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Here’s how a deal can be done, now

NFL And Players Resume Mediation

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - MAY 17: NFL lawyer Bob Batterman arrives for court ordered mediation at the U.S. Courthouse on May 17, 2011 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. As the NFL lockout remains in place mediation was ordered after a hearing on an antitrust lawsuit filed by NFL players against the NFL owners after labor talks between the two broke down in March. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)

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This isn’t speculation. This isn’t a hypothesis. This is fact.

The NFLPA* is ready to do a deal. The NFLPA* is ready to commit to reformulating the union. But the NFLPA* doesn’t believe that it can be done without signed union cards.

And it won’t take two weeks to get the signed union cards. The NFLPA* is willing to agree to the proposed settlement and to commit to reforming as a union. The NFLPA* simply wants to wait until camps open to physically collect the cards.

The problem is that the NFLPA* believes that NFL lawyer Bob Batterman (pictured) is demanding that the owners require the NFLPA* to immediately reconstitute. And for the same reason that some owners think NFLPA* lawyer Jeffrey Kessler wants to blow up the deal, the NFLPA* now thinks Batterman wants to blow up the deal.

This one is simple. And the league needs to agree to it. Commissioner Roger Goodell and NFLPA* executive director DeMaurice Smith now trust each other. Goodell needs only to trust Smith for a week. Smith got the signatures needed to shut down the union, and he’ll get the signatures on the union cards to put it back together.

So while we’ve been making plenty of pleas to the players lately, he’s an open plea to the NFL. The players want to do this deal, but they want to do it their way. Let them do it their way, and a deal will be done.

NFL, the ball is in your court.

UPDATE: Based on what we’re currently hearing from the league, it looks like the NFL is willing to agree to those terms. Though it’s too early to declare that a done deal is coming, we’re finally moving in that direction.