ESPN.com’s Adam Schefter and Chris Mortenson are reporting that NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell held a secret meeting with NFL owners yesterday to discuss their strategy heading into tomorrow’s hearing with the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals.
Moments after the story broke on ESPN, Schefter also tweeted that the NFLPA, including De Smith, also met face to face with the NFL yesterday. As of yet there is no word if this was all one big meeting or two separate meetings. There is also no indication on what was discussed.
My hope is that the two sides met to discuss how they will handle things once the 8th Circuit hands down their ruling. If the owners win, the lockout will still be on and the players will be pretty much out of leverage. If the players win, the lockout would be lifted and the NFL could be in for a chaotic free agency period. The NFL would have to scramble to implement some sort of 2011 rules as soon as possible. The feeling, though it is not a guarantee, seems to be that the owners will prevail in this round of court battles.
Hopefully both sides agreed that regardless of the outcome, Friday is the 4th quarter of courtroom football. Hopefully they decided that whoever the court rules for wins and that following the ruling both sides will return to negotiations, keeping in mind that one side now has definite leverage. Hopefully whichever side has the leverage will be gracious to the loser in the working out of a deal. Hopefully the losing side will understand that their race is run and get themselves the best deal they can so we can all get back to football in time for training camp.