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Deal Struck To End NFL Lockout

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MIAMI (CBSMiami.com) – After more than four months of the NFL lockout, NFL Players and team owners have agreed to the terms of a new 10-year collective bargaining agreement.

The deal was reportedly struck around 3 a.m. Monday morning. The NFL players signed off on the deal Monday afternoon.

The new CBA will see the players receive 47 percent of the annual revenue that currently stands at $9 billion. A salary cap of $120 million for salary and bonuses would be enacted in 2011 and it will continue to rise as the revenue increases.

There will also be a new rookie wage scale for first-round picks. This would prevent a situation like former number 1 overall pick Jamarcus Russell, who collected around $30 million in guaranteed money, but was out of the league in just two years.

Plus, and perhaps biggest to the players, almost all players would become unrestricted free agents after playing four years in the league. First-round picks could get a fifth-year added to their first contract, but it would be at a very high price.

In years past, unrestricted free agency started on March 1 and gave teams plenty of time to get their targeted free agents signed. Now, the process will be compressed to starting unrestricted free agency on Friday at 6:00 p.m.

Here’s a basic timeline being set-up for the week ahead:

  • Tuesday, teams can sign draft picks and rookie free agents. Additionally, teams could start to talk to free agents from other clubs, though no deal can be finalized before 6 p.m. Friday evening, when unrestricted free agency begins.
  • Wednesday, 10 teams would open training camp; followed by another 10 Thursday; another 10 Friday, and the final two on Sunday.
  • Next Tuesday, training camp would officially open, though every team will have reported by then.
  • Teams will then have roughly two weeks to prepare for the first preseason game.

During the process, the ten named plaintiffs in the Brady anti-trust lawsuit would have to inform the courts of their approval of the new CBA. Plus, while training camps will be open, players will have to vote to recertify as a union and then negotiate items like the league’s conduct policy and drug testing.

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