Thursday, June 30, 2011

Eye-opener: Is an NFL labor solution near?

NFL Commissioner, NFLPA Executive Director to Speak to Rookies in Florida

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith flew to Florida together Tuesday night to speak to rookies after opening four days of labor talks in Minnesota.
Spokesmen for the league and the players' association confirmed that the two power brokers were on the same plane from Minnesota to address the NFLPA's rookie symposium on Wednesday morning. first reported that both Goodell and Smith were on their way to the joint appearance. Smith asked Goodell to speak to the group at the Ritz-Carlton hotel in Sarasota, Fla., and the commissioner agreed.
Both men were planning to leave Florida later Wednesday to fly back to Minneapolis and continue the labor talks. The discussions between Goodell and Smith on Tuesday included no players or owners, according to several people familiar with the situation.
They added that the two sides were planning to meet through Friday. The people spoke on condition of anonymity because details of the negotiations were being kept private.
The traditional start of training camp is just three weeks away and Chicago and St. Louis are scheduled to play the annual Hall of Fame game on Aug. 7. Yet Detroit Lions defensive end Lawrence Jackson said earlier Tuesday he believes there still isn't enough urgency to reach a deal on a new collective bargaining agreement -- not yet.
"From a business perspective, nobody is losing anything right now," Jackson said at a youth sports camp in Walled Lake, Mich. "The owners haven't had to pay offseason bonuses -- so they're making interest on the money they're not spending -- and most of the players aren't used to getting paid until we start training camp in late July. Until then, I don't think we're missing much."Read more:

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