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Owners to discuss whether to continue current CBA at spring meeting

ATLANTA -- It's supposed to serve as sort of a spring cleanup, a chance to resolve some unfinished business from the previous gathering of NFL owners before everyone disperses for the rest of the offseason.

A Super Bowl site will be selected. A playing rule and a couple of other competitive issues tabled two months ago in Palm Beach, Fla., will be put to a vote. Various other forms of football business will be discussed.

The owners may vote not to continue the collective bargaining agreement. If they do so, that could eventually lead to an uncapped year. Pat Kirwan debunks the myth that such a year would cause a free-for-all for the richest owners. Full story ...

But looming in the background is something that makes this spring meeting of NFL owners different from any other in recent years: The possibility of not extending the collective bargaining agreement with the NFL Players Association.

Owners plan to discuss the state of the current CBA, reached in 2006, on Tuesday. The current agreement is considered a six-year deal, but it contains provisions that call for an affirmation by 24 of the 32 NFL teams in order to include 2010 or 2011 as salary-capped years. There has been speculation that the owners will vote on that affirmation during Tuesday's session.

The deadline for extending the deal through 2010 is Nov. 8, but talk in league circles is that enough owners are unhappy with the CBA to be willing to take such action much sooner. Some owners believe that by providing players with 60 percent of the revenue, the agreement isn't good for the long-term health of their respective clubs.

Owners arriving here Monday had little to say on the topic.

Pittsburgh Steelers owner Dan Rooney would only acknowledge that the meeting was necessary to gauge what, if any, action should be taken on the CBA.

"It's too early to tell," Rooney said. "We've got to go through the process, and that's what we're going to do."

If the owners decide against extending the agreement, football would still be played for at least three seasons. The 2008 and 2009 seasons would proceed as usual, but there would be no salary cap in 2010. The possibility of some form of work stoppage, either through a strike or a lockout, would exist for 2011, although Rooney isn't counting on it.

"(The players) sure don't want a work stoppage," he said, adding that he expected players to forcefully challenge any lockout attempt.

"It'll be discussed," Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank said. "How the ownership will vote on it, I'm not sure. We're concerned obviously about the agreement. We want to do the right thing for the league and we want to do the right thing for the players and the right thing for ownership, as well."

Other highlights of the spring meeting agenda:

» Awarding Super Bowl XLVI, scheduled for Feb. 5, 2012, to one of three finalists: Arizona, Houston, or Indianapolis.

</center>**Indianapolis** -- Seeking first 
Super Bowl. 

Arizona -- Seeking third Super Bowl.

Houston -- Seeking third Supe Bowl.

» Vote on a rule, tabled last March, to prevent a player's hair from covering the nameplate or any part of the numbers on the back or sleeves of his jersey.

» Vote on a rule to increase the game-day active list from 45 to 47 players, plus a third quarterback.

» Vote on a rule to allow each club to dress a designated long-snapper for a game, provided he only participates on point-after and field-goal attempts, and punts.

» Vote to increase the number of players permitted on the year-round roster from 80 to 90, to increase the training-camp roster limit from 80 to 86, and increase the number of players after the first preseason roster reduction from 75 to 80.

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