Negotiations between representatives of the NFL and locked-out players resumed Tuesday in New York.
Neither side formally announced Tuesday’s talks. They were confirmed by several people who did not participate in the talks but had knowledge of them. The resumption of the negotiations was first reported by the league-owned NFL Network.
There were reports that NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and DeMaurice Smith, the executive director of the dissolved players’ union, again participated in the talks, along with several owners and players. This week’s talks come after representatives of the two sides met last week in Chicago. Last week’s meetings originally were intended to be secret.
The latest flurry in talks has raised hopes throughout the sport that a deal could be completed late this month or in early July to preserve the upcoming season. Players have been locked out by the owners since March 12. Goodell told reporters last Friday while visiting troops in Fort Bragg, N.C., that both sides were committed to continuing their dialogue.
The league and players are awaiting a ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit on the NFL’s appeal of a federal judge’s ruling in late April granting the players’ request for an injunction halting the lockout. The injunction ruling has been kept on hold by a stay granted by the federal appeals court, enabling the lockout to remain in effect until the appellate court rules on the league’s appeal. One of the appeals court judges urged the league and players at the conclusion of a hearing Friday in St. Louis to resolve the dispute on their own.
Mediator Arthur J. Boylan attended last week’s meetings in Chicago and canceled court-ordered mediated talks scheduled for this week in Minneapolis in favor of ongoing confidential settlement negotiations.