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NFL ownership joins the party too

John Mara,  Robert Kraft

New York Giants owner John Mara, right, shares a laugh with New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft during a break in the NFL football owners meeting in Fort Worth, Texas, Wednesday, Dec. 15, 2010. (AP Photo)


Judging by attendance, Wednesday’s mediated negotiations between the NFL and NFLPA will be the most crucial yet. That’s hardly a surprise with the clock running out on this league year in, oh, 38 hours.

According to multiple reports, the entire NFL ownership labor committee is in the house on Wednesday. NFLPA President Kevin Mawae and Drew Brees also entered the fray for the first time on Wednesday. To this point, only one NFL owner had been at the meetings.

The NFL’s labor committee consists of Jerry Richardson (co-chair), Pat Bowlen (co-chair), Art Rooney, Clark Hunt, Mark Murphy, John Mara, Jerry Jones, Robert Kraft, Dean Spanos, and Mike Brown.

Richardson told Daniel Kaplan of Sports Business Journal he’s optimistic a deal can get done.

Folks we talked to in Indianapolis were skeptical of the mediated talks last week because no owners were in attendance. Now the decision makers are at least in the building.

Wednesday’s session is expected to be brief, with owners breaking for separate meetings between 12-1 p.m. ET. It’s possible the two sides could reconvene for meetings in the evening.