Finally, it’s over.
The executive board and the 32 team representatives of the NFLPA voted unanimously on the new 10-year collective bargaining agreement Monday afternoon, effectively bringing the four-month lockout to an end.
That means business, as usual, can begin immediately, according an ESPN report.
Trades, rookie and free agent signings will begin Tuesday. Training camps will begin to open Wednesday and on through the weekend.
"This is a long time coming, and football's back," NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said, "and that's the great news for everybody."
Both sides had to obviously give up something in order to get this deal done. The biggest issue had been revenue sharing. The previous agreement called for a 50-50 split but now the owners will get 53 percent of the $9 billion empire while the players will take 47 percent.
"We didn't get everything that either side wanted ... but we did arrive at a deal that we think is fair and balanced," said NFLPA head DeMaurice Smith.
The owners overwhelmingly voted for the new CBA last week and it was up to the players vote on it from there. They did Monday after taking the weekend to look over the agreement and hammer out a few last details.
This brings to a close the longest work stoppage in NFL history.
The two sides were able to avoid a prolonged work stoppage that would have meant the possible loss of regular season games. At this point, the only casualty of the lockout has been the loss of the Aug. 7 Hall of Fame preseason game between the St. Louis Rams and Chicago Bears.
But there is still some difficult work ahead as teams must quickly assess free agents and trade deals in time for training camps. Some teams also will face the issue of being over the salary cap this week after this year’s cap was set at $120 million. That could mean teams like the Dallas Cowboys and Pittsburgh Steelers may have to cut players even before camp opens this week in order to get under the salary cap.
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