Half Way There
NFL owners approve new labor agreement; players must now decide.
NFL owners huddled in Atlanta have voted overwhelmingly in favor of a new ten-year labor agreement.
"There is an urgency to this. We want to have a full 2011 season, and that includes the 4 pre-season games, and we're up against the wall," NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said after the Thursday evening vote.
NFL owners call the tentative deal fair for everybody.
"In the end, it was worth all the angst and anxiety, nervousness over the last several months, because if you can come up with a 10 year labor agreement in sports and get to football and not worry about it for 10 years, it's great," said Philadelphia Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie.
The ball is now back in the players' hands.
NFL Players Association reps spent the day discussing remaining issues, among them, how to handle workmen's comp claims and the resolution of three pending court cases including an anti-trust lawsuit brought by ten players.
With an agreement by NFL players, the NFL says team facilities would open on Saturday.
The 32 teams could then sign draft choices and their own free agents before the general free agency period opens on Wednesday.
Still, before the locks can come off, the NFL players need to say "yes".
Until then, the season remains on hold.