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NFL Negotiating Session Takes Place In Chicago

Chicago was home to a secret meeting between NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and NFL Players’ Association Executive Director DeMaurice Smith on Wednesday night, and it could lead to significant developments toward ending the lockout.

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It was reported Wednesday that the meeting was only for NFL owners, but on Thursday morning Adam Schefter reported on ESPN that Smith and NFLPA officials were there as well.

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On Friday the owners and players will go to court in St. Louis for a hearing in their ongoing lawsuit, but the fact that they’re willing to sit down and talk before that is a very good sign that they might work out a deal with themselves, without needing the courts to impose a deal on them.

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As Mike Florio notes at Pro Football Talk, a major reason for optimism is the news that this meeting was done without getting the lawyers involved.

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We can only hope that this is a sign of real progress, and that the lockout might actually end before training camps are scheduled to open.