- Associated Press - Monday, July 18, 2011

Two people familiar with talks to end the NFL lockout tell the Associated Press that if an agreement is ratified by Thursday, team executives will be briefed starting that day on how the deal’s terms affect league business.

The people said the league’s 32 clubs were told Monday that topics would include the rookie salary system and guidelines for player transactions.

Owners are scheduled to hold a special meeting in Atlanta on Thursday, when they could ratify a new labor contract - if one is reached by then. Club executives would be briefed in Atlanta on Thursday and Friday.

Any tentative agreement also must be approved by players, including star quarterbacks Tom Brady, Peyton Manning and Drew Brees and the other plaintiffs in a federal antitrust suit against the league.

Members of the NFL Players Association’s executive committee and representatives of every team were heading to Washington by Wednesday, in preparation for a possible vote.

NFLPA spokesman George Atallah said the players would be gathering “with the hope they have something to look at, and with the hope we can move forward on this.”

Lawyers for the NFLPA and owners met Monday at a Manhattan law firm to work on ending the four-month lockout, the sport’s first work stoppage since 1987. They were joined in the afternoon by the court-appointed mediator, U.S. Magistrate Judge Arthur Boylan.

“The lawyers are hard at work in New York with the language and some of the things we agreed to last week,” Atallah said in Washington. “As for face-to-face meetings between the principals, we will do that as necessary.”

One issue standing in the way of a resolution, according to one person from each side of the dispute: Players want owners to turn over $320 million in benefits that weren’t paid during the 2010 season. Because there was no salary cap that season, the old collective bargaining agreement said NFL teams were not required to pay those benefits.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and NFLPA head DeMaurice Smith spoke to each other on the telephone Monday and were planning to keep in regular contact.

The sides are trying to forge a new deal in time to keep the preseason intact. The exhibition opener is scheduled to be the Hall of Fame game between the Rams and Bears on Aug. 7, and as of Sunday, no preseason games had been canceled.

Copyright © 2018 The Washington Times, LLC.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times is switching its third-party commenting system from Disqus to Spot.IM. You will need to either create an account with Spot.im or if you wish to use your Disqus account look under the Conversation for the link "Have a Disqus Account?". Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.


Click to Read More

Click to Hide