BREAKING: DeMaurice Smith was at private meeting with owners last night

Jones and Richardson were both present at the private meeting in Chicago last night. (Photo by Hannah Foslien /Getty Images)

Per Chris Mortensen via Twitter he and ESPN's Adam Schefter are breaking the news that NFLPA head DeMaurice Smith was present in Chicago last night for a meeting with Roger Goodell, Patriots owner Robert Kraft, Cowboys Owner Jerry Jones, Steelers owner Dan Rooney, Giants owner John Mara and our own Jerry Richardson. As it five most influential owners on the labor front.

Hopefully this will mark some real and tangible progress towards bringing football back to fans in 2011. Furthermore, it shows a modicum of sensibility we haven't previously seen in these negotiations. I say this because lately it's seemed the labor dispute has become a battle of egos, rather than a genuine desire to get a deal done. If both sides can concentrate less on 'winning' the battle, and rather focus on getting a fair deal done, then I think we'll see football a lot sooner than I expected this season.

More news on the issue as it breaks

I will list any updates that come through Twitter here: 

Adam Schefter
These NFL-NFLPA meetings in Chicago were so secretive that there were other NFL owners that didn't even know about them Wednesday night.

NFL Networks Jason LaCanfora served as wet blanket... well, to a degree.

Jason La Canfora
Quick labor update : Kraft, Rooney, Mara, Jones, Richardson among owners at "secret" meeting. D Smith as well. Doesn't sound like any major breakthroughs occurred, though the fact the sides did get together and set it up last week is a nice step. I'm still betting on a deal coming together in late July/August. The sides are in court in St. Louis tomorrow. Also heard players were at Chi meeting

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