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Still more bargaining ahead

NFL Players Association President Kevin Mawae, left, speaks

NFL Players Association President Kevin Mawae, left, speaks to reporters as he stands with NFL Players Association spokesman George Atallah outside the NFL Players Association offices in Washington. (July 20, 2011) Photo Credit: AP

While the key points of the NFL's 10-year collective bargaining agreement have been hammered out, and while players are expected to approve the deal today and thus end the lockout, there is still some work to be done on the CBA. 

George Atallah, the NFL Players Association's executive director for external affairs, said that several issues will continue to be negotiated after the approval process is completed sometime later today. 

The way Atallah explained it, a document would be signed by both parties indicating that neither side would go back on any terms previously agreed to in CBA talks, but that talks would continue on any outstanding issues. Among the items to be negotiated: grievance procedures, benefits, drug policy issues, and other work rules that apply to the players. Atallah said these items can only be bargaining with a union. The NFLPA is currently decertified, but players will quickly move to recertify. But because that process can take several days -  due to players having to physically sign cards authorizing the reformation of the union - both sides wanted to have a mechanism where they could negotiate issues without further delay. 

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