Roger Goodell and DeMaurice Smith took what could be a big step in avoiding a potential 20110 NFL Lockout in March by meeting together in New York City yesterday. The two men have seen their respective organizations engage in a somewhat bitter PR battle the last month as the NFL/NFLPA labor strife grew by the day. Prior to yesterday there wasn’t even much mention of future negotiation sessions even as the current CBA winds down in the next month. However, the two sides met on Monday and have agreed to hold a formal bargaining sessions this Saturday in Dallas, the site of the Super Bowl.
The formal meeting this Saturday is expected to be followed by a variety of formal and informal meetings in the coming weeks as the two sides try to address their differences. As the New York Daily News commented in the link above, it will be interesting to see how this affects the on-going PR battle we’ve seen to date. Each side has tried to gain traction with the public, but the end result has been a public sometimes turned off by both sides.
The key at this point is actually making progress in closing the gap between the two sides. It’s great that they have these meetings planned, but the next step that has to be taken is actually getting something productive out of these sessions.