Minneapolis (AP)-The four sessions long and intense mediation between the NFL and its players locked out, the judge decided to give both sides a long pause.
When they meet in mid-May, the view of the discussions could be completely different.
The executive vice president Jeff Pash, the NFL's chief negotiator, said Wednesday that U.S. Magistrate Judge Arthur Boylan said the two sides, which probably will not meet again until May 16 because some questions about his judicial calendar.
Meanwhile, the U.S. District Judge Susan Richard Nelson is expected to decide before the players, a request to immediately lift the blockade now 40 days old.
Also to come: District Judge David Doty has scheduled a hearing for May 12 at the request of the players of the damage after it failed in March that the NFL does not maximize revenue for both parties when it renegotiated $ 4 billion in contracts TV with potential labor dispute.
Finally, there may be a fourth group of lawyers and the players in the mediation table, with a law firm in Philadelphia to talk with another group of players to join the fight.
"We had some discussions are other players who want to make their voices matter," said Bryan Clobes Faucher and Cafferty.
These discussions are ongoing, but all these elements combined can tip the lever on one side or the other where there was little of it, perhaps increase the chances of mediation ordered by the court will produce much needed progress in the preseason game first just 3 1 / 2 months.
"There are a lot of uncertainty right now," said Pash. "I think when we're together again we'll know more. Popular legal position will be clearer."
Both parties stated that the meeting was positive and productive Boylan.
"I believe that everything was considered useful and is really where we are," said Jim Quinn, a lawyer for the players.
Hall of Famer Carl Eller agreed.
"I feel very positive 2011 season," said Eller. "I believe that everything that came here 2011 season and the idea is not only easy to get to this point. So I think that everyone has worked in this direction. Watching them work for what makes me feel much more optimistic. I certainly say we are going to have a season 2011. "
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said the league will begin the season despite a long period of navigating the legal system.
"We planned to play all season and we negotiate as hard as you can get that done," said Goodell subscribers the Giants' a break during a mediation session conference call to the Federal Courthouse in Minneapolis.
Later, he reiterated this commitment in a forum with the fan 49's, said "a number of pressing issues that must be addressed responsibly."
"This has a negative impact on everyone, especially our fans," Goodell said of the lockout. "We have to get these things fixed right away. We believe there is plenty of time to get there. On behalf of the 32 clubs, we will do everything we can to ensure our full season play this year. "
Goodell, Packers CEO Mark Murphy, president and Falcons, Rich McKay owners Pat Bowlen of Denver, Jerry Jones of Dallas and Jerry Richardson of Carolina attended Wednesday's session. Players Ben Leber and Mike Vrabel joined Eller and lawyers for the players.
Goodell said all parties remain committed to ending a work stoppage in the NFL first time since 1987, before the game is lost. Preseason begins August 7 and the first regular season game is scheduled for September 8, less than five months from now.
"I think the fans want solutions. I want solutions," he said. "I think players want solutions and I think teams want solutions. Therefore we have to work on that in the negotiations and find a way to get to this point."
Players like MVP quarterback Tom Brady and Peyton Manning (white) filed for an injunction and a class action antitrust lawsuit against the NFL. The lawsuit was combined with two other similar requests for retirees, former players and recruits to be, with the lead plaintiff in this group Eller.
Nelson ordered the parties to mediation, while it considered the request, and they met after 16 days Boylan does not speak in front of a federal mediator in Washington.
"I think you can not sort this as a table of stock in what is happening up and down on a given day, but it is always good to be able to converse with humans," Pash said.
Pash said he felt the negotiations were very fruitful in the league and retired players and the owners are committed to improving the performance and care of their former players.
The league and players disagree sharply on how to allocate more than $ 9 billion in annual revenue.
The owners originally wanted double the money than go to cost about $ 1 billion to about $ 2 billion, but fell during the first round of mediation. The players have requested that all financial information on all 32 teams, and so far the league has not opened its books to your liking.
Other important issues for the players understand the benefits of retirees and the desire to extend the NFL regular season 16-18 games. NFL wants also decreased by nearly 60 percent of the guaranteed wage to draft first-round pick, the block for five years and divert the savings to pay and veterans benefits.
More than 525 million dollars U.S. for the first round of guaranteed payments in 2010. The league wants to reduce this figure of 300 million, according to documents obtained by The Associated Press.
In other news, The Sports Business Journal Wednesday that a group of about 70 "mid-tier" players had to hire a law firm and dismay that the negotiations broke down last month. But Clobes said the number is "far from the 70" and does not indicate any dissatisfaction with how things are progressing.
"The players have a very skilled lawyer," said CLOB. "If we were to get involved, it would, so we can add and bring our expertise, not because we thought that prosecutors do not make a credible job. They do an incredible job. "
Faucher Cafferty also represents clients before the former UCLA basketball star Ed O'Bannon of the class-action lawsuit against the NCAA and the sale of use of its resemblance to other athletes in video games and other media.
DeMauro Smith, head of the players union, said he was not aware of the development. Vrabel said he has not heard a report, either, but more than the players "is not a place (the table), with Ben and me."
AP Sports Writers Tom Canavan and Janie McCauley contributed to this report.