- Associated Press - Saturday, July 23, 2011

NEW YORK (AP) - A person with knowledge of the players association’s plans tells The Associated Press that the executive committee will meet in Washington on Monday.

The person says no vote is scheduled on the agreement to end the labor dispute or to recertify as a union. A vote could happen, “it just depends on what guys feel about what happened this weekend.”

The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the players association has made no announcement of its plans.

Owners approved a tentative agreement to end the four-month lockout on Thursday. But the players said they need more information before they can vote.

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

NEW YORK (AP) _ As lawyers for NFL players and owners spend the weekend trying to put the lockout to rest, many fans wonder when pro football will return. And when it does, just how ragged will the preseason look?

So ragged that the league and its 32 teams are considering ways to placate fans once a labor agreement is completed.

The Broncos said Saturday they plan to open Invesco Field for practice on Aug. 6. Vikings spokesman Jeff Anderson said the team is “considering a variety of ideas.”

The Hall of Fame game on Aug. 7 is already a casualty. Now, the hall will hold its annual pregame tailgate party and have Hall of Famers on hand for a meet and greet. That is one of 18 hall events scheduled for the weekend, including the Aug. 6 inductions.

“To be frank, there’s isn’t much you can do other than to do what we have, which is offer full refunds,” Hall of Fame vice president Joe Horrigan said. “The schedule of events is so full, there’s no reason to add another event. There’s no opportunity to use the stadium for any other thing.”

The players have yet to schedule a vote on an owner-approved proposal that would put the league back in business. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith spoke Saturday, and Smith has been directly involved in work on the legal language of the proposal.

The owners’ labor committee held a conference call, mostly for an update and to juggle the league calendar because Saturday was supposed to be the day team facilities opened. Those facilities won’t open before the NFLPA’s executive committee approves the agreement.

Exhibition games rarely feature star players for more than cameo appearances. Now, with no offseason training at team facilities, no minicamps and perhaps delayed camp openings, the big names could be on the bench until … September.

That would make many preseason games more like scrimmages, although they would provide increased opportunities for rookies and fringe players. The Bradys and Polamalus and Urlachers of the league might not see the field until the fourth and final exhibition, games the regulars usually skip.

“It would be smart of the league and the players to do something special for the fans for the first preseason game or two, at least one serving each team’s home fans,” said Marc Ganis, president of Chicago-based sports business consulting firm Sportscorp Ltd. “That could be free or discounted concessions or merchandise, free parking, photo and autograph opportunities with players _ especially those who will not be dressing for the game _ and other fan friendly marketing and interaction.”

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