NFL Lockout: Players Association Makes 'Major Progress' In Talks On Saturday

Saturday's talks between the National Football League and NFL Players Association has led to "major progress" towards a new collective bargaining agreement, ESPN's Chris Mortensen and John Clayton reported.

Legal and financial teams for the NFLPA are working throughout the day, with the 11-member NFLPA Executive Committee members remaining in contact via phone. The 10-member NFL Management Council Executive Committee also held a conference call to discuss the outstanding labor issues.

According to the ESPN report, the players' executive committee is expected to meet on Monday at the NFLPA's Washington, D.C. headquarters where they could vote to recommend the 10-year collective bargaining agreement and recertifying the union. After the executive committee makes its recommendation, the 32 player representatives will vote on the CBA and recertification issue before the matter is in the hands of the ten plaintiffs in the Brady v NFL antitrust lawsuit.

A major hurdle in the settlement of the antitrust lawsuit was cleared earlier on Saturday when a request for unrestricted free agency or $10 million on behalf of franchised San Diego Chargers wide receiver Vincent Jackson was withdrawn. Earlier requests made on behalf of New England Patriots guard Logan Mankins, Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning and New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees had already been withdrawn.

Once the players reform as a union, remaining issues such as the league's drug testing and discipline policies can be collectively bargained with the league.

Jason La Canfora of the NFL Network reports that there are a lot of moving parts, particularly concerning the recertification timeline, but the players could be in position to vote on a collective bargaining agreement on Tuesday, with the 2011 league year possibly beginning on Wednesday and training camps opening up on Friday of next week.

Albert Breer of the NFL Network reports that talks are still ongoing.

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