NFL owners meet in secret with union's Smith

Sports Network

, Last Updated: 4:49 PM ET

NFL owners and players, along with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and NFLPA head DeMaurice Smith, met with U.S. Chief Magistrate Judge Arthur Boylan on Thursday.

The two sides issued a joint press release:

"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."

The judge later stated that mediation sessions scheduled for next Tuesday and Wednesday in Minneapolis were canceled.

A report earlier in the Chicago Tribune stated that several influential owners such as Dallas' Jerry Jones and New England's Robert Kraft were on hand for the meetings.

Friday will see the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals in St. Louis hearing arguments on the owners' appeal of a lower court ruling to lift the NFL lockout.


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