NFL brass gathers in SoCal for league meetings

DANA POINT, Calif. — There’s no mistaking that the NFL circus is in town.

The circular lobby of the St. Regis Hotel, the ultra-swank setting for the league meetings, has been buzzing with all sorts of talk from a wide variety of football people. It is somewhat surreal to be standing on a beautiful marble floor, around several perfectly trimmed, potted juniper plants and talking about the trade value of Jay Cutler, Anquan Boldin and Julius Peppers.

Team owners, executives, head coaches and their families are pouring in from all over the map. For wives and children, this represents a traditional offseason vacation. The wife of a general manager from a Midwest team was heard complaining that the temperatures were “only in the 50s,” clearly not what she was expecting for Southern California.

Numerous media types are scattered around the lobby, positioning themselves to see everyone who enters through the front door. Watching Redskins owner Daniel Snyder arrive, I couldn’t help but wonder if he might have been lighter on his feet — now that there is a whole lot less cash in his wallet after the record-breaking free-agent contract he gave to DT Albert Haynesworth.

The three media headliners in the lobby: John Madden, Troy Aikman and Keyshawn Johnson. Johnson has seemingly been the man of the hour, drawing the biggest crowd of football people and reporters. He received a big hug from Madden and later was trading stories with Bengals coach Marvin Lewis.

Vic Carucci

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