Drew Brees
The NFL lockout is over, as representatives of the players union, prominent players such as Drew Brees (pictured) and league owners agreed on a new bargaining agreement. Image from Wikimedia Commons.

The National Football League and the NFL Player’s Association have reached a deal for a new collective bargaining agreement, and the NFL lockout is over. The new CBA was passed unanimously by NFL players, including those who had sued the NFL on anti-trust grounds.

2011 NFL season is on

As the 2010 NFL season drew to a close, the National Football League and the NFL Player’s Association entered into a tense showdown over the expiring collective bargaining agreement between the league, team owners and the player’s union. An agreement wasn’t reached before the CBA expired, which started a labor lockout that lasted 136 days, according to USA Today. The new agreement between the NFLPA and the league passed unanimously. All representatives of the players’ union and all but one NFL team voted to approve the new CBA. The only team that didn’t approve the new CBA was the Oakland Raiders, who abstained from the vote citing “intellectual differences” with the NFL.  The Raiders’ organization and the NFL have frequently clashed.

Back to work

The new collective bargaining agreement has been ratified by the league and representatives of the NFLPA, but representatives on all 32 NFL teams still have to ratify the new CBA, according to the Los Angeles Times. However, there is little indication that they won’t. NFL players can stay under league health coverage for life, and $900 million to $1 billion will be set aside for NFL player pensions.

Now that the lockout is over, newly drafted rookies might begin signing contracts before the end of the week and free agency will begin for many players. Training season will begin with 10 NFL training camps scheduled to open on Wednesday, 10 more on Thursday and 10 more on Friday. The last two training camps to open will be the Houston Texans and the New York Jets, who are both waiting until Sunday. The season will follow the current format of four pre-season games and 16 regular season games.

A bridge too Favre

Two quarterbacks are currently the focus of a lot of rumors and discussion. Both wear the No. 4, and the rumors all have to do with the Philadelphia Eagles. Kevin Kolb, who began the 2010 season as the starting quarterback after Donovan McNabb left for the Washington Redskins, is likely to be traded. It is well known that he doesn’t want to be Michael Vick’s backup. Currently, according to NBC Sports, speculation is that Kolb is going to be traded to either the Arizona Cardinals or the Seattle Seahawks. Rumors have also begun swirling that Brett Favre is going to come out of retirement, again, to play back-up for the Eagles, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer. Favre’s agent has said that the rumors are all “speculation.”

Sources

USA Today: http://content.usatoday.com/communities/thehuddle/post/2011/07/reports-nfl-players-agree-to-new-collective-bargaining-agreement/1

Los Angeles Times: http://www.latimes.com/sports/la-spw-nfl-lockout-20110726,0,6929481.story

NBC Sports: http://nbcsports.msnbc.com/id/43882040/ns/sports-player_news/

Philadelphia Inquirer: http://www.philly.com/philly/sports/eagles/126101123.html?cmpid=15585797

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