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Monday, July 25, 2011

UnLOCKed: NFL Players Agree to New Collective Bargaining Agreement


According to NFL Network, The Associated Press and Fox’s Jay Glazer, NFL owners and players have agreed to a new collective bargaining agreement and are on the cusp of ending the 136-day old lockout, the longest labor stoppage in league history.
USA TODAY’s Jarrett Bell says the union will hold a press conference between noon and 2 p.m. ET today. The players executive committee and 32 team reps are expected to cast their final votes via conference call at 11 a.m. The plaintiffs in the Brady antitrust case are expected to rubber stamp the deal after that.
“It’s going well, we’ve got some good news,” Saints FB Heath Evans said on NFL Network. The league and (still decertified) NFLPA finally came to terms early Monday morning (around 3:52 a.m. ET according to Glazer).
Pending approval, all rookies (drafted and undrafted) could begin signing contracts tomorrow and free agents could also begin negotiating new deals. Teams can likely begin re-signing their own players right a way, though they may not be able to add ones from other teams until Friday.
Per Glazer, team facilities will open tomorrow, 1o teams will start training camp Wednesday, 10 more will open Thursday, 10 more on Friday and the final two -- the Jets and Texans according to NFL Network -- on Sunday. The NFLPA recertification process is expected to begin Tuesday; afterward, issues such as the player discipline processs, drug testing and pension benefits can be finalized.
Glazer said Colts C Jeff Saturday was a "rock star" for his role in helping to broker a deal while citing Patriots ownerRobert Kraft on the other side as they assisted NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith.
The owners ratified a 10-year agreement on Thursday by a vote of 31-0 (the Raiders abstained), but the players balked at approving immediately, taking the weekend to pore over various details and items they felt had been added by the league at the last minute.
Well I'm sure the players, their groupies and their wives are happy about this one. I can't cap, I'm happy too. I couldn't bear the thought of what the men at work would do without football and basketball. All I wanna say is Football back! Football back! *Rick Ross voice*

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