NFL, NFLPA working on final details of new CBA |

NFL, NFLPA working on final details of new CBA

WASHINGTON (AP) – It’s on to the next step for the NFL and its players, who are getting closer to a full-fledged collective bargaining agreement.

“The NFL and NFLPA staffs have been working for the past few days on the final details of the new CBA,” league spokesman Greg Aiello wrote in an email to The Associated Press on Saturday.

A person familiar with the negotiations confirmed to the AP that the NFL Players Association already re-established itself as a union. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because no announcement had been made by the NFLPA.

Re-establishing the union was a key step needed to finish a CBA after the main parts of the deal to end the NFL’s 4 1/2-month lockout were agreed to by owners on July 21 and by players on Monday. Only a union can negotiate items such as drug testing, player conduct policy and disability and pension programs.

For the lockout to remain lifted and the season to proceed, those issues must be resolved and a full CBA completed by Thursday, a deadline both sides are confident will be met.

In March, when federally mediated talks in Washington between owners and players broke down and the old CBA expired, the NFLPA said it was dissolving itself as a union and instead becoming a trade association. That move allowed the players to sue the league under antitrust law, and 10 did, including Tom Brady, Peyton Manning and Drew Brees. That case was settled as part of the deal the sides have agreed to.

But by decertifying, the NFLPA gave up its right to bargain on behalf of all players under labor law. That’s why the union needed to form again in order to complete a CBA.

Once the CBA is fully squared away, veteran free agents who have signed new contracts in the past few days will be allowed to practice with their teams. Those players are currently allowed to attend team meetings, work out individually and watch – but not participate – in practice.

“It’s frustrating,” Buffalo Bills receiver/quarterback Brad Smith said after watching the team’s first walk-through of training camp in suburban Rochester on Saturday. “It’s good. I can sit here and watch the guys go through the plays and learn the system. It hurts a little bit. But it’s a positive opportunity.”

The former New York Jets multipurpose offensive star signed a four-year contract with the Bills on Friday.

In addition to the Bills, at least the following teams had voted in favor of re-certification as of Saturday: Patriots, Chiefs, Broncos, Bengals, Cowboys, Jaguars, Browns, Saints, Steelers, 49ers, Falcons, Giants, Titans, Buccaneers, Bears, Cardinals, Dolphins, Rams and Redskins.

Giants player rep Kareem McKenzie said of his team’s unanimous vote: “The guys really wanted to go ahead. Once they had an idea of what the deal encompassed and all we gained, the guys really wanted to get back to work.”

National Football League

Satruday’s Transactions

ARIZONA CARDINALS-Agreed to terms with CB Richard Marshall and DT Amobi Okoye to one-year contracts. Signed CB Tae Evans. Agreed to terms with CB Patrick Peterson. Released CB Da’mon Merkerson.

BALTIMORE RAVENS-Signed CB Chris Carr to a four-year contract.

CHICAGO BEARS-Agreed to terms with RB Marion Barber on a two-year contract and CB Corey Graham on a one-year contract. Waived G Herman Johnson.

CINCINNATI BENGALS-Signed QB Andy Dalton, LB Dontay Moch, QB Bruce Gradkowski, HB Brian Leonard and S Gibril Wilson. Agreed to terms with CB Nate Clements.

CLEVELAND BROWNS-Signed K Phil Dawson, RB Brandon Jackson, DB Usama Young, TE Evan Moore, LB Marcus Benard, DL Brian Schaefering, G Billy Yates, DE Jabaal Sheard, WR Greg Little, TE Jordan Cameron, RB Owen Marecic, DB Buster Skrine, OT Jason Pinkston, DB Eric Hagg, LB Derrick Addai, G Dominic Alford, DL Kyle Anderson, DT Andre Caroll, WR L.J. Castile, CB James Dockery, DE Jabari Fletcher, OL Calton Ford, WR Evan Frosch, CB Carl Gettis, DB Darian Hagan, LB Benjamin Jacobs, WR Chris Matthews, WR Juan Nunez, OL Jarrod Shaw, RB Armond Smith, LB Brian Smith, LB Sidney Tarver, QB Troy Weatherhead, K Jeff Wolfert and LB Alex Wujciak.

DALLAS COWBOYS-Signed OL Doug Free, OL Kyle Kosier, S Alan Ball, WR Jesse Holley and CB Bryan McCann.

DETROIT LIONS-Released CB Marquise Liverpool.

GREEN BAY PACKERS-Re-signed K Mason Crosby, TE Spencer Havner and WR Brett Swain. Signed OT Derek Sherrod, RB Alex Green and CB Davon House.

HOUSTON TEXANS-Cut DT Amobi Okoye, QB Dan Orlovsky and WR David Anderson. Signed OT Darius Morris.

INDIANAPOLIS COLTS-Re-signed QB Peyton Manning to a multiyear contract.

JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS-Signed S Dawan Landry, CB Drew Coleman and DE Steven Wesley. Waived OL Sifa Etu.

MIAMI DOLPHINS-Re-signed DL Tony McDaniel. Signed LB Jason Trusnik, QB Matt Moore, RB Daniel Thomas and WR Clyde Gates.

NEW ORLEANS SAINTS-Signed RB Mark Ingram and LB Martez Wilson.

NEW YORK GIANTS-Signed C David Baas, G Chris White and G Brant Clouser, TE Christian Hopkins and P Steve Weatherford.

NEW YORK JETS-Signed WR Santonio Holmes to five-year contract. Signed S Eric Smith, K Nick Folk, OL Wayne Hunter, OL Robert Turner and WR Jeremy Kerley. Signed DE Muhammad Wilkerson to a four-year contract.

OAKLAND RAIDERS-Signed QB Trent Edwards. Re-signed OL Khalif Barnes and LB Sam Williams.

PHILADELPHIA EAGLES-Signed DL Cullen Jenkins to a five-year contract and LB Akeem Jordan. Traded DT Brodrick Bunkley to Cleveland for a 2012 fifth-round pick.

SAN DIEGO CHARGERS-Agreed to terms with QB Brian Volek on a two-year contract.

ST. LOUIS RAMS-Agreed to terms with WR Mike Sims-Walker on a one-year contract and DE Robert Quinn on a four-year contract.

SEATTLE SEAHAWKS-Signed K Brandon Coutu. Re-signed DT Junior Siavii.

TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS-Re-signed K Connor Barth, QB Rudy Carpenter, WR Micheal Spurlock, OT James Lee, OT Demar Dotson, DE Michael Bennett, S Corey Lynch, and CB Elbert Mack. Agreed to terms with RB Allen Bradford.

TENNESSEE TITANS-Signed G Leroy Harris.

WASHINGTON REDSKINS-Signed DL Barry Cofield and DL Stephen Bowen. Re-signed CB Byron Westbrook. Placed S LaRon Landry, S Kareem Moore and LB Robert Henson on the physically-unable-to-perform list.