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Owners arrive at meeting in Atlanta hopeful of vote to end lockout



The NFL lockout is not over but owners are jingling the keys.

The league's owners arrived this morning at the Atlanta Marriott Gateway hopeful of voting to end the four month lockout.

"I’d be disappointed like 330 million people in America if it didn’t get done today,” Falcons owner Arthur Blank told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution upon arriving to the meetings Thursday.

On Wednesday, representatives from all 32 teams did grant conditional approval of the deal at the NFL Players Association meeting in Washington, D.C., assuming the antitrust lawsuit involving 10 players and other matters are resolved.

The list includes settling the television revenue lawsuit that was viewed as lockout insurance by the owners, as well as the matter of $320-million in benefits lost as part of the 2010 uncapped-year rules.

The NFLPA also would have to vote to re-certify the union so they could ratify the Collective Bargaining Agreement on behalf of the players. 

If owners are able to vote on the new CBA, it would require at least 24 owners to approve the deal. If it's passed by both sides, four executives from each team will be briefed today and Friday in Atlanta on the 2011 NFL calender, the rookie salary system and free agency rules.

But time is running short. The Hall of Fame preseason game in Canton, Ohio is in jeopardy as the Bears and Rams were scheduled to report to training camp Friday.


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