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NFL, NFLPA Release Statement On 'Secret Meeting'

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On Friday, the NFL and NFLPA presented their arguments before the Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals about the ongoing lockout. The NFL wants to keep the lockout in effect for the foreseeable future, whereas the NFLPA wants the lockout to be lifted for good.

Before the two sides headed to court, they secretly met earlier this week. Well, at the time of the meeting it was a secret, but news of it didn't take long to leak out. As a result, the NFL and NFLPA released a joint statement about it.

"The parties met pursuant to court mediation. Owners and players were engaged in confidential discussions before Chief Magistrate Judge Boylan. The court has ordered continued confidentiality of the mediation sessions."

Mediation that was scheduled for next week was canceled in the wake of the meeting in order to begin settlement talks. While there is no telling just how much progress is being made, this certainly isn't a bad sign.

A ruling on the case isn't likely to be made until the end of June, so in the meantime the hope is that a deal can be worked out between the NFL and NFLPA. If there is still no agreement once the ruling comes down, one side will gain a whole lot of leverage. That could either bring an end to the lockout or result in another stalemate, so the best-case scenario would be for the two sides to work something out before a ruling is made one way or the other.