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NFL Lockout: Mediation Session Scheduled For July 19

July 15 (next Friday) is considered to be one of the most important dates for the NFL labor negotiations between the owners and players. While it isn't necessarily a deadline, the thinking is that the labor dispute could take a turn for the worst if a deal is not reached by the 15th. The start of training camp will be threatened if this dispute lingers on past the 15th, and preseason games will be in jeopardy as well.

Because of the concern over actual football events being canceled, the hope is both sides will make enough progress next week to get something agreed to by the 15th. If they can't, Judge Arthur Boylan, the mediator in these negotiations, will hold another session on July 19.

The federal magistrate judge who is mediating the labor dispute between NFL owners and players has scheduled another session for July 19 in Minneapolis.

Judge Arthur J. Boylan set the meeting on Saturday, but made clear that both sides were free to continue their own sessions as they work toward a new collective bargaining agreement.

Boylan should have said the two sides must negotiate on their own to get something done. If this dispute lasts until the session on July 19, we could be in for some real trouble. Training camps would almost certainly be affected considering the Bears and Rams open camp on the 22nd, and preseason games would go from being in jeopardy to likely being canceled.

Basically, if the 19th comes and there is still no deal, I'm not so sure what good a session with Boylan will do. It's up to the two sides to get something done before then. If they can't, it seems to me that this situation could spiral out of control in a very bad way.