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Meetings designed to update owners on status of negotiations

ROSEMONT, Ill. -- The NFL will stage a crucial owners meeting near Chicago's O'Hare International Airport on Tuesday, with the lockout now well into its fourth month.

Accordingly, a number of league executives, owners and members of the NFL's legal team arrived for prep work on Monday afternoon. The league's labor committee had a late afternoon meeting that lasted for two hours, with Tuesday's general session set to kick off at 10 a.m.

In attendance were NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, general counsel Jeff Pash, and outside counsel Bob Batterman, as well as labor committee co-chairmen Jerry Richardson and Pat Bowlen, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, Giants owner John Mara, Bengals owner Mike Brown, Chiefs owner Clark Hunt, Steelers president Art Rooney, Chargers president Dean Spanos and Packers CEO Mark Murphy.

Tuesday's meeting was originally scheduled as a one-day session, but clubs were advised last week to be prepared for the proceedings to spill into Wednesday. No formal votes are scheduled for the meetings, with the labor committee and Goodell having completed three sets of clandestine negotiations with the players.

"We're giving the clubs a briefing on the status of the labor discussions," Pash told NFL Network. "And we'll allow them to ask any questions, give them a legal update on the status of the various court actions, and just make sure they fully understand everything that's happened over the last month and make sure they're fully informed as we proceed through the end of this month and into July."

The last owners meeting happened in Indianapolis the week before the "secret" sessions between the players and owners commenced. The parties held talks in suburban Chicago from May 31 - June 2, running up to the June 3 injunction appeal hearing before the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in St. Louis, then met again on June 7 and 8 on Long Island, N.Y., and June 14 and 15 on Maryland's Eastern Shore.

So much has occurred since the 32 clubs last met under the same roof.

Pash said that on Tuesday, "They get a chance to ask questions, and more importantly, they get a chance to talk to each other and hear from other owners. I think that's always valuable."

Pash added that the idea isn't necessarily to have everyone thinking the same way, but to have a full understanding of where things stand.

"It's at least leaving here with the same information," Pash said. "People will have different views on things, I think that's inevitable. But at least they'll have common information."

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