News broke today that the NFL and the Players Association have agreed to mediation over their current collective bargaining agreement negotiations. The Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service will conduct the meetings under Director George H. Cohen.
The talks will start tomorrow, Friday, Feb. 18, but, as expected, future meetings and the state of negotiations are not up for discussion with the public.
Color me skeptical on this new development. This could just be a PR move by both sides to make it look as if they want to settle this matter equitably. The FMCS has no power to make both sides agree to anything; rather it can recommend and offer suggestions. However, there are reports that both sides will now negotiate for seven straigh tdays.
The current collective bargaining agreement ends on March 3, giving the two sides on a matter of weeks to reach a new deal. If no deal is reached, a lockout of the players is expected.