The NFL owners have approved a new 10-year CBA with the NFL Players Association, commissioner Roger Goodell announced Thursday night after the vote was taken at an owners meeting in Atlanta.
The agreement now must be ratified by the NFLPA in order for the league year to begin, and the lockout to be lifted.
“We are pleased to announce that our clubs have approved the terms of a long-term negotiated agreement with the NFL players,” Goodell said after the owners voted 31-0, with the Raiders abstaining. “It includes many positive changes that emerged from a spirit of compromise rooted in doing what is best for the game and the players. (NFLPA head) DeMaurice Smith and his team, and the players and owners involved in the negotiations, deserve credit for their skill and professionalism.
“If approved by the players, this agreement will allow the league and its players to continue to benefit from the NFL’s popularity and will afford a unique opportunity to deliver to fans an even better, safer and more competitive game in the future.”
If the NFLPA executive board approves the settlement terms, the players can begin voluntary workouts at club facilities on Saturday. The league year and free agency signings will start at 11 a.m. (PT) on Wednesday, July 27, the same day training camps would open – following the reconstitution of the NFLPA as a union and approval of the new CBA by the NFLPA membership.
Those day one activities would be limited to physicals, meeting and conditioning, and players will practice without pads on days two and three. The Seahawks were scheduled to open training camp practices next Friday, July 29.
Goodell announced that the Hall of Fame game between the Chicago Bears and St. Louis Rams scheduled for Aug. 7 has been cancelled. But the new schedule that is part of the CBA agreement would allow for the rest of the preseason schedule, including the Seahawks’ opener on Aug. 11 against the Chargers in San Diego.