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Filed under: Says That Owners Are Voting Whether To End Lockout; 24 'Yes' Votes Needed, Plus Player Vote

According to, NFL owners are voting as of Thursday evening to end the lockout that is now seriously threatening the Hall of Fame Game in Canton between the Rams and the Bears on August 7.

"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,"  Arthur Blank, the Atlanta Falcons' owner, said just before the start of the meeting to review the potential deal and how it would work. "Whether or not the players will have approved it before we vote, I'm not sure."

The owners would have to vote at least 24-8 to okay any deal.

Meanwhile, DeMaurice Smith, NFL Players Association executive director, hinted that recertifying the union was not imminent and that the players were not close to voting.

"I certainly remember comments from some of the owners about how we may not even be a real union," Smith said. "Well, guess what? The decision to decertify was important because at the time we were a real union. And the decision for our players, as men, to come back as a union is going to be an equally serious and sober one that they have to make."

We will update as soon as more news is announced.

Photographs by spatulated, Triple Tri, and chrischappelear used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.