[Updated at 2:01 p.m.] Members of the NFL Players Association have unanimously ratified their collective bargaining agreement, an association executive confirmed Monday.
[Posted at 8:59 a.m.] The NFL Players Association and the league have reached an agreement on a new labor deal, NFL.com reported Monday.
The deal is not set in stone: the 32 player representatives and all NFL players must approve the new deal. But NFL.com reports "at this point it appears a formality."
Sports Illustrated senior writer Peter King (@SI_PeterKing) reported the representatives will have a conference call at 11 a.m. ET.
Negotiators reached the agreement in the very early hours of Monday morning, the report said. If accepted, the deal would end the lockout that started in March.
Since the lockout, the two sides have faced off in courts and around conference tables. The major issues have revolved around how to divide the billions of dollars of revenue reaped via the league each year, rules of free agency, a possible rookie wage scale, retirement benefits and a host of other matters.
At the heart of the issue between the players and the owners was how to divide the league's $9 billion in revenue.
Under the old agreement, NFL owners took $1 billion off the top of that revenue stream. After that, the players got about 60%. The owners said the old labor deal didn't take into account the rising costs related to building stadiums and promoting the game. The players argued that the league has not sufficiently opened up its books to prove this.FULL STORY