Tag:NFL Lockout
Posted on: April 15, 2011 3:01 pm
Edited on: April 15, 2011 3:25 pm

Second day of mediation is done

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

The second mediation day between the NFL and NFLPA has ended with a fizzle.

And after spending nearly 10 hours in a bargaining session Thursday, the two sides spent only about a 1/3 of that time today in the presence of U.S. Magistrate Judge Arthur Boylan.

Thus, reports NFL.com’s Albert Breer, who writes that the mediation is adjourned until 10 a.m. Tuesday.

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Category: NFL
Posted on: April 14, 2011 7:45 pm
Edited on: April 14, 2011 9:23 pm

NFL, NFLPA will continue mediation Friday

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

After nearly 10 hours of negotiations today, the mediation session between the NFL and the NFLPA in the presence of U.S. Magistrate Judge Arthur Boylan has ended. And, as we suspected, not many people are saying much of anything.

Although NFL lead negotiator Jeff Pash said the two sides would return to the courthouse in Minneapolis on Friday, commissioner Roger Goodell said, “We pledged confidentiality.”

As NFL.com's Albert Breer wrote earlier this evening, “I've been told talks upstairs have been ‘tough’ and there's lots of ‘fence-mending’ to be done.”

Still, it sounds like something productive occured.

"We had a full day. It was constructive to get together," said Pash, who was joined by Panthers owner Jerry Richardson, Chiefs owner Clark Hunt, Steelers owner Art Rooney and Patriots owner Robert Kraft. "The chief magistrate judge is working very hard, and I give him a lot of credit for really trying to move the parties toward a solution."

OK, that sounds fine. But how long will this mediation attempt last? Until (fingers crossed!) there’s a resolution?

 "The court has indicated it wants to continue with everyone talking as long as it makes sense," said Michael Hausfeld, one of the attorneys for the players.

Hmm, that doesn’t really tell us much, does it?

Actually, the fact that NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith (who was joined by Vikings LB Ben Leber, Chiefs LB Mike Vrabel and Hall of Fame DE Carl Eller) and Goodell – who had to step away from part of the bargaining session to join in on a conference call scheduled with 5,300 Browns fans – attended the mediation is a pretty good sign.

"I can tell you that it's a positive step when the parties are talking," Goodell told the Browns fans. "We saw the March 11 proposal as responsive to issues raised by the players and there are many attractive elements in it. ... Our entire focus is on getting a deal done."

Though these sessions were mandated by Judge Susan Nelson – who will eventually rule on the Brady v NFL case – it’s obviously positive that the two sides, once again, are meeting. And hope for an agreement of any sort between the two sides continues.

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Posted on: April 12, 2011 7:21 pm

Judge gets introduction before the mediation

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

The first day of the next round of mediation between the NFL and the NFLPA began today in the courtroom of U.S. Magistrate Judge Arthur Boylan, and there was HUMONGOUS news.

No, not really. Actually, it sounded like it was kind of a nothing day, much like that first day of class where the teacher tries to learn your name while passing out the syllabus before everyone is dismissed early. Except in this case, the judge met with the attorneys from the Brady v NFL and the Eller v NFL for the first time since the two cases were consolidated by Judge Susan Nelson.

"The mediator was very open, it was a very constructive session, he heard from the Brady plaintiffs and the Eller plaintiffs as to what issues they considered that need to be addressed during mediation," Michael Hausfeld, lead attorney for the Eller class, told NFL.com’s Albert Breer. "The mediator intends to have the same type of session tomorrow with the league (counsel), and then hopefully to bring everybody together on Thursday to see what areas of agreement can be achieved, and how quickly."

Perhaps the most important aspect of today’s meeting was to get Boylan up to speed on how the consolidation between the two cases will work. By Thursday, though, mediation should be in full throttle.

Which likely won’t lead to much of anything happening, like, for instance, the lockout being lifted. But still, a nation full of NFL fans can dream.

Meanwhile, we wait for Nelson to rule on the antitrust lawsuit

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Posted on: April 10, 2011 6:50 pm

Source: Mediation could begin soon

Posted by Mike Freeman

The players and owners might begin mediation as soon as late next week, two sources confirmed to CBSSports.com.

Where the mediation will be held is still in question. It could be back under the control of mediator George Cohen or under federal jurisdiction in Minnesota. The former is what the owners want and the latter is the desire of the players. Cohen has yet to return a call to CBSSports.com.

One source texted: "We're reaching a pivotal moment."

That's because another round of mediation could finally end the lockout and start the season. Sources on both sides feel a second round of mediation might lead to a deal.

Another source explained judge Susan Cohen has said in no uncertain terms she wants both sides to try and work out an agreement.

"We got the message," said one source.

This post was cross-posted from Mike Freeman's FreeStyle blog. For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed .

Category: NFL
Posted on: April 7, 2011 10:18 pm

Source: NFLPA, owners could meet this week

D. Smith, R. Goodell Posted by Mike Freeman

The league and players could actually begin negotiating again as early as this week, multiple league sources tell CBSSports.com.

Now, to be clear, other league sources are strongly denying this. Several insisted owners would never meet with players until the now decertified union reconstituted itself. "If we meet with them this week," said one source, "I'll eat my hat."

But if other sources are to be believed some owners might be softening that hardline stance and hat eating might be on the menu.

Again, there are strong denials to this, but according to sources, some owners are slightly fidgety about what happened before judge Susan Nelson during the federal court hearing in Minneapolis on Wednesday. Nelson, according to various reports, seemed to query the lawyer for the owners more extensively than the legal representation for the players.

This can mean something or it can mean nothing but several league sources admitted that some of Nelson's remarks raised eyebrows.

The players offered to meet with the owners last week but the owners refused. The New York Times recently quoted the NFL's lead attorney, Jeff Pash, as saying the NFL isn't interested in settlement discussions. The owners have said all along they want to talk to players but only as a union. The owners might also be willing to lose in Nelson's court and take their chances on a more conservative appeals court. But that is incredibly risky.

Just to be clear: some in the league are strongly denying any discussion about resuming talks with a decertified union but others are saying this is increasingly a strong possibility.

So, as usual, stay tuned.

This post was cross-posted from Mike Freeman's FreeStyle blog. For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed .

Category: NFL
Posted on: April 7, 2011 5:45 pm
Edited on: April 7, 2011 6:41 pm

NFL sends negotiation letter of its own

Posted by Josh Katzowitz and Will Brinson

Will already told you about the NFLPA’s letter to Judge Susan Nelson requesting federally-mandated mediation.

The NFL has responded saying it wants mediation as well. Except it wants George Cohen and the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service in Washington to head it up – the same place where the two sides bargained but ultimately failed before the owners imposed a lockout.

The NFL’s letter goes on to say that the players would not compromise their legal position in the Brady v NFL case if they went back to Washington.

That’s according to NFL.com’s Albert Breer, whose source says, “We sent a letter earlier today to the players' attorneys proposing negotiations with owner involvement. The goal of the discussions would be to resolve all outstanding issues between the parties and achieve a global resolution."

The difference here is that if the two sides negotiated with Nelson as the mediator, it would be binding. If they bargained in front of Cohen, though, it wouldn’t be. The owners also want to be involved in the negotiations, which is why they want to go back to Washington.

This is a pretty wily PR move, honestly, because the players have pointed out that Nelson wants mediation monitored by the federal court. The NFL would prefer to get the focus of this matter shifted away from the court room and back to the "collective bargaining table" (you may have heard someone mention this phrase in the past week or so).

However, given that Judge Nelson stated in her courtroom that she wanted the two sides to mediate under her watch, it seems rather unlikely that the players will budge.

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Category: NFL
Posted on: April 6, 2011 4:29 pm
Edited on: April 6, 2011 6:41 pm

Court adjourns; Nelson wants sides to negotiate

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Judge Susan Nelson, presiding over the preliminary injunction hearing in the Brady v NFL case, said this afternoon that she’ll try to have a decision in a couple weeks, but until then, she urged the NFLPA and the owners to return to the bargaining table.

The NFL might seriously consider the advice.

As tweets filtered out from the courthouse in St. Paul, Minn., from the Boston Globe’s Greg A. Bedard, USA Today’s Bob Nightengale and NFL.com’s Albert Breer, it seemed clear that Nelson was giving plenty of credence to the players’ argument that the lockout irreparably damages them.
NFL Labor

She also made it quite clear this morning that she believes the federal court has the right to issue the injunction, which the NFL disputes. Nelson also said she wasn't sure how the NFL owners could lock out their players if there wasn't a union.

Nelson also had many more questions for the NFL’s lawyers than she did for the players, though it’s debatable whether that actually means anything (some say that the more a judge questions one side means the side receiving those queries is in trouble).

While the two sides have tried to negotiate with a federal mediator in the past, Nelson advised to continue talking – only this time, in a federal court setting.

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Posted on: April 6, 2011 12:25 pm
Edited on: April 6, 2011 1:24 pm

What happened this morning in court

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

With the Brady v NFL permanent injunction hearing on a temporary break, we have a little bit of insight into what has happened today so far.

According to Bob Nightengale of USA Today, the NFLPA has asked Judge Susan Nelson to grant the injunction and end the illegal lockout.

“Over 800 players are unsigned,” lawyer James Quinn argued. “These players have no jobs. They have nowhere to go. It's a matter of health and safely issues."

Responding to that was NFL lawyer David Boies: "The court would have to make new law and rewrite history. This should be free from court interference."

The main issues so far seem to be whether the court has jurisdiction to even rule on this matter.

According to the Boston Globe’s Greg A. Bedard, there has been only one mention of irreparable harm, and Nelson said it "appears players have strong case.”


UPDATED, 1:22 p.m. ET:
According to USA Today, Nelson grew annoyed at the NFL's insistence that the court had no jurisdiction in this matter. She said the court indeed has the authority to rule whether the players will be irreparably harmed by a lockout.

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com