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Nelson’s order referred to the mediation “as a form of Alternative Dispute Resolution,” a legal term for the revival of negotiations. Perhaps it will lead to some real progress.

“Sometimes there is a place in negotiation for changing the context, changing the city, changing the mediator or changing the atmosphere, but who knows where this will lead?” said analyst, Jonathan Rubin, a Washington trial attorney and antitrust expert.

Nelson also formally combined the lawsuits involving current and former players earlier Monday. Neither the Brady plaintiffs nor the NFL objected to combining the cases, according to a court document.