Reports: Agreement Reached, Vote May Ensue

There are conflicting reports as to how close owners and players are to a new CBA.

Posted by Mike Duffy on Sunday, July 24th, 2011 at 2:05 pm | Categories: Mike Duffy

There are conflicting reports as to how close NFL owners and the NFL Players Association are to a new collective bargaining agreement, but it seems that a Monday meeting of the NFLPA executive committee in Washington D.C., is a positive sign.

According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, both sides have agreed to a new labor deal that would span 10 years.

Schefter reports that the agreement must carry a majority vote from the league’s 1,900 players, but the vote is a formality.  He says the NFLPA is planning to hold a press conference on Monday after the executive committee first votes on the deal.
"The NFL Players Association and the league’s owners have reached agreement on the remaining points needed in their 10-year labor deal, sources from both sides said," Schefter wrote.

But, a person with knowledge of the NFLPA’s plans told The Associated Press on Saturday that a vote could happen, "it just depends on what guys feel about what happened this weekend … but (they) are not committing that the executive committee is going to vote on anything."

The AP’s source said that on Saturday, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and NFLPA Executive Director DeMaurice Smith spoke on the phone, and lawyers from both sides worked to clarify language. That work is still in progress, the person said.

He said Monday’s meeting will be "to understand where things stand after this weekend’s conversations. No talk of not voting, no talk of vote." 
Owners voted to ratify the settlement last Thursday with a 31-0 ballot (the Oakland Raiders abstained), with the expectation that the NFLPA would do the same.

But, the NFLPA wanted to examine some of the details more closely over the weekend.

Shortly after the players ratify the deal, training camp and free agency could begin the same day.  ESPN reports that there is an expectation free agency and camps will start next Saturday. 

If things go the way several reports anticipate, players could start returning to team facilities on Wednesday to vote whether to recertify as a union and accept the new CBA.  If that happens, clubs could begin contract negotiations with their own players ahead of the market officially opening.

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