NEW YORK (WFAN/AP) — The NFL and its locked-out players have wrapped up their court-ordered talks and they may not meet again for weeks.
An attorney for the team owners, Jeff Pash, says a federal judge told both sides Wednesday that they probably won’t convene again until May 16 — nearly a month away.
It has been two weeks since a federal judge ordered the two sides back to the table. She is expected to decide soon on the players’ request to lift the lockout, which is the NFL’s first work stoppage since 1987. Her decision will almost certainly be appealed.
The two sides have spent four day with U.S. Magistrate Judge Arthur Boylan, following 16 days of failed talks in front of a federal mediator in Washington.
Some have questioned whether the two sides were committed to negotiating while awaiting U.S. District Judge Susan Richard Nelson’s ruling on whether to lift the lockout, now in its 40th day.
Players including Giants defensive end Osi Umenyiora and MVP quarterbacks Tom Brady and Peyton Manning filed the request for that injunction along with a class-action antitrust lawsuit against the NFL. The lawsuit has been combined with two other similar claims from retirees, former players and rookies-to-be, with Eller the lead plaintiff in that group.
With appeals expected, there isn’t a ton of time left when it comes to the 2011 season. The NFL released its regular season schedule Tuesday night, announcing that the season will open on Thursday, Sept. 8, with the Super Bowl champion Green Bay Packers hosting the New Orleans Saints.
That’s less than five months away, with free agency, trades and other roster decisions still up in the air while the lockout is in place.
The announcement of the schedule came with a big if, of course. The longer the labor strife drags through the court system, the more danger is posed to actual games being canceled.
How long will this drag on? Sound off in the comments below…
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