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NFL OWNERS MEET IN ORLANDO; CBA DEAL LIKELY TO BE APPROVED
Published March 23, 1998
NFL owners meetings opened in Orlando yesterday, and the Management Council's Exec Committee voted to approve the extension of the CBA, according to USA TODAY's Larry Weisman. The full group of owners "considers" the CBA today and it needs 23 of 30 votes in favor to pass. The NFLPA's Board of Player Reps ratified the deal unanimously in HI on Friday. If the owners vote against the deal, the NFLPA "says it will not renegotiate and will let the current labor deal expire after the 2000 season" (USA TODAY, 3/23). WELLINGTON'S BEEF? Giants co-Owner Wellington Mara, "one of the most respected men" in the NFL, may speak out on the proposed CBA this week in Orlando, according to Mike Freeman of the N.Y. TIMES. One owner: "Wellington is strongly opposed to one part of this agreement and in turn, the entire thing. When Wellington talks, people listen. He will swing votes, and a week from now we could be back at the negotiating table with the union." Agreement supporters fear Mara could give a "passionate plea on why the guaranteed contract provision" of the deal is "a truly bad idea." But Freeman added that the deal "will most likely be approved by only a slim margin" (N.Y. TIMES, 3/22). Mara dismissed the N.Y. Times report and said he would not urge owners to vote against the deal: "Not me. You've got the wrong guy" (Paul Needell, Newark STAR-LEDGER, 3/23). OTHER NEWS: In Baltimore, Vito Stellino wrote that instant replay, which is also on the agenda at the meetings, "faces an uphill fight" to be approved (Balt. SUN, 3/22).