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Players and Owners Continue to Meet and Make Strides

Round 4 of the “secret” negotiations is over. Round 5 is coming soon – perhaps to a suburban locale near you.

NFL owners and players met for the second straight day in Hull, Mass., 18 miles south of Boston, as they attempt to close in on a collective bargaining agreement.

“The players and owners were here over the last two days,” Commissioner Roger Goodell said Thursday as he stood next to players association chief DeMaurice Smith. “De and I were here for the entire meetings also. And it’s complicated and it’s complex, but we’re working hard and we understand the fans’ frustration. But I think both of us feel strongly that we’re going to continue to work hard at it.”

A league statement said the sides will have more meetings. Those talks are expected next week; in the last four weeks, the owners and players have met outside of Chicago, New York and on the Maryland shore before heading to the beachside in New England.

Among those at the meetings were owners John Mara of the New York Giants, Jerry Richardson of the Carolina Panthers, Clark Hunt of the Kansas City Chiefs, Robert Kraft of the New England Patriots and Dean Spanos of the San Diego Chargers.

Smith was there along with several players, including Jeff Saturday of the Indianapolis Colts, Tony Richardson of the New York Jets, and Domonique Foxworth of the Baltimore Ravens.

“Someone asked me whether I was optimistic,” Smith said. “I think we’re both optimistic when we have the right people in the room. We know we’re talking about the right issues and that we’re working hard to get it done.”

The latest talks took place at the Nantasket Beach Resort and concluded late Thursday afternoon.


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