It's been reported that leaders from the NFL and the NFLPA met privately in Chicago on Wednesday and Thursdayalong with Chief Magistrate Judge Arthur Boylan. Neither side has officially confirmed the meetings until they released a joint statement on Thursday afternoon.
"The parties met pursuant to court mediation. Owners and players were engaged in confidential discussions before Chief Magistrate Judge Boylan. The court has ordered continued confidentiality of the mediation sessions."
So it was the Judge who brought them together. They didn't do it on their own. That's a little bit of a let down considering we thought at one point that the two sides had agreed on their own to meet. If they had agreed on their own to meet, we could have reasons for optimism. But since this was essentially court-ordered, I'm not sure there's much we can draw out of it.
So let's get back to waiting for Friday's court hearing. After the court hears each sides' arguments, we'll likely have another couple of weeks before finding out what the future of the lockout is.