NFL Lockout: League, NFLPA Confirm Meetings

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - APRIL 19: Linebacker Mike Vrabel of the Kansas City Chiefs and NFL players' lawyer Barbara P. Berens leave court ordered mediation at the U.S. Courthouse on April 19, 2011 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Mediation was order after a hearing on an antitrust lawsuit filed by NFL players against the NFL owners after labor talks between the two broke down last month. (Photo by Hannah Foslien /Getty Images)

It's been widely reported that officials from the NFL and NFLPA met in Chicago on Wednesday and again on Thursday to discuss the NFL lockout. We thought at one point that the two sides had gotten together on their own which could have provided us with some legitimate optimism that they were working on getting a deal done.

As it turns out, they -- and they includes Kansas City Chiefs LB Mike Vrabel -- were brought there by the mediator so this was basically court-ordered (H/T Aiken_Drum).

The two sides released a joint statement on Thursday afternoon that reads like this:

"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."

OK, back to waiting for this thing to end.

The next big date is Friday, where we'll hear arguments from both sides as to why the lockout should or shouldn't be lifted, and then a ruling coming on that likely in a few weeks.

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