ben Leber and Mike Vrabel.

The talks will be supervised by federal judge Susan Nelson and Arthur Boylan, the magistrate she appointed to conduct the sessions.

Giants co-owner John Mara, who had been a key participant in nearly three weeks of federally-mediated talks before the lockout began last month, will be absent because he is on jury duty.

Hall of Fame defensive end Carl Eller came, too. Eller says he wants the fans to be happy and is hopeful of an agreement.

This is the first meeting between the two sides since March 11, when the old collective bargaining agreement expired, the union dissolved and the lockout began.

Despite all the headliners involved in the new round of mediation, sources on both sides said Wednesday that they continue to doubt the talks would produce a settlement to the antitrust lawsuit filed by 10 players or movement toward a new collective bargaining agreement.

The owners remain convinced that the players are waiting for Nelson to issue an injunction against the league — probably in the next two or three weeks — that most likely would lift the lockout.

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The Associated Press contributed to this report.



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