Hall of Fame defensive end Carl Eller says he thinks a deal to end the NFL lockout will be reached this week — and that retired players won’t stand in the way of an agreement.

Eller and lawyers for retired NFL players joined labor talks for about seven hours Tuesday in New York as signs mounted the dispute might almost be over. After leaving the negotiations, Ellerheaded to a meeting with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.

“They want to get these games going, and they want to have a season. That’s their focus,” Eller said.

He said “there’s still a lot more to be done” when it comes to benefits for former players, but that could be resolved after the main dispute is settled.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.