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Conflicting Reports Continue About a Deal Being Close

The call came from an NFL player Monday morning. The message: Don’t believe the hype. He was talking about reports of a labor deal between the NFL owners and the league’s players getting close to being done.

“That’s not true,” the player said. “All that is hype coming from the owners side to try and put pressure on us to do a deal. They want to make us look bad. It’s simply not true. There is a lot of work to be done. They are not close.” Amid reports that a deal could be done by July 21, the player said that is far from the information he is getting from his representatives. “Consider where that information is coming from, it’s the owners,” the player said.

“Their reason is to try and create all this false hope to put more pressure on us.” The player said there are still a lot of hurdles to overcome to get a deal done and has one wish to help make it come true: Get everybody out of the room, except for NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and DeMaurice Smith, the head of the players association. “Do it one-on-one like their predecessors used to do,” the player said.

“When Gene Upshaw and Paul Tagliabue went into a room, they got it done. That’s what needs to happen now. The players in there are smart, but they don’t know how to close a deal. As for Goodell, he needs to drop his nuts. He needs to have the power to do a deal. It needs to be two guys in a room.” Asked if he expected a deal to be done by July 21, the player said, “I’d be shocked.”

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