NFL And NFLPA Issue Joint Statement; Significant Progress Made On New CBA

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - MAY 16: NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell leaves court-ordered mediation at the U.S. Courthouse on May 16, 2011 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Mediation was ordered after a hearing on an antitrust lawsuit filed by NFL players against the NFL owners that followed a breakdown of labor talks between the two in March. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)

The NFL and NFLPA issued a joint statement today this afternoon after another seven hours of negotiations. There is no 'formal agreement' between both sides as yet, but the statement reads that both sides have 'made progress on a wide range of issues.' The legal teams for both sides will work over the weekend.

After the two sides parted ways, news broke (via Liz Mullen) that the entire NFL Labor Committee, which is comprised of ten owners, will meet via conference call. Albert Breer is reporting that De Smith and Roger Goodell will meet or chat this weekend.

Overall, there seem to be very few obstacles remaining with this new collective bargaining agreement, which will reportedly last for 8-10 years. We're also hearing that the Legacy Fund for retired player is no longer a stumbling block. From Albert Breer:

I'm told two major things left are the actual settlement details of the litigation, and player safety and related issues (i.e. Offseason).

This means that the issue of 'right of first refusal' for teams looking to sign free agents was resolved. Also from Breer:

More on rookies: Year 5 option for Top 10 picks is avg of Top 10 salaries at the position. For Picks 11-32, it's avg of salaries 3-25 ...

... That figure will be derived from Year 3 figures for player. So 2013 salaries will set the option price for 2011 picks.

... So in essence, for a 2011 Top 10 pick, the option number will be the 2014 transition tag figure at his position, if that makes sense.

Breer also reports that the revenue split is between 47 and 48 percent.

In a nutshell, the owners and players have indeed agreed to the economics of a new CBA, which is the most critical element of the agreement. With legal teams pouring over the language this weekend, it seems things are on track for this agreement to be ready for Magistrate Judge Boylan in Minnesota on Tuesday. After that, there is the owners meeting July 21st. The news today strongly suggested that the July 21st meeting will be specifically for the owners to vote on and agree to the new CBA.

Looks like we will have football folks. This isn't a definitive statement 'guaranteeing' things, but with all the major issues resolved, the NFL and NFLPA are giving off the impression that a deal will be finalized next week. Again, the deal is, for all intents and purposes, 'done.' But, nothing is truly done until the owners and players vote on it, and the courts approve. All that should be settled next week.

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