- Associated Press - Thursday, July 21, 2011

COLLEGE PARK, GA. (AP) - A person familiar with the negotiations tells The Associated Press that players are unlikely to vote Thursday on a tentative agreement to end the NFL lockout because they have not seen the full proposal approved by owners.

The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the process is supposed to be secret.

Owners overwhelmingly voted for a tentative agreement earlier Thursday, pending an OK from the players.

Players originally had been expected to vote Wednesday, but didn’t because there were unresolved issues. They held a conference call after the owners voted.


Before the call began, NFL Players Association head DeMaurice Smith wrote in an email to the 32 team representatives: “There is no agreement between the NFL and the players at this time.”

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP’s earlier story is below.

COLLEGE PARK, Ga. (AP) _ NFL owners voted overwhelmingly in favor of a tentative 10-year agreement to end the lockout, pending player approval.

Thursday’s vote was 31-0, with the Oakland Raiders abstaining from the ratification, which came after a full day of meetings at an Atlanta-area hotel. While owners pored over the terms, Commissioner Roger Goodell spoke on the phone several times with NFL Players Association head DeMaurice Smith, including filling him in on the results of the vote before it was announced.

“Hopefully, we can all work quickly, expeditiously, to get this agreement done,” Goodell said. “It is time to get back to football. That’s what everybody here wants to do.”

Players still had to sign off on the deal _ and they must re-establish their union quickly for the agreement to stand, the NFL said. Players didn’t vote on a full pact Wednesday because there were unresolved issues; they planned to have a conference call later Thursday.

However, Smith wrote in an email to the 32 player representatives shortly after the owners’ decision: “Issues that need to be collectively bargained remain open; other issues, such as workers’ compensation, economic issues and end of deal terms, remain unresolved. There is no agreement between the NFL and the players at this time. I look forward to our call tonight.”

Several players took to Twitter, expressing opposition to the proposal passed by the owners. Pittsburgh Steelers safety Ryan Clark wrote: “The owners want u to believe that they have been extremely fair everywhere and this is their ‘olive branch’ to finalize it.”

The four-month lockout is the NFL’s first work stoppage since 1987.

One game was taken off the schedule Thursday: The exhibition opener _ the Aug. 7 Hall of Fame game between Chicago and St. Louis _ was canceled.

“The time was just too tight,” Goodell said. “Unfortunately, we’re not going to be able to play the game this year.”

Story Continues →