For the NFL and the NFLPA the announcement of a 7 day, mediated marathon of talks will be like you or I running the Boston Marathon in heels. In other words, getting from the start to the finish is going to take a lot more than simply running the route. There is no guarantee that the two sides will meet for a full 7 days. In fact, one side or the other could easily get up and walk away and throw in the towel. Regardless of whether there is a mediator there or not.
Both sides have agreed to have a member of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service, a federal government agency that provides free mediation upon request.
That does not mean that a deal is any closer to being done. In fact, it only means that there will be someone sitting at the table for the two sides to look at and say “see, they are being completely unreasonable”. Honestly, I’m not sure if this is going to help the situation along to a conclusion but I do wonder if this might be a situation where the two sides hammer out a short term deal to keep the league moving until a better arrangement can be made.
Both sides are set to lose money and while the players will surely suffer more than the owners will, it should also be realized that some teams are starting to see serious bites taken out of their season ticket renewals which for most will end next week.
There is a two week deadline to these negotiations and according to an NFL Network report, both sides will begin these negotiations today. The owners have also moved a Ft. Lauderdale owners meeting to the D.C. area as well.
While this is a step in the right direction, it is far from the creation of labor tranquility. The FMCS has mediated or been involved with labor disruptions for the NBA, MLB, Soccer, and the NHL.
The NFLPA stated that this will be a complete media blackout, I will believe that when I see it.