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New England Patriots Links 7/09/11 - Saturday Labor Links

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Jason Cole (Yahoo! Sports) Jones, Kraft driving deal for owners.

Simply put, Jones may be the most powerful and respected owner in the NFL when it comes to making a deal. Kraft, who has been one of the major peace proponents for weeks, is a close second. The vast majority of owners look to Jones and Kraft for guidance and, over the past two days, the players have been happy to see Jones and Kraft in lockstep over getting a deal done. In many respects, Jones and Kraft are more powerful than NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. Goodell may be the face of the league, but he doesn’t have the body of owners completely under his control yet and that has become obvious in these talks.

Instead, it’s Jones and Kraft who really have the ear of their brethren. That’s because, at the end of the day, Jones is a dealmaker. Say what you will about his tactics (Jones has long pushed for serious rollbacks in what the players make), but Jones doesn’t get so hardheaded that he does things just for the sake of doing them. That was true back when he pushed for better television contracts in the early 1990s. It was true when he worked out a new contract for Emmitt Smith in 1993. It was true when he helped solve the league’s problems with the cable companies in 2009. Jones understands that at the end of the day, it’s better to do a deal than do nothing.

So does Kraft. That’s impressive because neither man owned their team the last time the NFL went through a true labor stoppage in 1987 that cost the league games in the regular season. Give Jones and Kraft credit for having vision, not just hammers.

As long as Jones and Kraft are at it, a solution may only be days away.

Gregg Rosenthal (ProFootballTalk) Face-to-face labor talks off until Monday at the earliest.

Gregg Rosenthal (ProFootballTalk) Monday's labor talks will be lawyer only.

AP Report (NFL.com) Eighth US Circuit Court rules lockout remains in place.

Mark Maske (Washington Post) Federal appeals court rules again for owners, as talks continue.

Mike Florio (ProFootballTalk) Eighth Circuit rules that lockout may continue.

Josh Katzowitz (CBS Sports) Court of Appeals rules in favor of NFL.

Rick Horrow (Fox Sports) Setback for players? (2.13 min. video)

Tim Graham (ESPN) Sal Paolantonio shares the latest updates regarding the NFL labor negotiations. (2 min. video)

Jason La Canfora (NFL.com) Ruling leaves open possibility for NFLPA to file injunction.

Mike Florio (ProFootballTalk) Loophole in Eighth Circuit ruling should discourage owners from dropping the hammer.

Andrew Brandt (Nat'l Football Post) The Process Continues: Notes from the ongoing negotiations.

Will Brinson (CBS Sports) Lockout ruling to speed up talks or a Doty hammer.

Mike Freeman (CBS Sports) Owners' actions will decide impact of court ruling.

Michael David Smith (ProFootballTalk) Owners, players agree: Ruling won't stop negotiations.

Gregg Rosenthal (ProFootballTalk) Report: "Little progress" made thus far Friday.

Mike Freeman (CBS Sports) The latest on labor talks: Inching closer and closer.

Mike Freeman (CBS Sports) Can the moderates hold off the extremists?

John Clayton (ESPN) Salary cap plan could pose issues.

Mike Florio (ProFootballTalk) Stalemate arises over rookie wage scale.

Lester Munson (ESPN) NFL lockout ruling raises timing issues.

Gregg Rosenthal (ProFootballTalk) Boylan will meet with players and owners again on July 19th.

Tommy Craggs (Deadspin.com) Exclusive: We've obtained audited financials for the NFL league office.