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NFL owners near agreement on proposal

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell speaks during news conference NFL football owners meetings Rosemont Ill. Tuesday June 21 2011. (AP Photo/Nam

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell speaks during a news conference at the NFL football owners meetings in Rosemont, Ill., Tuesday, June 21, 2011. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

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Updated: July 1, 2011 4:38PM

The NFL owners took a small step ­toward agreeing on a proposed collective-bargaining agreement Tuesday.

But once they do that, they still have to negotiate with the players.

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said the ownership gained a better understanding of the proposal during the 51/2-hour meeting at the Westin O’Hare, but he also said there’s still a lot of work to do.

‘‘The agreement that we’re focusing on and negotiating has got to address several issues, and those issues are complex,’’ Goodell said. ‘‘We’ve got to do it right.

‘‘We have a very strong view of the priorities, a very strong view of what we need to continue to accomplish and a determination to get there.’’

Under the proposed CBA, players would receive a 48 percent share of the revenue, according to an ESPN report published Tuesday. The players received about 60 percent of the revenue in the previous CBA.

The 48 percent might be enough for the players because the revenue is projected to increase, mainly because of a proposed 16-game Thursday night TV package, according to the ESPN report.

No vote was taken Tuesday because the purpose of the meeting was simply to update the owners and team representatives on the parameters of the proposed CBA and ask for their input on the negotiations. At least nine of the 32 owners would have to be opposed to the proposal to keep it from going forward.

‘‘Now’s the time to keep pressing,’’ Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay said before the meeting. ‘‘These things usually chug along, they stop and they start. They’re fragile and they can come apart, but you try to have people on both sides that are so persistent and stay the course and try to get something done.’’

With only a month left before training camps are scheduled to open, Goodell said he hopes the frequency of meetings with the NFL Players Association increases.

‘‘Is there a drop-dead date? There isn’t,” he said. ‘‘But obviously, time is moving quickly, and we’re fast approaching training camp period. I think there’s an urgency for everybody to get this done.’’

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