NFLPA officials say players don't have hard deadline for deal

Two NFL Players Association officials emphasized Wednesday morning that the 32 player reps won't be rushed as they review paperwork that could lead to an end to the lockout.

NFLPA president Kevin Mawae, a retired player, and George Atallah, NFLPA Assistant Executive Director of External Affairs, spoke to reporters in Washington, D.C.

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"Our goal today is to see what's on the table," Mawae said. "Make no mistake, the players are not in a rush and are not tied to the timeline of July 21 (Thursday). Our timeline is the timeline that gets the best deal for the players.

"Whether it's today or tomorrow, we're not going to agree to any deal unless it's the right deal.

"At the end of the day, when we strike a deal, there's going to be stuff we don't like ... stuff that the other side doesn't like. That's the sign of good bargaining."

First to review the document when it is ready will be 13-man NFLPA executive committee and the 10-man NFL labor committee. With their recommendations, votes will take place.

The players' side would present the agreement to player reps for all 32 clubs, who would vote on whether to recommend the settlement to the plaintiffs in the Brady et al v. National Football League et al lawsuit. The player reps were meeting in Washington, D.C., Wednesday, where a vote is expected to take place once they see a document to review. The next step could be the recertification of the union, which requires all 1,900 players to vote, a simple majority to pass, and could be done by e-mail or conference call.

"We're in a good place -- all our guys are here," Mawae said. "The process is what we need to worry about. Today's meeting with our board is not to OK a deal and move forward. Our board is here, (so) if the deal in its totality is the right deal, they will pass it on."

NFL owners and team executives are gathering in Atlanta Wednesday and are scheduled to meet Thursday, when they could vote to agree to a new collective bargaining agreement.

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