A week after NFL owners wrapped up their annual spring meeting in Indianapolis, a small group of them gathered in a western suburb of Chicago.
Patriots owner Robert Kraft was spotted Wednesday afternoon boarding his private jet at DuPage Airport, a little less than 24 hours after arriving, according to sources. Also present during a full-day stakeout was the jet belonging to Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, an unmistakable Gulfstream model with a star on each side of the tail.
The kicker? Sources said NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell also arrived in West Chicago via private jet Tuesday, and Panthers owner Jerry Richardson was believed to be present, the sources said. The NFL office was unable to provide any details. Airport officials cited a confidentiality policy in declining to reveal information.
Where the men most involved in the owners' end of strategy convened is unknown but surely the NFL's protracted labor situation was the reason for their gathering. Was a secret meeting conducted with NFLPA officials? Kraft was not available for questions as the SUV he was in delivered him to the stairwell of his aircraft.
The U.S. 8th Circuit Court in St. Louis will have a hearing Friday involving the lockout. Reports last week were owners are confident they will prevail. The lockout is grinding toward a third month and Goodell acknowledged to reporters last week that "it's clearly had an impact on our fans already."