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Owners Approve NFL Lockout Deal; Vote Goes To Players

The process of ending the NFL lockout took a big step on Thursday as the NFL owners voted to approve the proposed deal with the players, according to NFL Network's Albert Breer. The vote was 31-0 with Al Davis and the Oakland Raiders abstaining (of course).

We're now halfway there as it now comes down to the players' vote.

NFLPA leadership is conducting a conference call with the players at 8:00 p.m. (ET) on Thursday night though we're not sure if that's just an update on where they stand or whether a vote to approve the deal will happen.

The current hang up is whether the lockout will be lifted only after the players officially recertify as a union, or if the league will immediately lift the lockout under certain conditions (such as the players recertifying as a union in a certain number of days). 

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith spent approximately an hour on the phone together Thursday night trying to compromise on a way to lift the lockout.