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As key dates near, labor talks resume today

NEW YORK — Owners and players were scheduled to resume negotiations today, with several deadlines looming as they hammer out a new collective bargaining agreement.

Both sides have been ordered to a meeting Tuesday in Minneapolis with mediator and U.S. Magistrate Judge Arthur Boylan. The owners have a special meeting set for July 21 in Atlanta, where they could vote to ratify a new deal if one is reached.

Meanwhile, the Rams and Bears are scheduled to open training camps late next week.

The latest target date for an agreement in principle on the deal is Sunday, the website profootballtalk.com said.

Talks bogged down Friday over the rookie wage scale, guidelines for free agency and how benefits for retired players will be funded. The rookie wage scale has become the primary sticking point, according to media reports.

Lawyers for both sides met in New York on Tuesday for a second straight day to clarify the language in a potential agreement.

Titans: Receiver Kenny Britt pleaded not guilty to three disorderly person charges stemming from a June arrest in Hoboken, N.J. Police had suspected Britt was carrying a marijuana cigar. Britt attend Tuesday's hearing and declined comment. A judge set a Sept. 20 trial date.

Irvin: Gay brother, my womanizing might be linked: Hall of Fame receiver Michael Irvin says his womanizing might have stemmed from seeing an older brother whom he idolized dressed as a woman and learning the brother was gay. In the latest issue of Out magazine, Irvin talks for the first time about his brother Vaughn, who died in 2006 of stomach cancer at 49. Irvin said he was 12 when he learned Vaughn was gay. "Maybe some of the issues I've had with so many women … maybe that's residual of the fear I had that, if my brother is wearing ladies' clothes, am I going to be doing that? Is it genetic?" Irvin said. "I'm certainly not making excuses for my bad decisions. But I had to dive inside of me to find out why I was making these decisions, and that came up." Irvin, now an NFL Network analyst and who has a Miami radio show, has supported same-sex marriage on his radio show, and he told Out he will give "100 percent support" to any active player in pro sports who says publicly he is gay.

As key dates near, labor talks resume today 07/12/11 [Last modified: Tuesday, July 12, 2011 11:21pm]
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