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Houston Texans

Texans react to CBA decision


The NFL announced Tuesday that the league will opt out of the current collective bargaining agreement (CBA), which could lead to a season without a salary cap in 2010 and a possible lockout in 2011.

"Basically, for the next, really the next three years, nothing is going to change," said Kris Brown, the Texans' NFL Players Association (NFLPA) representative. "All it says is that we're going to sit down and talk about negotiating. So essentially, it's not going to change anything for the next three years."

{QUOTE}At league meetings in Atlanta, NFL owners voted unanimously to opt out of the deal, which was extended in March 2006. The NFL had until November to opt out, but decided to do so immediately.

"I think, obviously, as of today, the owners feel like the deal is not good for them," Brown said. "So our leadership, their leadership, will sit down again over the course of the next, I'm sure, year and try to figure out what the biggest issues are for both sides."

Both the NFLPA and the league expressed that they are open to negotiating and stressed that games will be played without threat of interruption for at least the next three seasons.

"It's not like the threat of losing a season is imminent, because that's not the case," Brown said. "The deals that the rookies this year will sign have really no impact as far as what's going to happen beyond 2010. We're talking about this now, and a year from now or two years from now we could certainly come to an agreement and have an extension and then all this is for nothing."

The NFLPA had anticipated that owners would opt out of the 2006 agreement when they made the CBA a priority in this week's meetings. Owners specifically had been complaining about high labor costs and the league's inability to recoup bonus money from players who breach their contracts or refuse to perform.

"Well, that was one of the functions of the last extension of '06 was that if either side felt like it was an unfair deal, that was part of what the deal said was that that side that felt like it was unfair could opt out of it," Brown said. "Again, we do have three more years left in this current deal, so it's not like there are any major issues that will come in the near future. We'll have to sit down and come up with what the major points are for both sides."

Under the 2006 agreement, teams have to spend almost $4.5 billion on player costs in 2008 and players will receive around 60 percent of league revenues. Many owners said the agreement shortchanged them and favored the players.

However, Brown remained optimistic that both sides will be ale to reach a compromise.

"Our league has been very prosperous," Brown said. "We've had a lot of labor peace over the last 10, 15 years. So any time you're talking about anything that could affect labor, it is a big deal. But there is time on our hands. We do have some time. Again, our leadership will sit down and visit with the owners and figure out where each side stands on the major issues."

After Brown and fellow NFLPA representative Mark Bruener told the team the news, several players voiced their concern.

"It's definitely something we're concerned about, even though it's not affecting us right at the moment," linebacker DeMeco Ryans said. "But it's definitely something that's going to affect us in the future and our players that are coming in after us, so we're definitely concerned about that because it's our union and we're all sticking together on that."

Ryans said he was concerned about having an uncapped year in 2010, but a potential lockout in 2011 would pose much bigger problems.

"I don't think either side wants a lockout," Ryans said. "Hopefully, like I said, hopefully we can come upon some agreement. In any negotiations, there's always one side pushing for more and one side not trying to give up as much, so with that hopefully we can come to a means of some time of agreement."

Click **here** to listen to head coach Gary Kubiak talk about the CBA and other news from OTAs in Tuesday's "Texans Today" podcast.

Click **here** to subscribe to the daily "Texans Today" podcast.

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