Judge Susan Nelson told representatives from both the NFL and the NFLPA that she wants them to go back to mediation, and that mediation will take place, not in Washington D.C., but in Minneapolis.
The owners were hoping that they would be able to go back to mediation in Washington under George Cohen again but the players wanted mediation to take place somewhere else under somebody else. The players got their wish.
Judge Nelson appointed Chief Magistrate Arthur Boylan to conduct the mediation in Minneapolis, which is set to begin on Thursday.
Boylan will meet with the players representatives on Tuesday morning and the owners on Wednesday morning. Both sides must present a brief by Monday afternoon and mediation will begin on Thursday.
This will be the first time that the two sides have sat down together to attempt to come to an agreement since the NFLPA decertified over a month ago. If mediation works this time and the two sides come to a new Collective Bargaining Agreement, free agency could be open for a short period of time before the draft, allowing teams to fill some of the holes in their rosters by other means other than just the draft. This could be especially important for a team like the Bengals who are looking for a new quarterback after Carson Palmer demanded to be traded and is threatening retirement.
However, if the two sides can't come to an agreement before the draft, which is likely to happen, teams will need to fill the holes that exist in their rosters with inexperienced rookies that they won't even be able to contact once they're drafted. This year's draft could be much different than others in recent memory.