NFL owners on Thursday voted to approve a new 10-year collective bargaining agreement with the NFL Players Association in Atlanta, a move which represents just one half of an end to a lockout as players must now vote to pass it so the new season can begin.
The owners voted 31-0 to approve the new agreement, although the Oakland Raiders abstained from voting.
Beginning in 2012, players will receive 55 percent of national media revenue, 45 percent of NFL Ventures revenue, and 40 percent of local club revenue.
However over the long term player share must average at least 47 percent of the 10-year term of the agreement.
NFLLockout.com, a site run by the NFLPA, noted that since 2002, percentage of All Re3venue received by players has been above 50 percent.
The owners opted out of a 2006 agreement that was meant to last six years. Players had sought to keep that agreement in place.
The salary cap in place for teams will be $142.4 million per club in 2011 and at least that in 2012 and 2013.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said the deal emerged from a spirit of compromise. He said if approved by the players, the agreement would deliver to fans an even better, safer and more competitive game in the future.
Voluntary workouts by players can begin on July 23 if the NFLPA Executive Board approves the settlement terms, the NFL said. If approved, free agency signings will start at 2:00 PM ET on July 27 and training camps will open on July 27.
Among other terms in the deal are reductions in full contact practices access for current players to a medical plan for life, no extension of the NFL season until at least 2013, and a $50 million per year fund for various medical and charity related programs.
Retired players will get increased pensions and improvements in post-career medical options.
Below are a list of key dates for NFL operations as reported by the NFL:
July 23: Voluntary training, conditioning and classroom instruction permitted until first day of clubs' preseason training camps.
July 23: Pre-2011 League Year Period commences. 2011 Free Agency List to be issued and will become effective on the first day of the 2011 League Year (July 27). Clubs/players may begin to renegotiate contracts. Clubs may begin to sign Drafted Rookies and their own UFAs, RFAs, Exclusive Rights Players and Franchise Players.
July 23: Waivers begin for the 2011 League Year.
July 23: Starting at 2:00 PM ET, clubs may negotiate with, but not sign, Undrafted Rookie Free Agents, free agents, and other clubs' UFAs, RFAs, and Franchise Players.
July 24: Starting at 2:00 PM ET, clubs may begin to sign undrafted rookie free agents.
July 27: 2011 League Year commences at 2:00 PM ET, provided NFLPA has ratified CBA. Free Agency Signing Period begins. Clubs may sign free agents and other clubs' Unrestricted Free Agents. Clubs may sign Offer Sheets. Trading period begins. All Clubs must be under the Salary Cap. Top 51 rule applies.
July 27: Expand rosters to 90-man limit.
July 27: Training Camps open for all clubs, provided NFLPA has ratified CBA. Day One activities limited to physicals, meetings, and conditioning. No pads permitted on Day Two or Day Three.
Aug. 9: Deadline for players under contract to report to their clubs to earn an Accrued Season for free agency.
Aug. 11-15: First Preseason Weekend
Aug. 12: Deadline for signing of Offer Sheets by Restricted Free Agents. (17-day period concludes)
Aug. 12: Deadline for June 1 Tender to Unrestricted Free Agents. If the player has not signed a Player Contract with a Club by August 26, he may negotiate or sign a Player Contract from August 26 until the Tuesday following the tenth week of the regular season, at 4:00 PM ET, only with his Prior Club.
Aug. 12: Deadline: if a Drafted Rookie has not signed a Player Contract by this date, he cannot be traded during his initial League Year and may sign a Player Contract only with the drafting Club until the day of the Draft in the next League Year.
Aug. 13-17: Each Club has until five days prior to its second preseason game to provide any tendered but unsigned Exclusive Rights Player or Restricted Free Agent with written notice of the Club's intent to place the player on the Exempt List if the player fails to report at least the day before the Club's second preseason game.
Aug. 16: Deadline for Prior Club to exercise Right of First Refusal to Restricted Free Agents. (Four-day matching period concludes)
Aug. 17: Deadline for June 1 Tender to Restricted Free Agents who have received a Qualifying Offer for a Right of First Refusal Only.
Aug. 18-22: Second Preseason Weekend.
Aug. 25-28: Third Preseason Weekend.
Aug. 26: Signing Period ends for Unrestricted Free Agents who received the June 1 Tender.
Aug. 29: Deadline for June 15 Tender to Restricted Free Agents. If player's Qualifying Offer is greater than 110% of the player's prior year's Paragraph 5 Salary (with all other terms of his prior year contract carried forward unchanged), the Club may withdraw the Qualifying Offer on August 29 and retain its exclusive negotiating rights to the player, so long as the Club immediately tenders the player a one-year Player Contract of at least 110% of his prior year's Paragraph 5 Salary, with all the terms of his prior year's contract carried forward unchanged.
Aug. 30: Clubs reduce rosters from 90 players to 75 players.
Sept. 1-2: Fourth Preseason Weekend.
Sept. 3: Clubs reduce rosters to 53 players.
Sept. 8-12: First Regular-Season Weekend.
Sept. 18-19: Second Regular-Season Weekend.
Sept. 20: Deadline at 4:00 PM ET for any Club that designated a Franchise Player to sign such player to a multi-year