NFL Lockout Finally Over

We’ve got labor peace in the NFL for 10 years with unanimous player rep approval.

Posted by Mike Duffy on Monday, July 25th, 2011 at 2:46 pm | Categories: Mike Duffy

“This is a good day for the NFL, all of its members, and fans of our league. I congratulate the Commissioner (Roger Goodell) and the Players’ Association leadership for reaching this agreement. We’re excited to have the players coming back to our facility in Owings Mills, and we know the coaches are chomping at the bit to get the team ready for the season.

I salute our Ravens’ players for the way they handled this process, particularly Domonique Foxworth, who was instrumental in getting this agreement completed.

“We want to thank our business partners, suite holders and season ticket holders for sticking with us during the lockout. Your faith and financial support in us is greatly appreciated. I’d also like to give a salute to members of our Ravens’ family, who continued to work hard and be productive in recent months. We’ll be ready for training camp and the season. It’s time for football.”

— Steve Bisciotti

By getting all 32 player representatives to approve the collective bargaining agreement pushed forward by the owners, the four-month NFL lockout was finally lifted on Monday.
 
The NFL Players Association’s executive committee actually one-upped the owners as owners voted 31-0 on the deal last week with the Oakland Raiders abstaining.   
 
“It’s been a long time coming,” said NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell in a press conference alongside NFLPA Executive Director DeMaurice Smith.  “Football’s back, and that’s the good news.”
 
The deal is set to last for 10 years without the ability for either side to opt out, meaning labor peace will continue in the NFL until 2021.
 
“Having a 10-year agreement is extraordinarily great for our game, but most importantly, our fans,” Goodell continued.  “Everybody worked hard, everybody had a passion and everybody believes in the game of football and what we can do to make this game better.  This agreement is going to make our game better.”
 
Reports surfaced heading out of the weekend that legal teams representing both sides negotiated some of the final details until 3 a.m. on Monday, finishing the session with an agreement on basic terms.
 
What was left was ratification by the player reps. 
 
“The part that was most impressive to me was when players and owners were able to sit across a table and dialogue,” said Indianapolis Colts center Jeff Saturday, who is a member of the NFLPA executive committee.  “Things started to happen.”
 
Now, the vote goes as a recommendation to the 10 plaintiffs in the Brady vs. NFL antitrust lawsuit, but those players are expected to agree to the settlement.  
 
Seeing Goodell and Smith flanked by the 13-member NFLPA executive committee – which includes Ravens cornerback Domonique Foxworth – and negotiating owners such as Jerry Richardson (Carolina Panthers), Robert Kraft (New England Patriots) and John Mara (New York Giants), the assembled group painted a picture of solidarity outside of Washington D.C.’s NFLPA headquarters.
 
“This is a good day for the NFL, all of its members, and fans of our league,” said Ravens Owner Steve Bisciotti.  ”I congratulate the Commissioner and the Players’ Association leadership for reaching this agreement. We’re excited to have the players coming back to our facility in Owings Mills, and we know the coaches are chomping at the bit to get the team ready for the season.
 
“I salute our Ravens’ players for the way they handled this process, particularly Domonique Foxworth, who was instrumental in getting this agreement completed.”
 
The NFL Network also reported that the Ravens will begin training camp at their Owings Mills, Md., headquarters on Wednesday, 15 days before of their first preseason game, which is scheduled for Thursday, Aug. 11.
 
The league year is expected to officially begin on Aug. 4, the deadline for official ratification of the deal on both sides and the union’s recertification.
 

Ed Reed Reacts to End of NFL Lockout
Right Click for Full Screen Option

Until then, reports indicated that there is an agreement that will allow for transitions to take place.  According to NFL Network, clubs can begin negotiating with free agents – both their own and those who were with other teams – on Tuesday, which also marks the opening of a trading period and team facilities for training and classroom work.
 
On Thursday, the waiver period begins and teams can start cutting players, and full free agency opens on Friday.
 
“We want to thank our business partners, suiteholders and season ticket holders for sticking with us during the lockout,” Bisciotti said.  “Your faith and financial support in us is greatly appreciated. I’d also like to give a salute to members of our Ravens’ family, who continued to work hard and be productive in recent months. We’ll be ready for training camp and the season. It’s time for football.”

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