Daniel Kaplan of Sports Business Journal is reporting that the NFL and NFLPA have engaged in settlement talks, prompting the courts to cancel mediation scheduled for next week. These settlement talks have included several of the key players on both sides of the ball, and no lawyers.
On the owners' side, Jerry Jones Art Rooney and John Mara were among those present. On the players' side, NFLPA head DeMaurice Smith was present alongside Domonique Foxworth, Mike Vrabel, Kevin Mawae, Tony Richardson and Jeff Saturday - all current or former players. The presence of important people on both sides signals that these settlement talks are serious, as many of the negotiation talks before the lockout were held without key people present (mostly on the owners' side). Perhaps the lack of lawyers will help the talks as well.
This is good news for everyone who wants football back. The fact that these two parties are even engaging in settlement talks suggests that they both want to get a deal done. The owners had previously said that they would not engage in settlement talks because they believed the NFLPA was still a union with no right to litigate.