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Day 2 of mediation: six more hours of mystery

WASHINGTON — Commissioner Roger Goodell, union executive director DeMaurice Smith and members of their negotiating teams participated in a second consecutive six-hour session with a federal mediator Saturday, trying to spur progress less than two weeks before the league's labor deal expires.

They're not revealing how it's going. Neither Goodell nor Smith stopped to take questions as they left Saturday's meeting at the office of George Cohen, director of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service, a U.S. government agency.

They met with Cohen for the first time Friday after agreeing to the mediation, which is not binding but is meant as a way to initiate progress in the slow, sometimes contentious bargaining.

The plan calls for several days of negotiations with Cohen, who asked participants not to comment publicly on the process.

The collective bargaining agreement runs out at the end of the day March 3.

Ruling: former safety committed suicide: Dave Duerson, a four-time Pro Bowl safety who won two Super Bowls, committed suicide by shooting himself in the chest, the Miami-Dade County medical examiner said in a ruling reported by a Chicago TV station. In a text message to family members, Duerson asked that his brain be left for research, the station said. Duerson, who won Super Bowls with the Bears and Giants, was found dead Thursday in his home on Sunny Isles Beach in northeast Miami-Dade County. He was 50.

Bengals: Receiver Terrell Owens said the team went 4-12 last year because of the coaches and owner Mike Brown. "We really didn't have the coaching that we really needed to muster what we had on the offensive side of the ball," he said on the NFL Network. Of Brown, he said, "I think even before I got there, they said the owner was a little different. Obviously, I saw that."

Ratings: Last year's scouting combine was watched by 5.2 million people on the NFL Network, the Miami Herald reported. That is a better number than major-league baseball gets on ESPN, though ESPN is in 43 million more homes. This year's combine begins Thursday in Indianapolis.

Obit: Ollie Matson, a Hall of Fame running back who was once traded for nine players during his 14-year career and won two track medals at the 1952 Olympics, has died at 80. He died Saturday of respiratory failure at his Los Angeles home. The third overall pick by the Chicago Cardinals in 1952, he was traded to the Los Angeles Rams for nine players in 1959.

Day 2 of mediation: six more hours of mystery 02/19/11 [Last modified: Saturday, February 19, 2011 8:55pm]
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