WASHINGTON - NFL owners and players agreed early Monday to the terms of a deal to end the lockout, and players were expected to begin the voting process later in the day, two people familiar with the negotiations told The Associated Press.
The people spoke on condition of anonymity because the process was supposed to remain secret and no formal announcement had been made.
The NFL Players Association’s executive committee was to meet Monday to be presented with the finalized agreement. Owners overwhelmingly approved a proposal last week, but some unresolved issues still needed to be figured out to satisfy players.
The sides worked through the weekend and wrapped up talks Monday morning, one of the people told the AP.
The league’s old labor deal expired in March and the owners locked out the players, the NFL’s first work stoppage since 1987.
“We have every reason to believe it’s going to be a good day,” NFL spokesman Greg Aiello wrote in an email to the AP.
If players sign off on the agreement Monday, NFL clubs would be able to start signing 2011 draft picks and rookie free agents on Tuesday. Conversations with veteran free agents also could start Tuesday and signings could begin Friday.
Under that tentative schedule, training camps would open for 10 of the 32 teams on Wednesday, 10 teams on Thursday, another 10 teams on Friday, and the last two teams on Sunday.