US National Football League Players, Owners End Labor Dispute

Posted July 25th, 2011 at 3:15 pm (UTC-5)
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The National Football League and its players have approved the terms of a deal to end a four-month lockout and ensure the start of the upcoming season.

Last week, NFL owners overwhelmingly approved a 10-year collective bargaining agreement that includes a deal on sharing with players an estimated $9.3 billion in annual revenues. It also negotiates wage limits for new players, known as rookies.

Player representatives from all 32 NFL teams agreed to the deal on Monday.

Teams are likely to begin immediately signing free agents and rookies, as well as making trades, before pre-season workouts begin later this week.

The agreement still must be put to a vote of all NFL players, but their approval is virtually certain.

Team owners decided in 2008 to opt out of the league's old labor contract, which expired March 11. That is when the owners locked out the players, creating the NFL's first work stoppage since 1987.

The NFL regular season is scheduled to begin September 8.