NFL football will take place in 2011 after all. After nearly five months of waiting, the league’s owners and players have come to an agreement on a new collective bargaining argreement that officially put and end to the NFL Lockout.
Players voted unanimously on Monday to accept the proposed labor agreement which the owners approved on Thursday night in Atlanta.
While surrounded by members of the NFLPA Executive Council including Jeff Saturday, DeMaurice Smith had this message:
"I'm proud of the men that you see behind me, I'm proud of the former players who have stood with us, and most of all, I dig our fans who love our game."
This puts an end to the longest work stoppage in NFL history, one that began March 11 and at times appeared to be a threat to at least part of the 2011 NFL regular season.
Most paramount of concern for those in Indianapolis was Super Bowl XLVI, which threatned to be delayed or cancelled if the CBA problems continued.
Throughout the day, reactions have been coming in on the decision from major football players in Indianapolis praising the negotiators for getting the deal done.
“We are delighted the collective bargaining process has now resulted in a long term resolution that is fair to all concerned,” said Colts owner Jim Irsay in a statement through the team. “We are also grateful to all the dedicated individuals, on both sides of the table, who devoted tremendous effort to reaching this resolution. We now eagerly look forward to focusing all our energy and efforts on the 2011 NFL season, which will culminate with Super Bowl XLVI, proudly hosted by the City of Indianapolis.”
Quarterback Peyton Manning, who was a plaintiff in the NFL Anti-Trust suit, released this statement Monday afternoon: "I want to get back to work. My objectives were two-fold when joining the group of named plaintiffs in the labor-related lawsuit. First, to show unified strength on behalf of benefiting all players; second, to see a resolution that recognizes the interests of players and management. I believe both objectives have been achieved. As a fan of the game, I'm pleased the two sides have reached a deal and, as a professional, I want to get back to work.''