Key owners meeting on labor starts today

CHICAGO --- One day of owners' meetings could turn into two. Whether that's a sign of progress toward the end of the lockout and labor peace is debatable.


NFL owners will gather Tuesday, and perhaps into Wednesday, to discuss the status of negotiations with the players for a new collective bargaining agreement. This is the first meeting called by the league strictly for labor matters, and the 32 team owners and representatives who will be on hand were advised last week to prepare to stay an extra day.

In the past three weeks, groups led by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and NFL Players Association executive director DeMaurice Smith have made enough progress toward a CBA that it sparked optimism that training camps could open on time late next month, but no one is saying a deal is imminent.

- A group of NFL Hall of Famers is supporting a class- action lawsuit against the league, demanding better benefits for former players. Carl Eller , one of the plaintiffs, said the league has not done what is "fair and right" in supporting financial and medical concerns of former players.

He was joined at the National Press Club by Hall of Famers Lem Barney , Elvin Bethea and Paul Krause , among others, each of whom detailed the struggles they have had trying to receive benefits from the league.

"These are real people, real players and real pain," Eller said. "Football is a game; life is not. We are suffering from the game."

The former players said they wanted their concerns to be heard and considered in lockout negotiations.

BRONCOS: Denver defensive player Jason Hunter was struck in the left upper chest by a kitchen knife hurled at him by his girlfriend during an argument over cell phones, according to a police report obtained by The Associated Press.

Hunter told police the woman waved the knife and told him to stay back before throwing it "on accident" April 27. She then took her boyfriend to receive medical treatment and was arrested "after being pointed out by hospital security," the report said.

The officers who wrote the report said the girlfriend was angry about having found a bag of cell phones, which Hunter claimed "were not his and belonged to his boy."

Hunter's agent, Robert Walker , has said the player required several stitches.