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Peace at hand; players to vote


Labor peace would seem to be at hand following a vote by NFL owners on Thursday to ratify a new collective bargaining agreement between the league and its players. The league now awaits ratification by the players.

The agreement would be for 10 years. Vote among the owners was taken at a meeting in Atlanta.

"We are pleased to announce that our clubs have approved the terms of a long-term negotiated agreement with the NFL players," NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said. "It includes many positive changes that emerged from a spirit of compromise rooted in doing what is best for the game and players. DeMaurice Smith and his team, and the players and owners involved in the negotiations, deserve great credit for their skill and professionalism. If approved by the players, this agreement will allow the league and its players to continue to benefit from the NFL's popularity and will afford a unique opportunity to deliver to fans an even better, safer and more competitive game in the future."

The league announced that players may begin voluntary workouts at club facilities as early as Saturday, provided the players ratify the proposed CBA. The league year and free agency would begin at 2 p.m. ET on Wednesday, July 27, and training camps for all teams would also open on July 27. First-day activities would be limited to physical exams, meetings and conditioning. Players would practice without wearing pads on days two and three.

Packers President Mark Murphy was to speak to reporters via conference call at 7:30 p.m. will update this story with details from Murphy's conference call.

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