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Bizarre Twists Stifle NFL Labor Talks

AP Photo

Three weeks ago, as Roger Goodell and DeMaurice Smith broke bread in a midtown Manhattan restaurant, the leaders of the NFL’s warring labor factions projected a sense of mutual optimism. During a negotiation session earlier that day at a Long Island hotel, Smith and player representatives had suggested a new, “all-revenue” model for splitting up the billions of dollars generated annually by America’s most profitable professional sports league, and Goodell and the owners across the table seemed to embrace the idea enthusiastically.

Late Thursday afternoon, after another frustrating interchange between the two negotiating teams at a Minneapolis-area law firm that ultimately lasted past midnight, it was clear that labor peace – and an end to...

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