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Oral arguments end, judge encourages sides to negotiate

NFL And Players Resume Mediation

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - MAY 16: NFL players lawyer Barbara P. Berens (L), linebacker Ben Leber of the Minnesota Vikings, NFL players lawyer James Quinn and former NFL Players Association Executive Director DeMaurice Smith leave court-ordered mediation at the U.S. Courthouse on May 16, 2011 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Mediation was ordered after a hearing on an antitrust lawsuit filed by NFL players against the NFL owners that followed a breakdown of labor talks between the two in March. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)

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Now we wait. Again.

Oral arguments have concluded Friday in St. Louis, where the Eighth Circuit Court of appeals heard arguments regarding whether Judge Susan Nelson’s lifting of the lockout will be overturned or not.

Judge Kermit Bye encouraged both sides to continue working towards an agreement in coming days. Albert Breer of reports Bye said the ruling will come in “due course” and that would be one “neither side would like.” Bye reportedly encouraged the two sides to work their problems out on their own.

The question now becomes whether the Eighth Circuit will monitor negotiations between the NFL and NFLPA* and possibly hold their ruling if progress is being made.

Players and owners have a window to make some progress in the meantime. As fans, we can only hope they begin to feel the urgency.