Pittsburgh Steelers owner Art Rooney joins talks

NFL, players union continue mediation as deadline approaches

Pittsburgh Steelers president and co-owner Art Rooney joined NFL representatives as meetings with the NFL Players Association continue today at the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Services in Washington.

Talks began around 9:30 a.m., as both sides face the latest deadline of 11:59 p.m. Friday. Rooney’s father, Dan, is the ambassador to Ireland and, as the team’s chairman emeritus, was outspoken about the need to get a deal done in January. “We should not let a disruption of next season happen because of a lockout, a strike, whatever,” Dan Rooney told Judy Battista of the New York Times. “It’s in everybody’s best interest to get a deal. The players want to play.”

“The negotiators,” he said then, “should get it together.”

Dan Rooney also opposes an 18-game season and said in January: “I would rather not have the money.”

Are Dan Rooney’s sentiments shared by his son? Will the presence of a Rooney in the room bring progress between the sides, who have been unable to reach agreement? At this point, having a Rooney in the room couldn’t possibly hurt.

After spending most of her career in traditional print sports journalism, Cindy began blogging and tweeting, first as NFL/Redskins editor, and, since August 2010, at The Early Lead. She also is the social media editor for Sports.

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