Murmurs of progress in NFL's Nantasket talks

191543.jpg

Murmurs of progress in NFL's Nantasket talks

By Tom E. Curran
CSNNE.com Patriots Insider Follow @tomecurran
HULL - Since Paragon Park shut down in 1984, Nantasket hasn't been quite the same.

Until this week. Two days of meetings between players and owners at Nantasket Beach Resort wrapped up Thursday afternoon with NFLPA head De Smith and NFL commissioner Roger Goodell speaking together for the assembled media they'd tried to avoid. Asked if there was any symbolism to be drawn from the two men standing shoulder-to-shoulder, the two men jokingly blamed it on the rain. Still, there were murmurs of significant progress in these meetings which began Wednesday morning and went hard through Thursday. Fifteen rooms were rented at the resort for the party. Among those seen on the NFL side were Goodell, Pete Abitante, Greg Aiello, Patriots owner Robert Kraft, Chargers owner Dean Spanos, Giants owner John Mara, counsel Bob Batterman and counsel Dennis Curran. From the players' side were Smith, counsel Richard Berthelsen and Tom DePaso, Chiefs running back Tony Richardson, Ravens defensive back Domonique Foxworth, former Jet Pete Kendall, Colts center Jeff Saturday. Judge Arthur Boylan presided. I didn't spot him. Groups met in all of the conference rooms at the resort. Sometimes they were meeting together; sometimes they broke off into smaller groups. Albert Breer from NFL Network reported that this was the first time in this string of "secret" meetings that the two sides broached talk of the rookie wage scale. That's an advance and likely means that enough things are buttoned down to move on to something more onerous. The comments made after they were done weren't particularly revealing. "Obviously, were all working hard, Goodell said. The players and owners were here over the last two days. De and I were here the entire meetings. And its complicated, its complex, and were working hard. We understand the fans frustration, but both of us are continuing to work hard at it.Smith went next.Someone asked me whether I was optimistic, Smith said. I think were both optimistic when we have the right people in the room. We know were talking about the right issues. And were working hard to get it done. Its extremely complicated, it requires a lot of hard work by all the people, but were going to keep working at it.They were asked about the symbolism of standing there together.Its raining outside, and his car is right there, Smith said with a smile.

Tom E. Curran can be reached at tcurran@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Tom on Twitter at http:twitter.comtomecurran