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NFL Lockout Ends Before Debt Negotiations

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Collect your bets! The NFL Players Association executive board and 32 team reps voted unanimously Monday to approve the terms of a deal with owners to the end a 4 month long lockout. The contentious debate between players and owners has put America's most popular sport at a stand still. That said, the NFL can take solace in the fact that their back and forth was resolved in a shorter period of time than the ongoing debt-ceiling dispute between the nation's top lawmakers.

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ESPN explains the ins-and-outs of the deal:

"The major economic framework for the deal was worked out more than a week ago.

That included how the more than $9 billion in annual league revenues will be divided (about 53 percent to owners and 47 percent to players over the next decade; the old CBA resulted in nearly a 50-50 split); a per-club cap of about $120 million for salary and bonuses in 2011 -- and at least that in 2012 and 2013 -- plus about $22 million for benefits; a salary system to rein in spending on first-round draft picks; and unrestricted free agency for most players after four seasons.

The final process for negotiating the new collective bargaining agreement will begin after the NFLPA recertifies as a union. Benefits and health care, handling of grievances and the substance-abuse policy are all things that players will negotiate after they reform as a union, but the lack of a CBA will not hold up 2011 league business from beginning."

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