Judge officially puts end to legal fight between NFL, players

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- The legal fight between the NFL and its players is officially over.

U.S. District Judge Susan Richard Nelson issued an order in St. Paul, Minn., Friday that formally dismissed the antitrust lawsuit brought against the league on March 11 by a group of players headlined by New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady. The lockout began the next day and lasted 4 1/2 months. The new collective bargaining agreement was signed on Aug. 5.

Nelson wrote Friday that the owners and the NFL Players Association "have at all times acted with the utmost integrity and in the best interests of football."

The regular season starts on Sept. 8 when the defending Super Bowl champion Green Bay Packers host the New Orleans Saints.

Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press

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