You are currently viewing the printable version of this article, to return to the normal page, please click here.

AP Sources: Goodell, Smith meeting in Minnesota

Story Topics
Question of the Day

What has been the biggest debacle on Obama's watch?

View results

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith opened four days of labor talks in Minnesota on Tuesday, getting together without players or owners in the room.

Three people familiar with the situation told The Associated Press that the two power brokers and staff members resumed negotiations aimed at ending a lockout now in its fourth month. The people spoke on condition of anonymity because no labor developments are being made public.

People familiar with the situation said the executive committee of the players' association planned a conference call later Tuesday to discuss the negotiations. NFL.com first reported that Goodell and Smith were meeting.

Smith planned to go to Florida by Wednesday morning to attend a symposium for rookies in Bradenton. The people told the AP that the two sides were planning to meet through Friday.

The traditional start of training camp is just three weeks away and Chicago and St. Louis are scheduled to play the annual Hall of Fame game on Aug. 7. Yet Detroit Lions defensive end Lawrence Jackson said he believes there still isn't enough urgency to reach a deal on a new collective bargaining agreement _ not yet.

"From a business perspective, nobody is losing anything right now," Jackson said at a youth sports camp in Walled Lake, Mich. "The owners haven't had to pay offseason bonuses _ so they're making interest on the money they're not spending _ and most of the players aren't used to getting paid until we start training camp in late July. Until then, I don't think we're missing much."

The lockout began on March 12, and players have not been allowed to train at team facilities or contact their coaches, with the exception of a few days in April when the lockout was briefly lifted.

Players on several teams have practiced on their own, trying to keep in football shape so they'll be prepared to get back to business on the field whenever the labor impasse ends.

The key issue in the dispute is how to divide revenues after the league took in about $9.3 billion last year.

Previous "secret meetings" have taken place in suburban Chicago, New York, the Maryland shore and last week in Hull, Mass., south of Boston. The federal courts in Minneapolis are familiar ground for both sides, since the current collective bargaining system was put together under court oversight here and it's where an antitrust lawsuit filed by players against the league is still pending.

Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh said he believes progress is being made.

"The main thing is that they're talking and being able to interact with each other," he said. "There was a point in time where there was nothing being said and we were just sitting back. Now, there's some interaction and it looks like there's some positive light at the end of the tunnel. We're looking forward to getting it done. I'm ready to get back on the field."

___

AP Pro Football Writer Barry Wilner and AP Sports Writer Larry Lage contributed to this report.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Comments
blog comments powered by Disqus
Get Adobe Flash player
You Might Also Like
  • Nathan Walker waits to take the ice during the Capitals' development camp at the Kettler Capitals Iceplex in Arlington on Monday, July 9, 2012. (Ryan M.L. Young/The Washington Times)

    Nathan Walker’s NHL dreams send him around the world

  • Washington Nationals' Anthony Rendon, third from left, smiles as he warms up with his teammates who were were wearing t-shirts in support of him for the All Star game before an interleague baseball game against the Baltimore Orioles at Nationals Park, Tuesday, July 8, 2014, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

    Anthony Rendon not an All-Star, but he’s been Nats’ MVP

  • Baltimore Orioles manager Buck Showalter speaks during a media availability in the dugout before an interleague baseball game against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park, Monday, July 7, 2014, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

    LOVERRO: Suck-up Buck Showalter needs history lesson

  • Argentina's Maxi Rodriguez, left, celebrates with goalkeeper Sergio Romero after scoring the decisive goal during the World Cup semifinal soccer match between the Netherlands and Argentina at the Itaquerao Stadium in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Wednesday, July 9, 2014. Argentina beat the Netherlands 4-2 in a penalty shootout to reach the World Cup final. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)

    Argentina beats Dutch in shootout to reach World Cup final

  • Washington Redskins safety Tanard Jackson speaks during a media availability after an NFL football training camp practice at Redskins Park, Friday, Aug. 3, 2012 in Ashburn, Va. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

    Tanard Jackson suspended indefinitely by NFL — again

  • Celebrities In The News
  • Hall of Fame Inductees, KISS, Paul Stanley, Peter Criss, Gene Simmons, and Ace Frehley speak at the 2014 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony on Thursday, April, 10, 2014 in New York. (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP)

    KISS rocker Gene Simmons touts 1 percent life: ‘It’s fantastic’

  • This image from video released by Funny Or Die shows President Obama, left, with actor-comedian Zach Galifianakis during an appearance on "Between Two Ferns," the digital short with a laser focus on reaching people aged 18 to 34. The president urged young people to sign up for the new health care plan through an appearance posted Tuesday, March 11, 2014, on the comic website Funny or Die, bypassing TV talk show titans like Jimmy Fallon or Jimmy Kimmel for an online audience. (AP Photo/Funny Or Die)

    Obama’s ‘Ferns’ interview gets Emmy nod

  • ** FILE ** In this Nov. 12, 2013, file photo, actor Alec Baldwin leaves court in New York. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File)

    Alec Baldwin in talks to play Rob Ford-like mayor in new NBC drama