Source: NFLPA, owners reach labor agreement

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Source: NFLPA, owners reach labor agreement

July 25, 2011
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WASHINGTON (AP) -- NFL owners and players agreed early Monday to the terms of a deal to end the lockout, and players were expected to begin their voting process later in the day, two people familiar with the negotiations told The Associated Press.The people spoke on condition of anonymity because the process was supposed to remain secret and no formal announcement had been made.The NFL Players Association's executive committee was to meet at its headquarters in Washington on Monday so it could be presented with the finalized agreement. NFLPA president Kevin Mawae arrived shortly after 9:30 a.m.Owners overwhelmingly approved a proposal last week, but some unresolved issues still needed to be figured out to satisfy players; the owners do not need to vote again.The sides worked through the weekend and wrapped up talks Monday morning, one of the people told the AP.The league's old labor deal expired in March, and the owners locked out the players, the NFL's first work stoppage since 1987."We have every reason to believe it's going to be a good day," NFL spokesman Greg Aiello wrote in an email to the AP.If players sign off on the agreement Monday, NFL clubs would be able to start signing 2011 draft picks and rookie free agents on Tuesday. Conversations with veteran free agents also could start Tuesday, and signings could begin Friday.Under that tentative schedule, training camps would open for 10 of the 32 teams on Wednesday, 10 teams on Thursday, another 10 teams on Friday, and the last two teams on Sunday.The major economic framework for the deal was worked out more than a week ago.That included how the more than 9 billion in annual league revenues will be divided (about 53 percent to owners and 47 percent to players over the next decade; the old CBA resulted in nearly a 50-50 split); a per-club cap of about 120 million for salary and bonuses in 2011 - and at least that in 2012 and 2013 - plus about 22 million for benefits; a salary system to rein in spending on first-round draft picks; and unrestricted free agency for most players after four seasons.Should the players' executive committee vote to accept the deal, it then would go to the 32 team representatives to approve, perhaps later Monday. After that, the total membership would need to vote, with a simple majority required for passage.The 10 named plaintiffs in the players' lawsuit against the league - including Tom Brady, Peyton Manning and Drew Brees - must officially inform the court in Minneapolis of their approval of the pact, too.Even after that, while training camps would be opened, a formal collective bargaining agreement can't be fully set in place until the NFLPA re-establishes itself as a union. The NFLPA said it was rejecting its union status in March and becoming a trade association; that allowed the players to file their antitrust suit.Players will need to vote to OK re-forming the union even as the sides put the finishing touches on a deal. Legal protections will be put in place so the NFLPA can start negotiating such items as the league's personal conduct policy and drug testing as soon as Monday.

Raiders select CB Gareon Conley with No. 24 pick in the 2017 NFL Draft

Raiders select CB Gareon Conley with No. 24 pick in the 2017 NFL Draft

GAREON CONLEY
Position: Cornerback
College: Ohio State
Height: 6 feet
Weight: 195 pounds
Selection: First round, No. 24 overall

ALAMEDA – Ohio State cornerback was widely considered a top-15 talent entering this year’s NFL Draft. His stock took a free-fall this week, after being accused of rape.

Conley called the accusation “completely false,” in a statement issued Wednesday by his agent.

Conley has not been charged or arrested over the allegation, which stems from an interaction on April 9 at a Cleveland hotel.

The Raiders wouldn’t have made this first-round selection without doing extensive research on Conley’s legal status. They must feel confident Conley will be absolved of wrongdoing.

Conley is a quality football player and an excellent cover man. He has the size Raiders covet in cornerbacks, and allowed just 37 percent of his passes to be completed. Conley allowed just 14 catches for 159 yards last season, and an NFL passer rating of 14.0, according to analytics site Pro Football Focus. That was the best in college football last season.

Analysts say he’s good at making plays on the football, whether it’s batting down passes or intercepting passes. Conley excels in press-man coverage, but can work well in a zone as well. He diagnoses plays well, which allows him to make plays on the ball.

The Raiders need depth and competition at cornerback after Sean Smith and David Amerson weren’t as solid as expected in 2016.

Conley could be upgrade the secondary in 2017 and beyond if he lives up to his on-field potential.

Tom Hanks rants about Raiders leaving Oakland for Las Vegas

Tom Hanks rants about Raiders leaving Oakland for Las Vegas

Tom Hanks went to Skyline High School in Oakland.

He is not happy that the Raiders are moving to Las Vegas.

“When the Raiders leave, I am going on an NFL moratorium for two years," Hanks said on Monday night, according to Peter Hartlaub of The San Franicsco Chronicle. "You cannot take the Silver and Black, put them in an air-conditioned dome in the desert, make them play on artificial turf within a stone’s throw of the fountains of Caesar’s Palace, and call them the Raiders.

“Here’s the thing I don’t quite understand. And I’m not trying to -- this isn’t one of the causes I’m fighting for. I’m just thinking as a fan: It’s a billion-dollar industry, they have billion-dollar TV contracts. All the owners are billionaires. And yet when they want to build a stadium they’re going to use for 10 weeks out of the year, they expect the city taxpayers to buy the building.

“The only good thing that is going to come out of the Oakland Raiders leaving -- and there is nothing good that will come out of that, by the way -- is that the Oakland A’s might get their own ballpark.

“I must say I hate that frigging D.H. rule. I always have, ever since that bastard Charlie Finley installed it. We’re not proud of that over on the other side of the East Bay.”

The Raiders' new stadium in Las Vegas is scheduled to open in 2020.