ESPN's John Clayton - better known for his role as Mr. Mackey on South Park - answered a few questions from fans in a mailbag article yesterday morning. As Mike Florio pointed out, Clayton revealed an interesting little nugget that seemed to go unnoticed by most NFL fans and media alike.
Apparently, the players were actually interested in meeting with the owners last week and possibly "settling this mess" but the NFL shot down the idea. From Clayton:
The players, according to multiple sources, planned to meet with the owners March 28 and spend the week settling this mess. All that had to be done was have a short document go to federal judge Susan Nelson's court saying that the NFLPA's executive board would serve as advisors. The NFL's answer was no. This will be the only way a deal can be reached. Like you, we all wish both sides would go to the bargaining table instead of the courts.
Glad to see that progress is being made. At this rate, we might actually get to see football by 2013.
Stay classy, NFL.