NFL, Players Wrap Up Talks In Massachusetts, Will Resume Next Week

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - MAY 17: NFL lawyer Jeff Pash (L), NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and Art Rooney II (R), president of the Pittsburgh Steelers arrive for court ordered mediation at the U.S. Courthouse on May 17, 2011 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. As the NFL lockout remains in place mediation was ordered after a hearing on an antitrust lawsuit filed by NFL players against the NFL owners after labor talks between the two broke down in March. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)

This week the NFL and the NFL Players Association held another round of labor talks just a few miles outside of Boston in Hull, Massachusetts in hopes of striking a deal on a new CBA--ending the Lockout.  While talks were described as "fruitful" and both parties were "optimistic" a deal would get done, no official deal was reached,

The meetings in Hull concluded on Friday, as the two sides will resume labor negotiations on Monday.  While it is unclear as to where the talks will take place, it will likely be near a big city.  These "secret" discussions have been held in cities outside Chicago, Boston, and New York City.

Present for the NFL was commissioner Roger Goodell, Carolina Panthers owner Jerry Richardson, New York Giants owner John Mara, Kansas City Chiefs owner Clark Hunt, San Diego Chargers owner Dean Spanos, and New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft.  On Friday, Goodell classified the talks as "complicated" and "complex".

"Obviously, we're all working hard. The players and owners were here over the last two days. De and I were here the entire meetings. And it's complicated, it's complex, and we're working hard. We understand the fans' frustration, but both of us are continuing to work hard at it." (via Pro Football Weekly)

Meanwhile on the players side, NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith was on hand along with Indianapolis Colts center Jeff Saturday, New York Jets fullback Tony Richardson, and Baltimore Ravens cornerback Domonique Foxworth.  Though both sides have yet to agree on a new CBA, Smith remains confident a deal will be struck.

"Someone asked me whether I was optimistic. I think we're both optimistic when we have the right people in the room. We know we're talking about the right issues. And we're working hard to get it done. It's extremely complicated, it requires a lot of hard work by all the people, but we're going to keep working at it." (via Pro Football Weekly)

Both sides do acknowledge that talks are progressing, however they are discussing many different issues, not just one.  Among the items reportedly discussed are rookie wage scale, benefits for retired players, and player health and safety, and revenue sharing.  

With training camp expected to open late next month and the preseason games not to far behind it, we can only hope a deal can be reached in the very near future.

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