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Labor deal not signed, delivered, but Tampa Bay Storm hosts San Antonio Talons

TAMPA — After nearly a year of ongoing labor issues, Arena Football League officials and the players union had agreed in principle to terms of a multiyear collective bargaining agreement last weekend, and the signing of that deal and the release of its details were expected to be wrapped by Friday night.

None of that happened, but the two games that took place were played with the regular players.

The deal was expected to be signed Wednesday and wasn't. And the terms were to be announced during halftime of Friday's Orlando-New Orleans game televised on the NFL Network, but nothing in regard to the labor deal had been updated on the AFL website.

Arizona also played Milwaukee on Friday, and the Storm is set to take the field tonight against San Antonio.

Labor impasses caused the season-opening game on national television to take place with replacement players, and there was a forfeit this month.

Action Jackson: Former USF star Amarri Jackson was named the league's playmaker of the week after catching 12 passes against Orlando for 220 yards, tops in the league this season. Jackson also had four touchdowns in that game.

Jones retires: Former Bucs receiver Mark Jones retired last week. Jones, who also played defensive back for the Storm, caught 10 passes for 93 yards and one touchdown for the Storm this season.

Headed North: The Canadian Football League's Toronto Argonauts signed away receiver Chandler Williams and offensive lineman George Bussey before the Orlando game, but Bussey decided to returned to the Storm this week and was re-signed.

Williams caught 83 passes for 994 yards and 17 touchdowns in his first season with the Storm. He also ranks second in the AFL in return yards per game (23.0).

Transactions: The Storm placed defensive back Deonte Bolden (right knee) on injured reserve. Tampa Bay signed receiver Jonathan Lowe and released lineman Frisner Nelson.

Big Time: Former Storm star Sylvester Bembery was recently named No. 11 on the AFL's list of top 25 greatest players of all time. Bembery was a six-time All-Arena selection and won a pair of league titles with the Storm. The two-way lineman exited as the AFL's all-time leader with 43 sacks.

Bembery joined former Storm great Stevie Thomas (No. 12) on the AFL top players list. Thomas earned the first of his two Arena Bowl MVPs in 1991 and captured five league titles with Tampa Bay. Thomas also made his mark on the defensive side, retiring in 2001 as the league's all-time leader in fumble recoveries and interceptions returned for a touchdown.

St. Petersburg residents Bembery and Thomas, along with former Storm teammate George LaFrance, were among the AFL's 2011 Hall of Fame class.

>>tonight

Storm vs.

San Antonio

When/where: 7:30; Tampa Bay Times Forum

TV/radio: BHSN; 1250-AM

Labor deal not signed, delivered, but Tampa Bay Storm hosts San Antonio Talons 06/22/12 [Last modified: Friday, June 22, 2012 11:07pm]
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