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NFL Lockout Finally Over as Players, Owners Agree to Deal 14

Posted: July 25, 2011, 2:38 PM ; Updated: July 25, 2011, 2:52 PM

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The NFL Players Association executive board and 32 team reps voted unanimously Monday to approve the terms of a deal with owners to the end the 4-month lockout.

Owners overwhelmingly approved a proposal last week, but some unresolved issues still needed to be reviewed to satisfy players; the owners do not need to vote again.

The sides worked through the weekend and wrapped up the details Monday morning on a final pact that is for 10 years, without an opt-out clause, a person familiar with the deal told the AP on condition of anonymity.

Owners decided in 2008 to opt out of the league's old labor contract, which expired March 11. That's when the owners locked out the players, creating the NFL's first work stoppage since 1987.

NFLPA head DeMaurice Smith stepped outside of the group's headquarters in Washington at about 2 p.m. to announce that players approved the pact.

"I know it has been a very long process since the day we stood here that night in March," Smith said. "But our guys stood together when nobody thought we would. And football is back because of it."

As he spoke, Smith was flanked by NFLPA president Kevin Mawae, Saints quarterback Drew Brees, Colts center Jeff Saturday and Ravens defensive back Domonique Foxworth, key members of the players' negotiating team. Brees is one of 10 plaintiffs in the antitrust lawsuit that players filed against the league.

Moments later, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell walked into the building, joined by owners Bob Kraft of the New England Patriots, John Mara of the New York Giants and Jerry Richardson of the Carolina Panthers.

"I believe it's important that we talk about the future of football as a partnership," Smith said.

A tentative timeline would allow NFL clubs to start signing 2011 draft picks and rookie free agents on Tuesday. Conversations with veteran free agents also could start Tuesday, and their signings could begin Friday.

Under the proposed schedule, training camps would open for 10 of the 32 teams on Wednesday, 10 more on Thursday, another 10 on Friday, and the last two teams on Sunday.

Both sides set up informational conference calls for Monday afternoon to go over the details of the agreement. The NFLPA told player agents they would be coached in particular on the guidelines and schedule for signing free agents and rookies; the NFL alerted general managers and coaches they would be briefed in separate calls.

Copyright 2011 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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14 Comments

this season is going to be prettttttyyyyyy weirdddddd

how long does it take to say yes or no. i mean football used to be about the game but now its about money

Its about time. I think theyre a bunch of babies. They're already making millions of dollars.

excacltly football used to be about the sport now its all about money

I'm with ya on that!It took 4 and a half months to get it over with.

I feel bad for all of the rookies, new coaches, and players that moved to new teams because they don't have the luxury or advantage of the extra time provided in past years to learn the new plays or figure out the offense /defense etc. But the veteran players, returning to their old team have it just as bad. Especially if the have a new coach. Even if they don't have a new coach, it's still going to be complicated withthe time cut. Football should be interesting.

Yeah Buddy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

start buying your tickets folks, cause its skins time! to bad they took out 10,000 seets at Fedex Field. it had 91,791 seats, but now it only has 81,971 seats.

finally!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Yeaaah Buddy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Finally! I was getting very nervous that there would be no season! That would not go over well with me! Reply if u agree

of course if would be so awakward!!!!

Finally!!!!!!!!!

Heck yeah!!!!!!

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