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Players and league ordered to negotiate

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The NFLPA and the League have been ordered back to mediated negotiations by US District Judge Susan Nelson on Monday. The Judge appointed Chief Magistrate Judge Arthur Boylan to serve as mediator and the two parties are supposed to meet in Boylan’s courtroom on Thursday. The decision comes in the wake of a flurry of letters exchanged among the parties regarding the resumption of the negotiations. Judge Nelson said she would take a couple of weeks to rule on the class spearheaded by the New England Patriots’ Tom Brady vs NFL et al case, during which the two sides should attempt to bridge their differences through mediated negotiations.

The NFL attempted to steer the negotiations back into the office of George Cohen of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service in Washington DC, but the Player’s Association would have none of that. They argued that the 16 days of negotiations overseen by Cohen led to an ultimate failure, therefore they saw little point in taking the matter back there. The real reason behind the Brady class’ position regarding Cohen’s office was probably fear though that the league would exploit a resumption of the negotiations there, in a separate case, by considering that such a move on the part of the players means the re-emergence of the NFLPA as a union-entity in the affair.

The projected framework for the new negotiations is aimed at making the whole deal process more efficient. Only Judge Nelson and Judge Boylan would be able to declare an impasse and issues the two sides agree on would be moved off the table, preventing the sides from bringing them up again.

In other news: NLFPA director DeMaurice Smith has been added to the Brady class counsel, following paperwork filed last Friday by the players. In a response-move, the National Football League added Robert M Cooper, an outside league counsel partner to its counsel.