NFL Lockout: NFLPA’s Kevin Mawae ‘Not Tied’ To Thursday Deadline

NEW YORK (WFAN/AP) — Cautioning not to assume the lockout will be over by the weekend, NFL Players Association president Kevin Mawae said his group is “not tied” to a deadline for getting a deal done in the next 24 hours.

“We want to go back to work,” the former Jets center said Wednesday outside NFLPA headquarters, “but we will not agree to a deal unless it’s the best deal for the players.”

“Our goal today is to see what’s on the table, discuss outlying issues that may or may not be there,” he added.

If the four-month lockout — the NFL’s first work stoppage since 1987 — is going to end in time to keep the preseason completely intact, the players and owners almost certainly must ratify the deal by Thursday. The St. Louis Rams and Chicago Bears are scheduled to open the preseason Aug. 7 in the Hall of Fame game.

The NFLPA’s executive committee and representatives of all 32 teams were meeting in Washington, prepared to review and vote on a full agreement — if they received it later Wednesday. Members of the NFL’s labor committee were meeting in Atlanta on Wednesday, so they could decide whether to recommend a finalized proposal to all club owners.

The owners then would vote Thursday; at least 24 would need to OK the deal. If it’s passed by both sides, team executives would be schooled Thursday and Friday in Atlanta in the guidelines and how to apply them; topics would include the 2011 NFL calendar, rookie salary system and new free agency rules.

“The players are not tied to a July 21 timeline,” Mawae said. “Our timeline is that which gives us the best deal for the players — today, tomorrow or whatever it might be.”

Two people familiar with the negotiations told The Associated Press that players and owners were expected to review a potential agreement by midday Wednesday. Another person, however, said there still were issues to be resolved.

All three people spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because the process was supposed to remain confidential.

The NFLPA’s executive committee reviewed only portions of a potential agreement Tuesday, with not enough information to warrant a vote yet.

There still were unresolved issues Tuesday, including what it would take to get the 10 plaintiffs — including quarterbacks Tom Brady, Peyton Manning and Drew Brees, Giants’ Osi Umenyiora, Chargers receiver Vincent Jackson and Patriots guard Logan Mankins — to sign off on a settlement to their antitrust lawsuit against the NFL that is pending in federal court in Minnesota.

Late Tuesday, Jackson tweeted: “I have made no demands, I wanna play ball like the rest of my peers!”

“Obviously, there’s the litigation with the named plaintiffs, and I am not familiar with the whole legal part of it. … But at the end of the day,” Mawae said, “the deal we are working on is the deal that’s best for all the players in the NFL, and not just four guys.”

Another pending dispute has been the TV networks case, in which players accused owners of setting up $4 billion in “lockout insurance.”

The country’s most popular professional sports league has been in limbo since the old collective bargaining agreement expired March 11. The lockout began hours later. The regular-season opener is scheduled for Sept. 8, when the Super Bowl champion Green Bay Packers are to host the New Orleans Saints.

Is the end near? Sound off below…

(TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

Comments

One Comment

  1. eric says:

    This is really starting to get on my nerves. Im a die hard football fan and have a love for this game like no other and this stinks. When this whole thing started I like everyone else took the players side but that is officially over. It seems to me the owners are being more than fair with their proposals and the only thing the players can think of is money and doing less to get more money. Now they are crying about 2 a day practices, give me a break (even high school teams do that). They dont care about getting a deal done until week 1 of the regular season because thats when they start taking a real hit in the wallet. If there is no deal tomorrow and if I were the owners I would drag this out as long as possibe and as a fan it hurts to say that. If the players had a love of the game and cared about the fans they would get off their ass and put a foot forward to get this thing done. They are regular people just like you and me but somebody needs to give them a reality check and let them know that. I could go on forever but Im getting to mad to even just say this much.

  2. Jeff says:

    Just a small question….Is there no spell check for the Comment Box?

  3. David Wms says:

    I LIKE MYSELF LOVE THE GAME OF FOOTBALL.. BUT IF THE PLAYERS THINK THEY ARE REALLY ALL THAT AND THE OWNERS THINK THEY ARE DICTATORS ..WE AS PEOPLE ARE GETTING TRIED OF ALL THIS BARGINING . WHEN YOU KNOW DAMN MINUTE TO TRY TO WORKOUT AN AGREEMENT. JUST LIKE THE FEDERAL GOVT..WAITING ….WE NEED THE FEDERAL GOVT TO MAKE WE DON’T NEED FOOTRBALL TO SURVIVE…THINK ABOUT THAT LOST ……KEEP PLAYING GAME KIDS…

  4. tameaca baker says:

    i love the nfl games why are they taking to long to decide what to do just take a pay cut and let the games begin i just cant what

  5. Susan says:

    Why do NFL players think they are above society? My husband and I work and have no pension; those went away years ago; a time we both remember. NFL players make millions and should learn how to save thru 401Ks like the rest of us. They think they can break the law and be entitled to benefits. Being a professional athlete is their choice, and is a job. Why should society treat them any different. They need to manage their money; not spent it carelessly. I no longer enjoy the sport as the majority of them are whiners expecting to be worshipped.

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