For the first time in weeks we have reason to believe that light in the NFL lockout tunnel is daylight rather than an impending head-on collision with a train.
Thursday’s morning news includes word that a small group of NFL owners along with commissioner Roger Goodell met with NFLPA chief DeMaurice Smith in Chicago last night. This was the first time the two sides have talked face-to-face in weeks.
The talks were obviously meant to stay out of the headlines, which is good news in what has been more of a PR battle than a labor negotiation. ESPN’s Adam Schefter tweeted just how secretive the meeting was:
These NFL-NFLPA meetings in Chicago were so secretive that there were other NFL owners that didn’t even know about them Wednesday night.
I’ll admit that my first reaction was to turn those words into a William Clay Ford joke but the commissioner has actually relied on the Ford family through this process because of their history with labor negotiations. Whether Senior or Junior knew of the talks, it doesn’t appear that they were involved in last night’s meeting, per Jason LaCanfora:
Kraft, Rooney, Mara, Jones, Richardson among owners at “secret” meeting.
All this should be received as good news although Adam Schefter points out that it doesn’t mean a deal is imminent.
No new CBA gets done today or tomorrow. Hope is two sides lay a foundation to get deal done later this month. But talking is encouraging.
At this point I’ll settle for encouraging.