Jim Irsay believes NFL players and owners can see eye-to-eye

2011 NFL LockoutJeff SaturdayNFLRoger GoodellChicago Tribune

Taking a second from busy hours in meetings, Jim Irsay didn't say anything that was earth shattering on Tuesday.

Work was to be done, there is cautious optimism. The same rhetoric that has been a staple of the always open and optimistic owner of the indianpolis Colts.

But in his statement at the recent owners meetings at the O'Hare Westin just outside Chicago in Rosemont, Irsay appealed to one of his longtime friends. He just happens to be on the other side looking over at this particular juncture.

"Jeff and I talked back more than a year ago," said Irsay of Colts center Jeff Saturday-who is the Colts player representative and a lead member of the player's negotiating team. "We talked and said there is going to be a time and a place where something can get done."

The time do so may be in the next couple of weeks, as the NFL Lockout begins to threaten the start of training camps and the preseason.

Already player and owner representatives have met in quasi secrecy to try and hash out details without the need of legal council. Reports from the Chicago Tribune say that more meetings are scheduled for Wednesday and Thursday in the Boston area.

Whether Irsay or Saturday are directly involved in those talks is uncertain, but according to the owner the do see eye-to-eye.

"He's a level headed guy who wants to get a deal done as well," said Irsay of Saturday.

When that will happen for sure, according to both Irsay and commissioner Roger Goodell, will come through due diligence on both sides, as a number of issues still remain on the table.

"The logic of people on both sides is saying 'Why get a deal October 1st or whenever when you could have had at July 7th or whatever,'" said Irsay. "It just makes sense to continue to continue to have a feeling of urgency and to work to try and get something done."

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