[size=18px]NFL owners, players make nice in Minneapolis courtroom[/size]

Judge grants preliminary approval to parts of settlement.

Last update: July 25, 2006 – 6:35 PM
Star Tribune

A key element in the new six-year extension of the collective bargaining agreement between the NFL and its Players Association was nailed down in U.S. District Court in Minneapolis today.

After a cordial, 25-minute hearing, Judge David Doty granted preliminary approval to new aspects of a longstanding settlement that, among other things, guarantees players free agency and a percentage of NFL revenues.

The terms of that settlement - of a 1993 class action suit brought by Hall of Famer Reggie White -- remain under Doty's jurisdiction.

Doty has overseen NFL labor issues for two decades.

The White provisions are part of the labor deal the league and union tentatively struck last March. Final language in the new contract should be resolved within weeks, said NFL Management Council lawyer Dennis Curran. The players must still ratify the deal.

Bringing such core issues as free agency back to Doty is the union's idea.

"It keeps both sides on the straight and narrow," said NFLPA Executive Director Gene Upshaw, who was in court for the hearing.

JAY WEINER

NFL owners, players make nice in Minneapolis courtroom