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New Mediation Begins on Labor Front

The players and owners have begun a new round of mediation according to a court order.

Commissioner Roger Goodell, Carolina Panthers owner Jerry Richardson and New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft arrived at the federal courthouse in Minneapolis today for a court-ordered mediation session in front of a judge.

NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith was joined by attorneys, linebackers Ben Leber and Mike Vrabel, as well as Hall of Fame defensive end Carl Eller. Smith greeted reporters as he approached the building, but he didn't respond to questions. Asked about his hope for the session as he hustled to the entrance, Vrabel smiled and joked that he just hoped he wasn't late.

I wish I was more optimistic. These sides already tried this. They were so far apart that we ended up in the mess we are currently in. It is not even like the two sides wanted to do this because they were willing to start fresh and perhaps make concessions. They are doing this because they were ordered to do so.