NFL, players union ordered into settlement talks on AP suspension

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The days are being counted until the Vikings open training camp, and it appears last season's biggest off-the-field story may finally be coming to an end.

The Associated Press reports a federal judge ordered the NFL and the NFL Players Association into settlement negotiations regarding Adrian Peterson's suspension.

According to the report, U.S. Magistrate Judge Janine Mayeron set a settlement conference for Aug. 13 – just one half-hour after a previously scheduled hearing on the case in front of U.S. District Judge David Doty.

Mayeron's order notes that both sides "must meet in person or telephonically with one another on or before July 30, 2015."

According to 1500 ESPN, if the sides don't reach agreement prior to Aug. 6, she has ordered both to issue settlement positions for that Aug. 13 conference in Minneapolis.

"All participants should plan on spending the entire day and evening, if necessary, at this settlement conference," Mayeron wrote.

While the conclusion to the issue has continued in court, it won't have any bearing on Peterson's availability to play moving forward. The 30-year-old running back's suspension already came to an end, but the league and players union have continued to squabble over the legal precedent.

The players union filed a petition on behalf of Peterson last November seeking a rejection of NFL arbitrator Harold Henderson's decision to deny Peterson's appeal. Judge Doty sided with the union and the NFL appealed.

Peterson missed the final 15 games of last season after he was placed on the players' exempt list – then suspended – by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.

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