According to NFL Network Reporter Albert Breer, the owners and players' representatives will be meeting in an undisclosed location this week in an attempt to bring an end to the NFL Lockout. This is the fifth time that the two sides have met in the month of June, each meeting lasting approximately five hours.
This week's talks follow sessions held in suburban Chicago (May 31-June 2), New York's Long Island (June 7-8), Maryland's Eastern Shore (June 14-15) and suburban Boston (June 22-23).
According to sources, the two sides seem to be within "striking distance" of making a deal, even though an NFC team executive believes that there are enough key issues left to resolve that what was built over the past few weeks of negotiations could crumble.
Most, including NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith, who spoke side-by-side together at the conclusion of their talks outside of Boston, are optimistic about a deal being struck within the next few weeks, effectively allowing the NFL to have a normal-ish 2011 season.
"Someone asked me if I was optimistic -- I think we're both optimistic when we have the right people in the room," Smith said. "We know we're talking about the right issues and we're working hard to get it done. It's extremely complicated. It requires a lot of hard work by a lot of people. But we're committed to getting something done. And we're going to keep working at it."
Hopefully the two sides come to an agreement soon. Writing about the lockout isn't nearly as fun as it looks.... and I'm sure it doesn't look much fun at all.
An agreement between the two sides needs to be struck by July 15 for the Bengals to be able to have their mini camp at Georgetown College again.