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Posted at 02:14 PM ET, 04/07/2011

NFL, players offering to talk

Updated at 2:03 p.m.

The NFL sent a letter to the players urging them to resume federal mediation with George Cohen and dropping the stipulation that the union recertify.

Cohen, director of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service, mediated talks between the league and players’ union in early March in Washington, D.C. The players would prefer that Judge Susan Richard Nelson serve as mediator in Minnesota.

The NFL’s letter says players would be assured they would not compromise any legal position if they agreed to return to mediation with Cohen.

Filed at 12:14 p.m.

NFL players participating in Brady vs. the NFL sent a letter today to the NFL asking to begin federal court mediation, according to a Sports Business Journal report.

A source confirmed that report to The Post’s Mark Maske. However, there’s a sticking point. Maske reports that the players’ offer concerns only talks to settle the antitrust lawsuit and not collective bargaining. The NFL is interested only in collective bargaining with a re-formed union, not litigation settlement talks.

After hearing arguments in Brady vs. the NFL on Wednesday in St. Paul, Minn., U.S. District Judge Susan Richard Nelson urged both sides to resume negotiations and offered to mediate as she considers whether to lift the NFL’s lockout of players. “It seems to me both sides are at risk and this is a very good time for you to come back to the table,” she said.

Talks between the NFL and the players collapsed March 11 and the union decertified. The New York Times first reported that the players were considering the letter.

By  |  02:14 PM ET, 04/07/2011

 
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