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“Obviously when you go through something like this it is painful for everybody,” Goodell said. “Most importantly, it is painful for our fans. We are sorry to have to put our fans through that, but it is something that in the short term you sometimes have to do to make sure you get the right kind of deal for the long term and make sure you continue to grow the game.”

The dispute even made its way to the campaign trail, with President Barack Obama’s spokesman, Jay Carney, calling Thursday “a great day for America.”

“The president’s very pleased that the two sides have come together,” Carney said.

AP sports writer Rachel Cohen and AP pro football writer Barry Wilner in New York, AP pro football writer Howard Fendrich in Washington, and AP sports writer David Ginsburg in Baltimore contributed to this report.