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Arthur Blank Optimistic a Deal Will Be Done Today

Falcons owner Arthur Blank told NFL Network that he is optimistic his fellow owners, who are meeting in Atlanta, will approve a new collective bargaining agreement with the players Thursday.

“I’m optimistic that we’ll get a call for a vote today, and I’m optimistic that the ownership will approve a deal today,” Blank said just before the owners began meeting at 10 a.m. ET. “Whether or not the players will have approved it before we vote, I’m not sure.”

On Wednesday, NFL lead negotiator Jeff Pash said he expected the league and its players to soon reach a deal that would end the four-month-old lockout.

“It’s obviously a complicated agreement, but I think both sides are at the point where they can close, they should close, and we should be in a position to take votes,” Pash said.

The 32 player representatives did vote Wednesday at NFL Players Association’s headquarters in Washington, but it wasn’t the type of vote that was expected. Instead of simply approving the draft that lawyers and staff had been working on for the last month, the reps conditionally passed it to the Brady plaintiffs, sources told NFL Network reporter Albert Breer.

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