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Kessler returns to the labor talks on Thursday

NFL And Players Resume Mediation

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - MAY 17: NFL players’ lawyers Jeffrey Kessler (L), Barbara P. Berens and James Quinn walk with former NFL Players Association executive director DeMaurice Smith after leaving 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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A revolving door has been installed at the talks between the NFL and NFLPA* given the number of times that lawyer Jeffrey Kessler has entered and exited the room.

The Twitter accounts of several media members indicate that Kessler was back on Thursday.

Like the last time Kessler returned, the move is being spun by some as progress. But whenever Kessler is involved, there’s reason to be concerned.

We’re concerned because the owners are leery of Kessler. Some believe he wants to push the Tom Brady antitrust lawsuit to a conclusion, no matter how many games or seasons are missed, in the hopes of scoring a monstrous antitrust verdict that could only be satisfied by giving the players equity in the 32 franchises and in turn making Kessler this generation’s Marvin Miller.

Indeed, the last time Kessler came in, he quickly was kicked out. Though he still has a role in the process, he needs to realize that his clients by all appearances prefer negotiation to litigation, compromise to cataclysm. If/when he understands that, then his presence won’t jeopardize the process. Until he does, the risk of an implosion is higher than it needs to be.