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If players approve the agreement, team facilities would open Saturday, and the new league year would begin Wednesday, with full free agency and the opening of training camps.
"I can't say we got everything we wanted to get in the deal. I'm sure (players) would say the same thing," New York Giants owner John Mara said. "The best thing about it is our fans don't have to hear about labor-management relations for another 10 years."
He didn't say anything about the next few days.
The old CBA expired March 11, when federally mediated negotiations fell apart, and the owners locked out the players hours later. Since then, teams have not been allowed to communicate with current NFL players; players -- including those drafted in April -- could not be signed; and teams did not pay for players' health insurance.
Final issues involved how to set aside three pending court cases, including the antitrust lawsuit filed against the NFL in federal court in Minnesota by Tom Brady and nine other players. Pash, the NFL's lead negotiator, said the owners' understanding is that case will be dismissed.
One thing owners originally sought and won't get, at least right away, is expanding the regular season from 16 games to 18. That won't change before 2013, and the players must agree to a switch. Most oppose a longer season, claiming it will increase the risk of injuries and shorten careers.
"We heard the players loud and clear. They pushed back pretty hard on that issue," said Atlanta Falcons president Rich McKay, chairman of the league's competition committee.
Goodell also announced that owners approved a supplemental revenue-sharing system, something Smith noted in his email to team reps.
"Obviously, we have not been a part of those discussions," he wrote.
Even after all acceptable terms are established, a deal would lead to a new CBA only if NFLPA team reps recommend re-establishing the group as a union, which must be approved by a majority vote of the 1,900 players.
In March, when talks broke down and the old CBA expired, the NFLPA said it was dissolving itself as a union and instead becoming a trade association, a move that allowed the players to sue the league under antitrust law. But only a union can sign off on a CBA.
The deal would make significant changes in offseason workout schedules, reducing team programs by five weeks and cutting organized team activities (OTAs) from 14 to 10 sessions. There will be limited on-field practice time and contact, and more days off for players.
Current players would be able to stay in the medical plan for life. They also will have an injury protection benefit of up to $1 million of a player's salary for the year after his injury and up to $500,000 in the second year after his injury.
A total of $50 million per year will go into a joint fund for medical research, health-care programs, and charities.
If the players approve the deal, the NFL would get back to work right away:
On Saturday, teams can stage voluntary workouts at club facilities, and players may be waived. Contracts can be re-negotiated and clubs can sign draft picks and their own free agents. Teams can also negotiate with, but not sign, free agents from other clubs and undrafted rookies.
On Sunday, teams can sign undrafted rookies.
On Wednesday, free agency opens in full, and all training camps will open with a 90-man roster limit; activities that day will be limited to physicals, meetings and conditioning. All clubs must be under the salary cap.
But first, the players must approve the deal. Buffalo's Wilson said he was not aware of a players' vote having been scheduled for Friday.
"We treat this like a football game: You have one bad play, move on to the next play. You don't sit and harp on the negative plays," Wilson said. "Ultimately, tomorrow's a new day."
Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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