NFL players finally got an opportunity to see portions of a possible new collective bargaining agreement Tuesday, sources confirmed to the Associated Press.
But the 32 players’ representatives, who are gathered in Washington D.C. this week for a presumed vote to end the four-month lockout, didn’t see enough of the proposed new CBA to vote on the deal. A full agreement in principle has yet to be presented, but time is of the essence as the deadline looms to get something done so the NFL preseason and regular season can begin on time.
The general belief is that both sides must agree to a deal in principle by Thursday in order to keep the preseason opener on Aug. 7 between the St. Louis Rams and Chicago Bears on track. Everything seems to be in place for that to happen. The owners are gathered in Atlanta for special meetings and the players' representatives are in Washington D.C. at the NFLPA headquarters.
The lawyers for both sides are also together in New York with a court-appointed mediator working out the language of a new contract.
Most believe a full agreement should be completed Wednesday and then presented for a vote and ratification Thursday. That would effectively put an end to the NFL's first work stoppage since 1987 and the longest one in the history of the game.
(Photo: AP Photo/Richard Drew)