The NFL lockout is inching closer to a close and cleared one major hurdle just moments ago as the owners voted to ratify the agreement. This, essentially, means the deal is halfway home, with the players expected to do the same in just under an hour. Once passed, the NFL may resume, or it may wait until the NFLPA recertifies in the near future.
The news was reported by NFL Network's Albert Breer, with a simple tweet that says it all.
Resolution passed by the owners.
The vote was passed by a 31-0 margin, and you'll never guess who abstained. Al Davis, you guys!
Final voting result according to @richeisen: 31-0 (Oakland Raiders abstained).
The NFLPA, operating as a trade union, will now hold a conference call to ratify the agreement, as well. If it passes, and there's no indication it won't, the NFLPA would then have to become a union again, a stipulation the owners have held tight to. This process could take days or longer, and Chester Pitts believes it will be at least two weeks until teams are able to open training camps.
The agreement the owners ratified is set to last 10 years, and will form the basis of the NFL for that time period. It includes a revenue sharing plan more slanted in the owners favor, and concessions from both sides that were hammered out in the past few weeks with the deadline for training camps to begin looming.
We'll be back with more as it becomes available. For the latest news and updates on the ongoing labor battle, stay with our NFL lockout StoryStream. Head over to Field Gulls for a breakdown of the lockout.