WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 11: (L to R) New York Giants owner John Mara, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, and Pittsburgh Steelers president Art Rooney II walk together as they depart after failing to reach an agreement in labor talks at the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service building March 11, 2011 in Washington, DC. Representatives from the National Football League (NFL) and National Football League Players' Association (NFLPA) continue to negotiate a labor dispute as a deadline looms at the end of a 7 day extension of talks. (Photo by Jonathan Ernst/Getty Images)
The NFL owners are descending upon New Orleans for their annual league meetings on Monday and Tuesday and given the current labor situation it's not a stretch to say these are the most important league meetings in NFL history.
There won't be any negotiating with the NFLPA done in these meetings but there will likely be some labor talk. Here's a run down of what we expect the topics of conversation to be at the league meetings this week.
Plenty of labor talk. I imagine the NFL owners will be planning their next move, if there is a next move, in the NFL lockout. They're all gathered in one room so they'll be figuring out their strategy of handling the lockout moving forward. Let's hope that strategy entails agreeing to a deal and starting free agency immediately.
Proposals to change a few rules. There are a few rule change proposals that will be discussed as well including moving the kickoff from the 30 to the 35-yard line and touchbacks from the 20 to the 25-yard line. Along with the elimination of a third challenge and an automatic review of all scoring players, these are the most visible rule change proposals. They'll discuss these and determine what they want to do.
Compensatory picks aren't on the agenda. Usually this is the time of the year the league announces compensatory picks but, according to Mike Reiss of ESPN.com, compensatory picks won't be announced this week.
Also not being announced is opening weekend schedule. The NFL also usually announces the primetime games for opening weekend but, also according to Reiss, that's not on the agenda. For fans, that's one of the best parts of these annual league meetings so that's disappointing that we won't hear that.