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Monday, July 25, 2011 - 3:47pm

The NFL appears to be back in business after players and owners worked out a ten-year deal.

NFL owners and players have agreed to end the longest work stoppage in league history.

"It's a long time coming, and football's back and great for the fans", declared NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.

The deal was finalized in the wee hours of the morning -- now players are being asked to sign off on it.

"At the end of the day, neither side got what they wanted, but it's fair deal that will stand the test of time", said New York Giants owner John Mara.

"Our guys stood together when no one thought we would, and football is back because of it", said DeMaurice Smith of the NFL Players Association.

Shuttered training facilities are free to open tomorrow, and now the race is on to sign rookies and free agents.

The lockout began March 11th and, over the weekend, negotiators put the finishing touches on a ten-year pact that will split nine billion dollars in revenue, of which owners will get 53 percent and players 47 percent.

"We stand on eve of day when football returns... the thing they love the most”, said Kevin Mawae of the Players Association.

The NFL's last work stoppage was in 1987, and this time former New York Giant George Martin says current players got a fair deal.

"We were on strike 57 days during the regular season, but they got an awful lot done in the final analysis”, said Martin.

For football fans, it's welcome news.

Now the league is hustling to get ready for a season that starts in just 45 days.
 

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