For all intents and purposes the NFL lockout is finally over at the 131 day mark, as the NFL owners voted to approve the labor proposal today. Now the players need to vote on the proposal to make it official, also they will have to re-certify as a labor union before final approval.
Owners met today in Atlanta to hammer out some final details, which by all accounts was a rousing success, as the proposal passed with unanimous approval gaining 31 out of 32 votes, the only team to abstain being the Oakland Raiders.
It was thought that settling the Brady v. NFL lawsuit would be a final hurdle after reports indicated that both Patriots guard Logan Mankins and Chargers wide receiver Vincent Jackson, named plaintiffs, were demanding monetary compensation or an unresticted free agent designation to settle.
Apparently the NFL is not concerned with appeasing these requests, instead ignoring them while trudging forward to ratify “their” end of the deal.
Players remain steadfast that a deal is not imminent by any means until they have a chance to come together and vote. They say issues still remain unresolved they deem important, so the end may not be as close as we all think.
In fact Saints full back Heath Evans went to his twitter account to reveal the “truth” about just what the players think about the owners ratified and proposed CBA.
"Here is what the “real” fans need 2 know: The owners tried 2 slip many things n2 the CBA “they” voted on that were never agreed 2! #prplay"
The primary elements of the proposed deal include (Subject to NFLPA approval):
- New rookie wage scale (All drafted players signed to 4-year contracts)
- 120.4 Million salary cap in 2011
- Salary floor of 99% of the cap through 2011-2012
- Salary floor of 95% of the cap through 2013-2020
- Four preseason games at least through 2013
- $1 Billion additional allocation to retiree benefits
Realistically the owners are no longer going to “lockout” players from team facilities, which will re-open this coming Saturday. Free agency is also tentatively scheduled to start next Wednesday, July 27th. Football is as close to starting as it’s been in four months.