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NFL Lockout: Jerry Jones, Robert Kraft Attend 'Secret Meeting'

Roger Goodell met with DeMaurice Smith along with some NFL owners including Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft in Chicago on Wednesday and Thursday in effort to move closer to ending the NFL Lockout. More importantly, though, a mediator was in attendance - U.S. Magistrate Judge Arthur Boylan. 

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This shows that both sides are looking to get a deal done. It's actual action instead of hollow words to the media - something that fans should definitely be excited about. 

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Further, mediation in a Minnesota court between the NFL and NFLPA scheduled for next week has been cancelled. SB Nation's Joel Thorman points out why this is actually good news:

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They're actually moving into settlement talks instead of mediation sessions. The last time these two sides entered into settlement talks in a situation like this was in 1993 which ultimately resulted in the CBA that presided over the league until last March. So, if history matters -- and I'm really hoping it does -- we could see a similar arrangement.

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Of course, it might just be blind optimism that the two sides will come to an agreement soon. I still think that we'll see a full 16 game NFL season this year - so I'm not particularly worried yet. The NFL can't afford to take a year off either reigning MVP Tom Brady's or Peyton Manning's careers. 

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Photographs by jamesbrandon, jdtornow, phlezk, flygraphix, mcdlttx, tomasland, and literalbarrage used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.