The likelihood of an NFL lockout looked quite certain leading up to the Super Bowl. I will admit that I was skeptical about any nice talk that week as I was certain that it was all a front to avoid a firestorm when the focus should be on the league’s championship game. The Super Bowl ended and so did the public front put out by the league and player’s union.
The first sign of progress was the two sides agreeing to engage in negotiations in the presence of a mediator. The best part about it is that both sides agreed to keep their collective lips sealed during the process, a big change from the battle for public perception that had been raging in the weeks prior.
The two sides have met for four straight days. I’m not going to pretend to know the inner workings of the process (I’m sure it is akin to a sausage factory) but I have a hard time believing that two sides would meet for such a long stretch if there wasn’t a light at the end of the tunnel.
Former Lions quarterback Charlie Batch has been intimately involved in the process and offered a couple hopeful, yet vague, quotes:
Things are going well right now, we’ll see how things progress over the next couple days.
Any time that you talk, you have to feel better.
There certainly isn’t anything to tell us that a deal is imminent but it also doesn’t sound like the sides have reached an impasse.
Ty at The Lions in Winter has done a great job studying up on ins and outs of the NFL’s CBA process. Hopefully you’ve kept up to date with him but if not, head over to his site and check out today’s post. He takes a look at the mediator’s resume and I think you’ll feel better about the process after reading it: