July 21, 201149ERS PAGE 49ERS VIDEORAIDERS PAGE RAIDERS VIDEO
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell announced Thursday that the owners had ratified the proposed Collective Bargaining Agreement with the NFL Players Association, moving the lockout one step closer to being over.
The agreement is 10 years in duration but still requires approval from the NFLPA. Early indications were that the players were not receptive to the CBA document penned by the owners.
A Thursday night conference call with the players did not result in a vote.
The owners reportedly have agreed to give the players until Tuesday to conduct a vote.
According to a reporter for the Sports Business Journal, "there are numerous items in the proposal that players never agreed to."
RELATED: Details of the Collective Bargaining Agreement
Nevertheless, there was optimism from the league.
"We're getting close to getting football back and that's what we want," Goodell said at a press conference in Atlanta.
Owners voted 31-0 to approve the settlement, with the Raiders abstaining. Raiders CEO Amy Trask, in exclusive correspondence with Comcast SportsNet Insider Paul Gutierrez explained the abstention thusly:
"We have profound philosophical differences on a number of issues -- both of a football and economic nature," Trask said in an email. "We have consistently expressed our views on these matters to the league."
Goodell said that the August 7 Hall of Fame Game, featuring Chicago and St. Louis, will have to be cancelled. He said the Hall of Fame induction ceremonies would still take place as scheduled.
"The time was just too tight," the commissioner said. "Unfortunately, we're not going to be able to play the game this year."
Goodell said team training facilities would open Saturday and the new league year -- which includes free agency and training camps -- would officially begin on Wednesday.
"We anxious to get back to football and hopefully today's development and the developments of the NFLPA over the next few days will ensure that," Goodell said.
Of course, all of it is contingent on approval by the players. That vote could take place Thursday evening.
"There's an urgency to this. We want to have a full 2011 season and that includes four preseason games," Goodell said.
The four-month lockout is the NFL's first work stoppage since 1987.