Labor deal agreed upon

OWINGS MILLS -- Following a turbulent time in NFL history where players were locked out for four months, labor peace has finally been achieved. Well, almost. The league and the decertified NFL Players Association finally agreed to terms early Monday morning, according to FOX Sport

Now, the NFLPA executive commmittee, player representatives and rank-and-file members have to vote today to approve it. That's not expected to be a problem, though What's next?

Per the report and according to an e-mail from New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees, free agency would begin as soon as Tuesday at noon. Camps could open Tuesday with training camps beginning Thursday for 10 teams, Friday for another 10 and over the weekend for the 12 other teams.

The players would begin recertifying as a union after reporting to team headquarters. An e-mail from Brees to teammates outlines the following details to follow:

As has been the case with this entire process, it looks like the details and schedule has changed for training camp and free agency. This is the latest although I cannot confirm anything at this point. I just want to make you aware as to what is being discussed so nothing catches you by surprise."

"Free Agency - It now looks like free agency will begin at noon on Tuesday and it will be open free agency. There will be no 3 day grace period for teams to sign their own players. It will be open for anyone to sign anywhere."

"Training Camp - It looks like the NFL is trying to force teams into camp on time. This would move us to a report date of Thursday, July 28. We would have physicals, conditioning, and meetings on this day. The day before would be a travel day and the hotel would be open that night for guys to check in as well as physicals but nothing mandatory until Thursday. I will keep you updated with the latest information. Unfortunately, it tends to change very quickly. Just stay prepared for anything." Meanwhile, Baltimore Ravens cornerback Domonique Foxworth's timeline differs slightly from Brees' take.

The NFLPA executive committee member emphasized they should be prepared for a fairly chaotic transition from a lockout of four months to getting back to work. The labor deal is expected to be finalized as soon as Monday

"I want you guys to be prepared for the possibility of this week being very crazy," Foxworth wrote in an email to teammates. "None of this is set in stone, but this is how the week may look. Players who are on a roster may be asked to report Wednesday or Thursday. A report date will likely involve a full physical and possibly a conditioning test, but no practice. The next two days will be non-padded helmets only."

Foxworth added that teams won't get into full pads until the fourth day of training camp with very few padded practices until the end of the preseason.

As for free agency, Foxworth wrote: "Free agents may be able to talk to teams as early as Tuesday or Wednesday but not sign with the team or report to camp until after we vote to reconstitute the union, negotiate benefits and ratify a CBA." It's going to be a flurry of activity as soon as the labor deal is ratified.

"The time crunch will be tough on all of us, but may work to the advantage of some free agents," Foxworth wrote."As I said, none of this is set in stone, but I want to give you guys the latest information so you can begin to plan.

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