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Cautioning that the deal is not yet done, Dawkins is confident the final issues will be settled.

“De and those guys will continue to hash those things out,” he said, referring to NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith. “We have nothing but 100 percent trust in De. He knows what we want. He knows what obviously we need.”

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AP Sports Writers Teresa M. Walker, in Nashville, Tenn., and Pro Football Writer Arnie Stapleton in Englewood, Colo., contributed to this story.