It’s not often that we can say canceling planned mediation talks is a good thing, but that appears to be the case on Thursday with regards to the NFL lockout. According to an earlier report, the NFL’s big-wigs, including Roger Goodell, Jerry Jones and Robert Kraft, have been meeting with key players from the players’ side in secret at an airport in Chicago. A joint statement from the NFL and NFLPA confirmed the meetings earlier on Thursday, but added that the meetings are confidential and failed to explain why the two sides were meeting in secret.
Now we may now why. According to SportsBusiness Journal’s Daniel Kaplan, the Minnesota federal court has canceled the mediation sessions set for next week, which would be bad news if not for the fact that a settlement may be near.
The minnesota federal court has cancelled mediation set next week saying it is engaged in confidential settlement talks with the parties
Connecting the dots, Kaplan’s report adds up. Until now, the NFL and NFLPA have waged their war in the eyes of the public, taking to the media and attempting to draw the support of the public. It’s strange that suddenly both sides would go dark and attempt to secretly slip away to Chicago for the typical, court-ordered mediation when the process has been so public. But should the NFL and NFLPA be working on a settlement, the secrecy and confidentiality would make sense. After all, it seems the best work is always done is secret, away from the public eyes, when it comes to settling such a large-scale case.
While nobody is quite sure how the talks are going, canceling the mediation sessions has to be seen as a positive at this point. If a settlement is coming, as many are hoping, it’s likely to come fast. And if it does, the NFL will suddenly lurch to life, ending our long national nightmare.