x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 29 July 2017

NFL lockout agreement now in the red zone

The NFL owners and players agree to the terms of a deal to end the lockout, and players were expected to begin the voting process.

WASHINGTON // The NFL owners and players agreed to the terms of a deal to end the lockout, and players were expected to begin the voting process, two people familiar with the negotiations said.

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 yesterday and be presented with the finalised agreement.

The sides worked through the weekend and wrapped up talks yesterday morning, one of the people said. The league's previous labour deal expired in March, and the owners locked out the players.

"We have every reason to believe it's going to be a good day," the NFL spokesman Greg Aiello wrote in an email.

If players sign off on the agreement, NFL clubs would be able to start signing 2011 draft picks and rookie free agents today. Talks with veteran free agents also could begin today, and signings could follow as soon as Friday.

Under that tentative schedule, training camps would open for 10 of the 32 teams tomorrow, 10 on Thursday, another 10 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 US$9 billion (Dh33bn) in annual league revenues will be divided, with about 53 per cent earmarked for the owners and 47 per cent for the players over the next decade.