After meeting for approximately 16 hours the last two days, the NFL and player representatives are scheduled to resume talks again on Tuesday.
After a 10-hour mediation session Thursday, representatives of the NFL and the players met for approximately six hours Friday in their ongoing effort to mediate their differences in the Minneapolis courtroom.
The league was represented, as it was in the first day of negotiations, by Commissioner Roger Goodell, owners Clark Hunt (Kansas City), Art Rooney II (Pittsburgh), Jerry Richardson (Carolina) and Robert Kraft (New England) and Atlanta Falcons president Rich McKay. The players were represented by NFLPTA executive director DeMaurice Smith, who, despite being the head of a dissolved union, was able to be at the table because of he was retained as a lawyer by the players group, as well as current Viking Ben Leber
and former Viking Carl Eller. Eller is the first named plaintiff in the suit brought by former players to protect their interests in the event of a long-term lockout.
Both sides have been strongly urged not to discuss specifics of the case and neither side made any comment leaving the courthouse Friday, according to reports.
Both sides will take some time off before returning for talks at 10 a.m. CDT Tuesday in Minneapolis.
Vikings vice president of player personnel Rick Spielman appeared on the show PFT Live hosted by ProFootballTalk.com guru Mike Florio Friday and said the Vikings wouldn't look past taking one of the big two wide receivers – A.J. Green and Julio Jones – if one or both is still on the board when the Vikings are scheduled to pick at No. 12. Green is likely to be gone, but most draft forecasters have Jones still being available when the Vikings pick, which could make things interesting if Spielman is telling the truth and not just blowing smoke about the Vikings' interest in a wide receiver in the first round, saying, "Potentially if one of those receivers slides to 12 and Sidney Rice doesn't return, there are things you can do to fill that need as well."
The problem Spielman and other war room decision-makers will face is that they likely won't know if Rice can be re-signed prior to the draft, which will make for a sticky situation if it happens that way. Teams will be making decisions hoping they can fill their needs through free agency when an agreement is reached.
Vikings owner Zygi Wilf met with Minnesota legislators this week, urging them to support a stadium bill working its way through both houses of the State Legislature. Wilf said he is confident the pieces are in place to get a stadium deal done and is confident a positive outcome will result from the current stadium plan, although no site has yet been agreed upon.
It took him years to do it, but Aaron Rodgers has finally caught Brett Favre. The NFL released its list of top-selling jerseys over the past 12 months and Rodgers, the MVP of February's Super Bowl, was No. 2 on the jersey sales list – behind only Troy Polamalu of the Steelers. Favre still ranks 14th, although anyone who has been to a sports apparel store knows that $50 Favre replica jerseys are currently selling for less than $20. Adrian Peterson is right behind Favre in 15th place.
John Holler has been writing about the Vikings for more than a decade for Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this topic on our message boards. To become a subscriber to the Viking Update web site or magazine, click here.