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Interview with NFL Network’s Albert Breer Craig Thomas

Derrin Horton: “We have breaking news in the National Football League concerning the labor negotiations. Albert, what can you tell us?”

Albert Breer: “What I can tell you is that outside of some ancillary details, the economics of new deal between the owners and players is done. That’s obviously very big news. This deal all along has been about finances, about splitting up $9-10 billion in revenue, and it seems like they’ve found enough solutions. Now remember, there are still a lot of other hoops to jump through; the legacy fund for retirees is one, another is player safety. Some of these issues they can’t even deal with until the union either recertifies or the players are able to get a waiver from the owners. But the finances are the thing that drove this all along and it looks like they have found the solutions that they needed and are moving forward with some of the other details trying to work this thing out.”

Horton: “With all of that said, when do you anticipate this thing will officially be announced?”

Breer: “I don’t know if there is going to be an announcement on this detail of it because the economics aren’t the only part of the deal. Like I said, the legacy fund actually plays into the economics a little bit, but that would be one to take care of. And then the player safety stuff. Also the litigation settlement proceedings; that’s not necessarily easy. But there is a timeline that they’ve set up here for the next week or so to take care of the rest of this. The players could handle their vote by a conference call; DeMaurice Smith said on his way in that that’s something important to work out. The owners’ objective has been to vote on July 21 in Atlanta and it looks like that is a very realistic goal at this point. They’ve also got to meet with Judge Boylan, but everything looks good right now.”

Horton: “So again, the big headline here is the economics are settled. Take us through the next seven days?”

Breer: “They’ll meet today, possibility exists they’ll meet over the weekend; no decision on that quite yet. They’re scheduled to meet in Minneapolis with Judge Arthur Boylan on Tuesday, and the hope all along was that would be the beginning of the logistics of the litigation settlement. Obviously could have taken on a number of different forms based on how this week went, but Thursday’s breakthroughs have obviously pushed that more towards the best-case scenario idea. And then after that meeting with Boylan, you go to Thursday in Atlanta on July 21 where the owners would vote on a completed deal. The hope is they can have the completed deal ready for the owners, the lawyers would have to review the hundreds of pages here. Like I said, the finances have driven this thing all along and it looks like they’ve found the solutions that they need in that area.”