An attorney for the National Football League said yesterday that there is little significance to a meeting he held earlier this month with an attorney for the U.S. Football League at which the subject of merger was discussed.
Paul Tagliabue, an NFL attorney, said his meeting with Harvey Myerson, a USFL attorney, in Tagliabue's Washington office on Dec. 4 was initated by Myerson.
"The notion that there are talks under way is nonsense," Tagliabue said yesterday. "It was completely a one-sided affair. It was him coming in, saying, 'Look, I don't think the case should be tried; it should be settled.' Merger was raised by him (Myerson) as a way of getting certain clients into the NFL and of throwing others overboard."
The USFL has filed a $1.32 billion antitrust suit against the NFL, seeking to keep the NFL off at least one of the three major television networks. The trial is set for March 1986. Myerson yesterday disputed any claim that he is seeking a pretrial settlement.
"My position was and is and always will be that this is a case that should be tried and the reason for that is I think we have an overwhelmingly strong lawsuit," he said.
"Various settlement and merger possibilities were discussed. (Tagliabue) made a proposal regarding merger and regarding (pretrial) settlement. I also made some proposals. It was all on a very preliminary basis."
Tagliabue said: "No other meetings have been held, no other meetings have been planned and no other meetings will be discussed."
NFL club owners meeting in Dallas last week resolved that the NFL has no plans to merge. Twenty-seven owners voted in favor of the resolution. (The Los Angeles Raiders did not vote because they are not named as a defendant in the USFL suit.)