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NFL takes step toward new labor agreement

NFL team owners met with representatives of the players union on Tuesday in negotiations over a proposed collective bargaining agreement.
NFL team owners met with representatives of the players union Tuesday in negotiations over a proposed collective bargaining agreement.
(Alex Burstow / Getty Images)

NFL owners and player representatives met for nearly four hours Tuesday night in an effort to reach an accord on a new collective bargaining agreement.

They ended the meeting for the night with a league spokesman telling waiting reporters that “out of respect for the process”neither the owners nor players would be commenting.

The meeting took place at a downtown hotel, a few blocks from the site of the annual scouting combine taking place this week.

On Thursday, owners approved a proposal for a 10-year collective bargaining agreement that includes a 17-game regular season, expanded playoffs, fewer exhibition games, a more player-friendly marijuana policy and a bigger slice of the revenue pie for players.

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Late Tuesday night, George Atallah, the assistant executive director of external affairs for the NFL Players’ Assn., tweeted that the NFLPA’s players representatives had voted to forward the proposal from the ownership to the full union membership for a vote.

To be accepted, the CBA would require a simple majority from all current players who cast a vote.

There was no immediate word when that vote would occur.

Tom Brady, who has won six Super Bowl rings, will be a free agent and rumors persist about the quarterback signing a contract with the Los Angeles Chargers.

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Players on minimum salaries would get an immediate bump under the proposed deal, with the minimum salary increasing by at least $90,000.

Vision coverage would be added to the healthcare plan, somewhat remarkable that players don’t have such a plan now.

The proposal also features increased benefits for retired players.

The bargaining committee of owners is composed of New England’s Robert Kraft, Dallas’ Jerry Jones, Pittsburgh’s Art Rooney II, Kansas City’s Clark Hunt, the Chargers’ Dean Spanos, Cincinnati’s Mike Brown and the New York Giants’ John Mara.

The current CBA expires after this season. Already players have indicated there are significant concerns with the proposal, most centered on the wear and tear of an additional regular-season game.

Some players believe owners should give up more ground, and money, if they want an extra game.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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