NFL Lockout Ends After Players Unanimously Approve New Deal

It's now over. The players have unanimously approved a new Collective Bargaining Agreement, ending the NFL lockout after 136 days.

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NFL Lockout Officially Ends As DeMaurice Smith Announces Players Ratify Deal

The NFL lockout is officially over, as NFL Players Association president DeMaurice Smith announced the news confirmed earlier that the players have unanimously approved the new labor deal. Speaking at a press conference in Washington D.C., Smith said he was proud of those who worked on the new deal and had a message for NFL fans.

"To our fans, I know you love this game as much as I do. I know it's been a very long process since the day we stood here on that day in March," Smith said. "But our guys stuck together when no one lese thought we would and football is back because of it. I'm proud of the men that you see behind me, I'm proud of the former players that have stood with us, and most of all, I dig our fans who love our game."

Smith did say that the union's recirtification efforts have only just begun, but it is now official that football is back. For much more on the end of the NFL lockout, head over to SBNation.com's massive StoryStream.

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NFL Lockout To End As Players Pass New CBA With Unanimous Vote

The NFL lockout is finally over. After 136 days of endless negotiations and false starts, the owners and players have agreed on a new Collective Bargaining Agreement. All that was left was for the players to do their part, and vice president George Atallah of the (sort of, since they decertified) NFL Players Association has confirmed they have on Twitter.

 

A joint statement officially announcing the news is expected shortly. It is still unclear if Atallah's tweet refers to the NFLPA* Executive Committee or all the players as a whole, but either way, there will be football again.

For much more on the end of the NFL lockout, head over to SBNation.com's massive StoryStream.

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NFL Lockout Ends As Owners, Players Agree To Terms, Pending Vote, According To Report

Football fans have apparently received a great present on Monday morning. FOX Sports' Jay Glazer is reporting that the owners and players have agreed on the terms of a new Collective Bargaining Agreement to end the NFL lockout. The two sides reportedly worked into the wee hours of the morning to hash out the arrangement.

The player representatives and the players themselves must still vote Monday to make it official, but that is merely a formality, Glazer reports.

The new arrangement has a different timeline than originally suggested, with Glazer reporting that some training camps could open as early as Thursday.

Sources within the negotiations told FOXSports.com that under the new agreement, the schedule will be different than originally reported. Under the new terms, team facilities will open as early as Tuesday and training camps will begin Thursday for 10 teams, Friday for another 10 and over the weekend for the remaining 12 teams.

For much more on the status of the NFL lockout, head over to SBNation.com's massive StoryStream.

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NFL Lockout All But Over, Players Expected To Approve Deal, According To Report

It looks like the NFL lockout is finally all but over. After arguing for months over a new Collective Bargaining Agreement and continuing that argument over the weekend, it looks like the players and owners have finally come to a deal. Mike Freeman of CBS Sports reports the players have agreed on the terms of the new CBA and are going to vote in its favor shortly. 

We've been fooled before, of course, but this seems legitimate. Progress was being made throughout the weekend after the players declined to vote on Thursday, and it looks like we're here now. 

Under this current timeline, if the players vote Monday, training camp would begin Friday and free agency would begin on Saturday. The facilities would re-open Wednesday, and the first preseason game would be on August 11. This, of course, all assumes the timeline remains the same as before.

For much more on the status of the NFL lockout, head over to SBNation.com's massive StoryStream.

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NFL Lockout: Players Will Not Vote On New CBA Until Monday, According To Report

It appears the NFL lockout will drag on until at least the rest of the weekend. The owners approved a new CBA Thursday, but the players have yet to vote and will not do so until Monday, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter.

Player reps emailed a letter to players saying, "We will meet again Monday to discuss our options and the direction we want to go."

This will likely affect the timeline for the start of free agency and training camp. Previously, the owners' timetable called for July 27 to be the opening day for both, but this could potentially push that back even further.

The owners ratified a new CBA on Thursday unanimously and handed it off to the players, but the players wanted to give it some time to consider some new additions the owners made. Training camp will likely open later now.

For much more on the status of the NFL lockout, head over to SBNation.com's massive StoryStream.

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NFL Lockout: Players Release Statement, May Not Vote Friday

The NFL Owners tried to pull a fast one on the players on Thursday by agreeing to a new version of the CBA that the NFLPA had never seen. They were probably hoping that the players didn't want to seem like they were unwilling to budge, and be forced into signing a CBA they didn't totally agree with. It looks like that isn't going to happen. A day after everyone was so sure the Lockout would end, the players likely won't be voting on the revised proposal. Here is an excerpt from a statement from NFLPA President Kevin Mawae.

"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. There will not be any further NFLPA statements today out of respect for the Kraft family while they mourn the loss of Myra Kraft."

So, it looks like the Lockout may last through the weekend. But things can always change, and who knows what this afternoon will bring.

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NFL Lockout: Players Release Statement, May Not Vote Friday

The NFL Owners tried to pull a fast one on the players on Thursday by agreeing to a new version of the CBA that the NFLPA had never seen. They were probably hoping that the players didn't want to seem like they were unwilling to budge, and be forced into signing a CBA they didn't totally agree with. It looks like that isn't going to happen. A day after everyone was so sure the Lockout would end, the players likely won't be voting on the revised proposal. Here is an excerpt from a statement from NFLPA President Kevin Mawae.

"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. There will not be any further NFLPA statements today out of respect for the Kraft family while they mourn the loss of Myra Kraft."

So now the Lockout is likely to drag into the weekend, which might mean that more preseason games are going to be in trouble of getting canceled. But, there is always the chance that things could change and the Lockout could end before expected. Fingers crossed.

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NFL Lockout: Players Do Not Vote On Owners' CBA Proposal On Conference Call

The NFL lockout will not end on Thursday night. Several hours after the owners approved a new Collective Bargaining Agreement unanimously, the NFL players have elected not to vote after several hours of outrage and claims the owners added new elements the players didn't know about.

The owners voted 31-0 on a new CBA, and commissioner Roger Goodell put forth a proposed schedule where NFL free agency would begin on Wednesday, July 27. But the players quickly objected to many things in the proposal. The latest: the owners' reported demand for them to re-certify as a union, which violates U.S. law.

Via Albert Breer of NFL.com:

"In addition to depriving the players of the time needed to consider forming a union and making needed changes to the old agreement, this proposed procedure would in my view also violate federal labor laws," the email read. "Those laws prohibit employers from coercing their employees into forming a union, and could result in any agreement reached through the procedure being declared null and void."

The email say the league "demands that the players re-form as a union and provide evidence by Tuesday, July 26 that a majority of players have signed union authorization cards."

ESPN's Chris Mortensen reported on TV that the players want to review the document overnight, but given the rhetoric of several players, most notably Redskins player representative Vonnie Holiday, it seems like there may be some feelings that need to be fixed.

For much more on the status of the NFL lockout, head over to SBNation.com's massive StoryStream.

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NFL Lockout: Redskins Player Rep Vonnie Holiday Says Players Were 'Duped'

As the NFL players continue to discuss what they believe was a dishonest CBA proposal by the NFL owners, some player representatives have been very adamant against the owners' deal. The players claim the owners have not sent the new proposal over and added several new things into the summary they did not agree on. The owners, obviously, disagree.

It appears Washington Redskins player representative Vonnie Holiday is among the most vocal players expressing their displeasure. Holiday has send out the following tweets.

Look guys I have no reason to lie! The truth of the matter is we got tricked, duped, led astray, hoodwinked, bamboozled!less than a minute ago via Echofon Favorite Retweet Reply

& I'm sorry you did too!less than a minute ago via Echofon Favorite Retweet Reply

 

The players' conference call is still ongoing.

For much more on the status of the NFL lockout, head over to SBNation.com's massive StoryStream.

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NFL Lockout: NFL Owners Approve CBA Players Haven't Seen, According To Report

It's looking more and more like the NFL owners may have conducted a power play to pressure the players to sign a new Collective Bargaining Agreement and end the NFL lockout. As of 9 p.m., the owners have not even sent the new proposal to the players, according to ESPN's Chris Mortensen on TV.

The owners approved a new CBA at around 7 p.m., doing so unanimously. The player representatives received an email from NFLPA head DeMaurice Smith suggesting they would not accept the new deal. The email stated the owners put in certain things that the players had not agreed to. The players have the summary, but not the full proposal.

Also, ESPN's Adam Schefter stated that the owners may have violated labor laws in trying to impose a deadline before which the players would have to re-certify. Clearly, this is taking a while to actually go down.

For much more on the status of the NFL lockout, head over to SBNation.com's massive StoryStream.

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NFL Lockout: DeMaurice Smith Sends Out Email To NFL Players Saying 'There Is No Agreement'

And just when you thought it was time to celebrate the end of the lockout, a tidal wave of cold water has been thrown on any optimism of a lockout ending tonight. According to Jim Trotter of Sports Illustrated, NFLPA leader DeMaurice Smith has sent out an email to all NFL players saying they will not be voting on the new deal, because of a series of items they do not approve.

The NFLPA sent the email to SB Nation and other media outlets. It is as follows:

All,

As you know the Owners have ratified their proposal to settle our differences. It is my understanding that they are forwarding it to us.

As you may have heard, they apparently approved a supplemental revenue sharing proposal.  Obviously, we have not been a part of those discussions.

As you know from yesterday, issues that need to be collectively bargained remain open, other issues such as workers compensation, economic issues and end of deal terms remain unresolved.  

There is no agreement between the NFL and the Players at this time.  I look forward to our call tonight.

And with that, the players will enter their conference call tonight with plenty of pressure to get a deal done. That being said, they have made it known that they will not be forced to sign something they don't like.

For much more on the status of the NFL lockout, head over to SBNation.com's massive StoryStream.

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NFL Lockout: NFL Free Agency Dates Set, Onus Now Falls On NFLPA To End Lockout

Now that the NFL owners have ratified a proposal that could potentially end the lockout and begin NFL free agency on July 27, the onus is now on the NFLPA to ratify a proposal to make it official. But just because the owners signed off on an agreement, it does not mean that the players will also ratify this agreement, or even be ready to do so at this point. The only way this lockout can officially come to an end is if the union elects to re-certify itself, and from there choose to ratify the same proposal that the owners did.

The NFLPA is expected to have a conference call this evening at 8 p.m. with each of the 32 team representatives. It is believed that a vote to re-certify could come from this call, which would then lead to a potential vote on the final CBA ratification. What's clear is that the NFL lockout is seeing it's final hours, and football fans can look forward to several wild weeks ahead.

For much more on the status of the NFL lockout, head over to SBNation.com's massive StoryStream.

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NFL Lockout: Roger Goodell Proposes Dates For Free Agency, Pending Players' Approval

Commissioner Roger Goodell announced that the owners have proposed an end to the NFL lockout and has set forth a number of key dates in the new season if the players do indeed approve the new CBA. Goodell announced that team facilities will open on Saturday, July 23, and free agency and training camp can begin on Wednesday, July 27.

Via an NFL press release:

Following the reconstitution of the NFLPA as a union and approval of the new CBA by the NFLPA membership, the League Year and free agency signings will start at 2:00 PM ET on July 27 and training camps for all teams will open on July 27.

Goodell also announced that the preseason Hall of Fame game has been cancelled. Jeff Pash also announced that the players will have to re-certify before the year starts, though he didn't specify a specific date.

The preseason will begin on August 11, and players under contract with their clubs must report by August 9. For a full list of dates, click here. All of this is pending players' approval. They are expected to vote at 8 p.m. Thursday.

For much more on the status of the NFL lockout, head over to SBNation.com's massive StoryStream.

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NFL Lockout Nearly Over As Owners Approve New CBA; Players' Vote To Follow

The NFL lockout may end on Thursday night. The ball is now officially in the court of the NFL Players Association. The NFL owners voted unanimously to accept the new Collective Bargaining Agreement, and the players are expected to vote on the new CBA at 8 p.m.

The vote was 31-0, with the Oakland Raiders abstaining, according to NFL Network. Why Al Davis decided to do that is a mystery. The vote was mostly a formality, since owners had already pledged their support behind the new deal.

NFLPA leadership is currently scheduled to talk with the player representatives at 8 p.m. It is not clear whether the players will vote. The current hold-up is whether the lockout will end officially after the players re-certify as a union or before. Currently, they are still technically de-certified.

For much more on the status of the NFL lockout, head over to SBNation.com's massive StoryStream.

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NFL Lockout Could Be Over Soon As NFLPA, NFL Make Progress On Agreement

For the NFL and its players’ association, there appears to be a light at the end of the long tunnel that is the NFL lockout.

The Washington Post’s Mark Maske reports that representatives for both the players and owners say talks have progressed in recent days. Each side believes that a new collective bargaining agreement could be reached in the next 2-3 weeks.

Maske lays out the likely timetable here, starting with an NFL owners meeting in Chicago on Tuesday:

It is possible—but very unlikely—that the owners could vote on a labor deal at that meeting, said several of the people, who did not participate in the talks but are familiar with developments. It is more likely, they said, that owners could give negotiators their opinions and a deal with the players could be completed the following week.

This is great news for lovers of all things NFL, football, America, freedom, puppies, apple pie, etc. Any deal reached by early July would salvage the entire 2011 regular season.

However, any and all optimism should be of the cautious variety, as contentious labor negotiations like these can fall apart at any time. Let’s keep our fingers crossed.

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NFL Lockout Resumes As Eighth Circut Issues Temporary Stay On Judge Nelson's Ruling

The NFL lockout, sadly, is back on, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter. The Eighth Circuit in St. Louis has issued a temporary stay on Judge Susan Nelson's ruling in favor of the players, holding the opinion until it will be reviewed next week. 

This means the NFL lockout was on for about eight hours. NFL teams opened their doors to players starting at 8 a.m., and it sounds like they will be closed again. The players are expected to appeal for a stay on this ruling, and that will be discussed next week. 

The Redskins were one of several teams who had players at Redskins Park on Friday. About 11 players showed up to work out, and many also came to welcome first-round draft pick Ryan Kerrigan. As of right now, though, it remains more unclear than ever when and if business will re-open. Free agency in particular is impossible to gage right now.

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NFL Lockout: NFL Owners Allow Players To Use Facilities Starting Friday

The owners have blinked. In a statement sent out publicly, the NFL has announced that team facilities will be open starting at 8 a.m. tomorrow, allowing players to work out and get medical treatment. This means that the owners, for now, have agreed to abide by most of the ruling Judge Susan Nelson handed out that called for the end of the NFL lockout. 

The league will continue to appeal Judge Nelson's ruling to the Eighth Circuit, but for now, this offers a temporary solution. Players will be allowed to use team facilities for "physical examinations, rehabilitations and medical treatment." Coaches will also be allowed to distribute playbooks, game film and the like, and can meet with players about any of those things. The league is also committed to resuming its drug program.

As for free agency and trades, the league writes that it plans to release guidelines for how that will proceed, as well as the official start date of the 2011 season, on Friday. 

With respect to player transactions (such as signings, trades of player contracts, terminations, tryouts, etc.), we plan to distribute to all clubs, likely tomorrow, a comprehensive set of procedures governing such transactions. This will include the timing for the commencement of the 2011 League Year, free agent signings and other customary player transactions.    

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NFL Lockout: Redskins Park Remains Closed, Lorenzo Alexander, Casey Rabach Leave Quickly

Once again, Redskins Park essentially remains closed to the Redskins' players, even though Judge Susan Nelson denied the owners' request for a stay on her ruling that the NFL lockout has been lifted. Lorenzo Alexander and Casey Rabach both dropped by Redskins Park Thursday morning, but without access to the locker room and weight room, they departed soon thereafter.

Via the Washington Post's Insider blog:

Attempts by Washington Redskins players to train at Redskins Park were rendered fruitless for a second time this week.

So far Thursday morning, linebacker Lorenzo Alexander and center Casey Rabach both attempted to enter the facility but left shortly after they arrived.

NFL Players Union team representative Vonnie Holiday tweeted earlier that the facilities' doors would "remain closed" as the appeal process continued. Alexander and Rabach still tried to go, though. Alexander left after less than five minutes, while Rabach stayed for 20 minutes before departing. 

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Judge Nelson Denies NFL's Request For Stay To Continue NFL Lockout

Judge Susan Nelson has denied the owner's request for a stay on her decision Monday to rule in favor of the players and lift the NFL lockout. Nelson has ordered the NFL to start its league year immediately, though she did not say teams were obligated to begin signing free agents. The NFL will now look for a stay from the Court of Appeals. 

This technically means the lockout will be lifted for the 2011 NFL Draft, which could potentially lead to a confusing situation with trades and player acquisitions. Teams proceeded with caution after Nelson's ruling on Monday, with many, including the Redskins, denying players access to the weight room and locker room at their facilities. 

Judge Nelson wrote that the NFL "has not met its burden for a stay pending appeal, expedited or otherwise." The league tried to argue that opening up the possibility for player movement before the case has fully been decided would damage competitive balance.

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NFL Lockout: Lorenzo Alexander, Anthony Armstrong Turned Away At Redskins Park

Given the murky situation with the league appealing Judge Nelson's decision calling for the lifting of the NFL Lockout, there were going to be players showing up to team facilities looking to work out. That happened here in Washington D.C. as well, as linebacker Lorenzo Alexander and wide receiver Anthony Armstrong drove to Redskins Park Tuesday morning. Upon arriving, Bruce Allen told both to leave the facility.

Via John Keim of the Washington Examiner:

[Lorenzo Alexander] leaving facility; was here for a few minutes. Talked to bruce allen. Said could not work out    

Armstrong showed up a bit later and was also turned aside. He said it "felt like you were sneaking into the club. 

The league had instructed teams to let players into the facility, but not into the locker room or weight room. The Redskins evidently complied with that request. The league is looking for a stay on Judge Nelson's ruling, and is also hoping to appeal it.

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Redskins Park Remains Closed Despite NFL Lockout Ruling

As it turns out, the Redskins' players will not be able to report to Redskins Park on Tuesday. Despite Judge Susan Nelson ruling in favor of the players and lifting an NFL lockout, Redskins Park and other team facilities across the country will be closed as the NFL owners look for an appeal.

Bruce Allen informed Redskins player representative Vonnie Holiday of the news, according to John Keim of the Washington Examiner.

"I guess they have to figure out how they handle it now," Holliday said. "The explanation I got is there's a lot of lawyers involved and the owners aren't clear [about the situation] I don't know how much clearer it can be....I had players calling me up and asking, ‘Can I go in?' "

Lorenzo Alexander and Anthony Armstrong were two Redskins who said they would be at Redskins Park Tuesday morning, prior to this news being passed down to Holiday.  

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League Says It Plans To Appeal Judge's Decision To End NFL Lockout

As expected, the NFL has announced its plans to appeal Judge Susan Richard Nelson's decision to rule in favor of the players and end the NFL Lockout. Via SBNation.com:

"We will promptly seek a stay from Judge Nelson pending an expedited appeal to the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals. We believe that federal law bars injunctions in labor disputes. We are confident that the Eighth Circuit will agree."    

The owners will appeal in a different court circuit because Judge Nelson has denied them the chance to appeal under her watch. The appeal would mean that the NFL Lockout would continue until the next judge makes his or her decision, which could last for months. The owners are expected to receive the stay necessary to continue the lockout on Tuesday.

Ultimately, Judge Nelson did not buy the owners' argument that the player decertification was a sham. That was the core of the owners' argument, and it ruined their case.

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Judge Susan Richard Nelson Lifts NFL Lockout, Rules In Favor Of Players

The NFL Lockout is over. Well, sort of. As expected, Judge Susan Richard Nelson has ruled in favor of the players and has called for the end of the NFL Lockout, according to ESPN's Chris Mortensen

Federal Judge Susan Richard Nelson has ruled for players, lifting lockout, per sources. Owners will seek immediate stay.    

The lockout will officially end when Nelson releases her report. However, Mortensen reports that the owners are expected to request a stay, keeping the lockout in effect until an appeal is heard. In fact, the owners have already appealed to the 8th circut, according to Andrew Brandt of ESPN and National Football Post. That appeal is unlikely to be heard for another month or two, so there's still a ways to go before football can be played. NFL Network reports that the owners needed to ask for a different court because Nelson denied their request for a stay.

Regardless, it's still a big win for the players. The owners must now convince a judge why the previous judge's ruling was wrong. If they cannot, football will resume. 

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NFL Lockout: Owners' Proposal To NFL Players Association Revealed

If you thought that the NFL Owners would refuse to negotiate with the NFL Players Association, choosing instead to pursue litigation, evidently you were wrong.

The Players have chosen to decertify, a decision that came just an hour before today's final deadline in which the current CBA was to expire. This decertification means that the Players will be walking away today from what appears to be a very legitimate offer from the Owners.

The offer, as reported by NFLLabor.com, includes a financial proposal that would split the difference in the proposed salary cap for 2011, and would eventually raise the cap to the level that the NFLPA suggested for the 2014 season. The NFL offer also contains a "rookie cap" rather than a "rookie wage scale" that would reportedly ensure that players drafted in rounds 2-7 would earn as much or more than they are currently earning. Among other items that seem to favor the Players, the NFL Owners also agreed that the league schedule would remain at 16 games for at least the next two years.

This certainly sounds to us like a reasonable offer, but we also know that there's another side to this story.

A complete synopsis of the Owners' offer can be found here.

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NFL Lockout: NFL Players Association Files Paperwork To Decertify From Union

The NFL lockout is essentially underway. The NFL Players Association has filed the paperwork to decertify from the union, effectively ending the previous Collective Bargaining Agreement. The deadline came at 5 p.m. Friday, and the two sides could not come to an agreement.

The NFLPA announced its decision in a statement just after a 5 p.m. deadline that it imposed earlier in the day.

 The NFL Players Association announced today it has informed the NFL, NFL clubs and other necessary parties that it has renounced its status as the exclusive collective bargaining representative of the players of the National Football League.

The NFLPA will move forward as a professional trade association with the mission of supporting the interests and rights of current and former professional football players.

The move allows the Players Association to file injunctions in court against the league for locking out everyone after the expiration of the current CBA. The move also occurs after NFLPA head DeMaurice Smith said the only way the NFLPA would not decertify was if the owners offered to disclose financial data from the last 10 years by 5 p.m. Friday. The owners evidently passed on that request.

The decision comes one week after the two sides agreed to a one-week extension of the current CBA, but the issue of disclosing financial data quickly arose once again during negotiations this past week. 

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NFL Lockout: NFLPA Asks For 10 Years Of Financial Information In Exchange For CBA Extension

The NFL Players Association has asked NFL owners for 10 years of financial data as a condition for an extension of the current Collective Bargaining Agreement, NFLPA head DeMaurice Smith said at 4:45 ET in an address broadcasted on NFL Network. If the owners do not respond affirmatively by 5 p.m. Friday, the NFL Players Association is expected to decertify itself to try to prevent an NFL lockout. 

Smith said there remain "significant differences" between the two sides. 

"We informed the owners that significant differences remained, that if here was going to be a request for an extension that we asked for 10 years of audited financial records to accompany any extension. We told them please let us know by 5 pm today. We're gonna head back to the office. I'm sure we'll have further comment later on."

The Players Association is asking the owners to open up the books because they believe the owners have taken money from the players and used it on other things. The two sides are still figuring out how to divide $9 billion of revenues. 

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NFL Lockout Deadline Extended Seven Days, According To Report

The NFL and the NFL Players Association have agreed to a seven-day extension of the current Collective Bargaining Agreement, staving off a lockout until next Friday for the time being, according to a report by ESPN's Adam Schefter. The owners and the Players Association will continue discussions in front of a mediator on Monday as they hope to come to an agreement on a new CBA.

The news comes after the two sides agreed to a 24-hour extension on Thursday, in a move most believed was simply a mechanism to extend the discussion for a longer extension. The Players' Association was concerned an extension of the talks would merely be a delay mechanism and not an actual positive step toward a resolution, but obviously they overcame those concerns.

Had the talks not been extended, the Players Association was likely to decertify itself as a union, freeing it up to file anti-trust lawsuits against the league. Instead, this is a positive sign that the two sides are working towards an agreement. Lots of issues still remain, but there is much more optimism now than earlier in the week. 

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NFL Lockout News: DeMaurice Smtih And Roger Goodell Impress During Negotiations

In the event that they have to, the term of an NFL Commissioner or NFLPA head is defined by the CBA he negotiates. Everything he does before and after is really just filler. The CBA sets the labor regulations for the coming years, and goes a long way in deciding if the league will be successful.

The negotiations of this current CBA have been icy so far. The two sides have seemed unwilling to compromise. But as the deadline approaches, both Commissioner Roger Goodell and NFLPA head DeMaurice Smith have been impressing those involved in the negotiations.

In the end, owners came away with a higher regard for Smith than most of them have had since he replaced the late Gene Upshaw nearly two years ago. They were convinced by Thursday evening that Smith was prepared to make a deal and believed others on his executive committee were less enthusiastic about agreeing to the general framework being discussed by the two sides.   

Mike Silver of Yahoo had the same glowing things to say about Goodell. Hopefully, they are shining because they are negotiating a good CBA for the league, and not just because they decided to begin compromising. But they still only have until tonight to make a new CBA happen.

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NFL, NFLPA Agree To 24-Hour Extension To Avoid Lockout, For Now

The NFL lockout will not begin tonight. According to multiple reports, in particular NFL Network, the NFL owners and the NFL Players Association have agreed to a 24-hour extension to continue discussions about a new Collective Bargaining Agreement. 

This means that, as of right now, the two sides will have until 11:59 Friday night to hammer out a new arrangement. However, it is likely that the extension was simply a delay tactic so the two sides have more time to discuss a longer-term extension. A source told Sports Illustrated's Don Banks that, indeed, that is the case.

Multiple reports indicate that the owners were the ones who pushed for the extension, with the players having some skepticism about whether this was merely a delay tactic. If the players did agree to the 24-hour extension, one would think they would have accepted something in return. 

For now, at least, football is still in business. 

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NFL Lockout: Owners, Players Association Discuss Extending Deadline Before Lockout, According To Report

As the NFL and the NFL Players Association continue to negotiate a settlement for a new Collective Bargaining Agreement, there is a chance that the talks will continue past the initial midnight Thursday deadline. The two sides are discussing extending the deadline before the old CBA expires and a lockout begins, according to a report by Sports Illustrated's Jim Trotter.

Source: NFL's owners and players discussing extending deadline. no decision made yet.     

Trotter reports that the owners requested the extension, and the players are waiting to see if it is a "serious step" toward an eventual agreement instead of just postponing the inevitable. Earlier, ESPN's Adam Schefter reported that talk of extending the deadline was a "definite possibility."

If the deadline is not extended, the league will be locked out at 11:59 on Thursday night. The union can then vote to decertify itself, which could lead to more legal action. An extension of the deadline would allow for more time to try to reach an agreement. 

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NFL Lockout News: Comissioner Roger Goodell Puts A Gag Order On NFL Owners

The NFL Owners and Players are meeting again on Thursday in the hopes of coming to an agreement on a new CBA before the current one expires at midnight tonight. It's going to know exactly how close the two sides are to reaching said agreement, because Roger Goodell has put a gag order on the owners.

They may not be talking publicly but the owners are talking to each other. After Wednesday's mediation session with the NFLPA, owners met in a hotel outside Washington D.C. Following that meeting, some owners left while the NFL Management Council remained for more meetings.

The thing that bothers me most about this whole situation is the lack of a sense of urgency that the owners seem to be operating with. Nine of the League's 32 owners were present at the negotiations on Wednesday, and that was considered a "large contingent." You would think that the potential lockout of the NFL would be more important to them, but apparently not. The NFL is such a big deal for the fans and presumably the players, I just wish it was more important to the owners than it seems to be.

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NFL Lockout News: Unexpected Progress Made On Wednesday, But Lockout Still Looms

The current Collective Bargaining Agreement is set to expire today, and even though the two sides have been meeting to try and avoid that conclusion, it is starting to look inevitable.

The two sides met yesterday, and according to reports, that session went "better than expected", but that doesn't mean an agreement can be reached before the deadline.

That said, Don Banks of SI.com tweeted that a source tells him Wednesday's meeting between the NFL and NFLPA -- which included several owners and active players -- went "better than expected". Unfortunately for fans who want football, this could just as easily mean, 'We were 100 miles apart and now we're just 99 miles apart.'

The two sides will meet again on Thursday, presumably up to the deadline if possible, to try and reach an agreement. But there isn't anyone who is expecting them to be able to come to terms before the deadline passes, and the Players are locked out. But that doesn't mean that we will be losing a season already. The two sides can come to an agreement at any point between the expiration of the CBA and the beginning of the Season.

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NFL Lockout News: Owners Open To Extending Lockout Deadline, According To Report

The NFL and the NFL Players Association continue to meet with a federal mediator in Chantilly to try to hash out a new Collective Bargaining Agreement before a lockout, but as it turns out, they may get more time to do so than originally anticipated. NFL general council Jeff Pash said the league is open to extending the deadline before the expiration of the current CBA past Thursday at 11:59 p.m.

Via Albert Breer of the NFL Network:

NFL owners would be open to extending the deadline for expiration of the collective bargaining agreement beyond Thursday at 11:59 p.m. ET, NFL general council Jeff Pash said Wednesday morning before the league and the NFL Players Association resumed labor negotiations at the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service office of George Cohen.

"I think we have to see where we're at," Pash said. "I think that's option. We're not taking anything off the table.

This obviously guarantees nothing, but is a significant admission that could be a step forward toward an eventual agreement being reached. If the deadline is not extended, the two sides will only have until 11:59 on March 3 before a lockout takes place. At that point, all activity would stop, save for the NFL Draft on April 28-30.

It's possible that one reason for a possible extension is Tuesday's night's ruling that the league would not be able to receive television revenue in the event of a lockout. 

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NFL Lockout News: Owners, Players Meeting With Federal Mediator Again Wednesday

The NFL owners and the NFL Players Association continue to meet in Chantilly with a federal mediator Wednesday in order to hash out a new agreement before the current Collective Bargaining Agreement expires at 11:59 p.m. on Thursday. If the two sides cannot reach an agreement by then, an NFL lockout will officially begin.

The meeting will end in the afternoon so the owners can have their own separate meeting. The NFLPA has brought its executives, as well as committee member Drew Brees and president Kevin Mawae. 

The feeling compared to the one before the Tuesday meeting is a little more optimistic. Seattle Seahawks guard Chester Pitts, who was among the players present, was certainly hopeful a deal would get done.

Seattle Seahawks guard Chester Pitts, part of a large group of players who accompanied NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith to the negotiations, said he was "cautiously optimistic" about the talks.

"The fans should know that both parties are hammering away at it and really trying to get a deal done," said Pitts, who attended the first 3½ hours of Tuesday's talks.

Part of the reason may be Tuesday night's landmark ruling that found the league in violation of the CBA for negotiating television deals that continue to pay the league even in the event of a lockout. This could potentially add to everyone's desperation to get a deal done, since now the league will be hurting financially from a lockout as much as the players. 

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NFL Lockout News: Judge Reverses Ruling, Says NFL Cannot Receive TV Contract Revenue

As the NFL owners and players meet in pursuit of a new Collective Bargaining Agreement in Chantilly on Tuesday, a ruling passed down late Tuesday night carries a lot of significance for the NFL's bargaining position. Judge David Doty has overruled a previous ruling, deciding that the NFL violated the CBA by reaching deals with television networks that would allow the league to receive that revenue even in the event of a lockout.

A previous ruling by special master Stephen Burbank said the NFL was still entitled to that money, but that has been overturned. This means the league cannot continue to count on money coming in if there is a lockout. In essence, they become like the players. This will surely put more pressure on both sides as they desperately try to hash out a new arrangement before a lockout would take effect on Thursday.

The NFL Players Association has responded by suggesting the ruling shows the league had a "predetermined plan" to lock out the players for two years. The league responded by saying the ruling would have no effect on the efforts to negotiate a new agreement.

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NFL Lockout News: Two Sides Will Meet With Mediator Again On Tuesday

The collective bargaining agreement between the NFL players union and the league's owners expires on March 3, and if there isn't a new agreement in place by the beginning of the season, the league may be headed for a lockout.

The two sides have been negotiating for the last few weeks, but they haven't been able to make much progress on a new agreement. But according to Mark Maske of the Washington Post, talks will resume on Tuesday.

The NFL's labor negotiations are scheduled to resume Tuesday in Washington.

Negotiators for the league and the players' union are scheduled to meet beginning at 1 p.m. in the downtown D.C. offices of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service. The bargaining session is to take place under the supervision of federal mediator George H. Cohen.

The mediator can't make any official decisions, he exists mostly to relay what each side is really trying to get at to the other. The CBA is expected to expire on Thursday without a new agreement, but that doesn't mean that a new one can't be agreed upon before the league is forced to cancel any games.

We'll be updating this stream with all the latest news about a potential lockout as we head towards NFL armageddon.

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