- The Washington Times - Friday, July 22, 2011

The NFL lockout remained in effect into Friday night because players had not voted on whether to approve the proposed 10-year deal that owners ratified Thursday.

“Player leadership is discussing the most recent written proposal with the NFL, which includes a settlement agreement, deal terms and the right process for addressing recertification,” Kevin Mawae, president of the NFL Players Association, said in a statement Friday morning.

NFLPA officials are expected to continue discussing their options throughout the weekend, and a move to ratify the deal could occur at any time. NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith was in Massachusetts on Friday to attend the funeral of Myra Kraft, wife of New England Patriots owner Bob Kraft.

Some players reacted negatively Thursday night after learning details of the proposal, yet none publicized specific reasons for their displeasure, leaving the public wondering why the players would not approve a deal that they negotiated.

“The truth of the matter is we got tricked, duped, led astray, hoodwinked, bamboozled!” Washington Redskins union representative Vonnie Holliday wrote on his Twitter account Thursday night.

Meanwhile, officials at Redskins Park waited to learn when they could open the facility to players.

The next step toward that milestone is for all 32 player representatives of the NFLPA to recommend accepting the deal, which settles all pending litigation between the league and the NFLPA. The 10 plaintiffs named in the players’ lawsuit against the league would have to sign off on the deal and inform the court of their approval.

The NFLPA then would have to recertify as a union, as it has been operating as a trade association since the lockout began. A majority of the 1,900 NFL players must vote in favor of recertification.

Only after the union recertifies can it collectively bargain remaining issues, which include drug and steroid testing, benefits and the personal conduct policy.

Owners ratified their proposal Thursday in Atlanta by a count of 31-0, with the Oakland Raiders abstaining.

“It is a good agreement,” NFL lead negotiator Jeff Pash said Thursday. “We expect it to be ratified. We believe it can be ratified on a timely basis. If something else happens, we will have to adjust our thinking.”

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