NFL Team Owners Approve Tentative Deal

Originally published on July 21, 2011 9:12 pm
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MICHELE NORRIS, Host:

In the NFL labor dispute, the beginnings of a deal are emerging. Team owners have approved a new collective bargaining agreement that would end the 132-day lockout. Here's league president Roger Goodell.

ROGER GOODELL: I think we've crafted a long-term agreement that can be good for the game of football, be good for the players, be good for the clubs, and mostly importantly, good for our game and for our fans. We really are anxious to get back to football.

NORRIS: Mike, what do we know about the deal the owners signed off on this evening?

MIKE PESCA: Also, a big issue was how much rookies would get paid, because it was the case in the NFL where guys who were just coming to the league - sure, promising college players - would demand these enormous contracts, whereas proven NFL players couldn't get paid that much. So that's one of the issues that's also been addressed. Also, a big thing that football watchers were talking about for awhile, an 18 game season, doesn't look like that's going to come to pass.

NORRIS: Now, Mike, we know that there are indications that the players might not sign off on this. What's the latest? What are the sticking points?

PESCA: And there could be football - there's one preseason game that's cancelled, but there really - aside from the one game, could be football on the regular schedule that football fans were all anticipating.

NORRIS: And if the players do approve the deal, are there any other hurdles or steps they have to take?

PESCA: It seems to be the writing on the wall is for this deal to get done. The players will have to say we're going to reform the players union, and then, you know, we'll have a little bit different terms, there will be some different rules, but we're going to get back to football if that comes to pass.

NORRIS: So a template that could possibly maybe lead to a deal. What do the contours of the season start to look like?

PESCA: You know, overall, this was a hyper-scrutinized process, but I don't know how surprising it was. Looks like there's going to be football.

NORRIS: That's NPR's Mike Pesca. Mike, always good to talk to you. Thanks so much.

PESCA: You're welcome. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.