We haven't had a lockout update in a while because there hasn't been much meaningful news. As usual, we've been waiting and waiting to hear the fate of the lockout.
On Monday, NFL owners and players will resume mediation in Minnesota under U.S. Magistrate Judge Arthur Boylan. In general, I would rather have the two sides talking versus not talking but it doesn't appear anyone on either side expects the latest round of negotiations to result in a deal, according to Mike Freeman of CBSSports.com.
Privately, officials from both sides are saying this is a prototypical case of going through the court-ordered motions, just as both sides did during mediation in Washington, and as they did during the first round of mediation in Minnesota. They do it, as one source familiar with the negotiation process said, to give the public the appearance of trying.
Among the owners reportedly attending are New York Giants' John Mara, the Cincinnati Bengals' Mike Brown, the Pittsburgh Steelers' Art Rooney and the Carolina Panthers' Jerry Richardson. Kansas City Chiefs' Clark Hunt has been present at previous negotiations but apparently not this one.
We're trying not to give blow-by-blow updates in this space until real news comes through. There's just too much back-and-forth from both sides to follow it all and I think a lot of fans would prefer not to hear much about it until the league is announcing the start of free agency.
The next big date appears to be June 3 when the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals will hear arguments on the lockout. Shortly after that we'll find out whether the lockout is lifted or if it's here to stay.