(NECN) - THE National Football League Players Association executive board, along with 32 team representatives, approved the terms of a new agreement to end the lockout.
The players voted on a deal that owners approved last week; they unanimously agreed on a new CBA that will last for ten years.
Patriots owner Robert Kraft, who lost his wife just last week, was at the NFLPA headquarters along with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, NFLPA Executive Director DeMaurice Smith, as well as other owners. They held a press conference following the vote to announce the news.
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"First of all, I would like to, on behalf of both sides, to apologize to the fans that for the last 5-6 months we've been talking about the business of football and not what goes on on the field and building the teams in each market," said Kraft. "But the end result is, we've been able to have an agreement that I think is going to allow this sport to flourish over the next decade and we've done that in a way that's unique among the major sports that every team in our league, all 32, will be competitive. We've improved player safety and we've remembered the players that have played in the past."
Near the end of the press conference, Smith turned to Kraft and thanked him for his services.
"We couldn't have done it without you. We took a day off on Friday to remember a great woman and her great family. I'm thankful for what she meant to the city of Boston; I'm especially thankful for what you mean to the game of football."