With information breaking about a meeting that NFL commissioner Roger Goodell had with a select few owners, I believed that this was just preparation for mediation that is scheduled to take place next week, as instructed by Judge Boylan. There is some new information that could be a sign of optimism that could point to an end to the NFL lockout sooner rather than later.
The meeting in Chicago had more than just owners Jerry Jones, Robert Kraft and Jerry Richardson, along with Goodell. According to NFL Network's Albert Breer, Judge Boylan, DeMaurice Smith and several players were also in attendance.
This is significant because it means that it looks like there may be positive talks going on. The talks were set to wrap up around midday today. The players involved are reportedly Mike Vrabel, Tony Richardson, Jeff Saturday, Brian Dawkins and Kevin Mawae.
I joked in the last post about how this meeting wasn't really a secret. Apparently it was. According to Adam Schefter, in addition to those owners mentioned, owners Art Rooney and John Mara were there and, outside of them, the "meetings in Chicago were so secretive that there were other NFL owners that didn't even know about them Wednesday night."
We have gotten our hopes up before with no type of result, but for the first time, I really feel that both sides are moving in the right direction. They are actually talking. Hopefully this means that a deal can be agreed upon later this month so that free agency and training camp can happen without loss of games.
We can only hope.