NFL Owners Approve Deal to End Lockout

Posted July 21st, 2011 at 8:05 pm (UTC-5)
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National Football League team owners have approved an agreement to end their labor dispute with players that has lasted more than four months.

The owners voted 31-0 Thursday during a meeting in Atlanta on a new collective bargaining agreement that would end the player lockout.

The deal would ensure the 2011 season will proceed as scheduled. Team facilities are tentatively scheduled to open on Saturday, and free agency is tentatively set to begin July 27.

But the lockout remains in place until the players agree to support the proposal. They were due to meet later Thursday to discuss ratification of the new deal.

The lockout, which began in March, is the NFL's first work stoppage since 1987 and its longest ever.