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Jones, Kraft driving deal for owners

"Simply put, Jones may be the most powerful and respected owner in the NFL when it comes to making a deal. Kraft, who has been one of the major peace proponents for weeks, is a close second. The vast majority of owners look to Jones and Kraft for guidance and, over the past two days, the players have been happy to see Jones and Kraft in lockstep over getting a deal done. In many respects, Jones and Kraft are more powerful than NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. Goodell may be the face of the league, but he doesn’t have the body of owners completely under his control yet and that has become obvious in these talks. Instead, it’s Jones and Kraft who really have the ear of their brethren. That’s because, at the end of the day, Jones is a dealmaker. Say what you will about his tactics (Jones has long pushed for serious rollbacks in what the players make), but Jones doesn’t get so hardheaded that he does things just for the sake of doing them. That was true back when he pushed for better television contracts in the early 1990s. It was true when he worked out a new contract for Emmitt Smith in 1993. It was true when he helped solve the league’s problems with the cable companies in 2009. Jones understands that at the end of the day, it’s better to do a deal than do nothing." "As long as Jones and Kraft are at it, a solution may only be days away."

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