Lots of reports around the Internet today that New York Giants CEO John Mara today became the first NFL owner to attend the mediated sessions between the NFL and NFLPA when they resumed this afternoon.
I don't know a whole lot about how these types of negotiations are handled, but for me the fact that no owners attended any of the seven straight days of mediated sessions that ended last week is a stunner. Pro Football Talk also reported today that NFLPA President Kevin Mawae has been absent from previous talks, though he was expected to attend today. The deal is between the owners and the players, so how does a deal get done without any of the owners in the room, or the president of the Players Association? I have no answers for that one.
The current collective bargaining agreement expires at 11:59 p.m. on March 3, Thursday of this week. If no agreement is reached owners are expected to lock players out beginning on Friday.
The Players Association is expected to decertify prior to a lockout. I am not a legal expert, so if you want to know exactly what decertification is and how it affects the proceedings, check out Biz Of Football for the answers.