The NFL Players Association's 32 team representatives voted unanimously on Monday to approve a new Collective Bargaining Agreement joining the owners who ratified the proposal at the owners meeting in Atlanta on Thursday. Here are comments from Eagles Chairman/CEO Jeffrey Lurie, President Joe Banner and head coach Andy Reid on the return of football.
Chairman/CEO Jeffrey Lurie
"I'm glad we were able to reach this agreement without interrupting the season for our fans. In the end, both sides gave enough to get the deal done, and we can all go back to work feeling good about what was accomplished. A 10-year contract is unprecedented in professional sports. By the time this contract ends, the NFL and its player will have been able to play 33 uninterrupted seasons of football.
"The contract protects and strengthens the elements that have driven the popularity of the NFL to unprecedented heights. The continued equalization of player spending guarantees every market, large and small, an equal chance of competitive success. The draft and free agency remain important parts of the game. And there's recognition of the importance of former players, who gave so much to the game, and who deserve our increased support.
"I want to thank our fans for their patience. Now we can get back to football – and that's what we are all really looking forward to."
President Joe Banner
"Like our fans, we've been waiting for this situation to end since the day it started. Now the challenge is getting back to the games with as little disruption as possible.
"Even during the lockout, we kept working through the summer knowing we had to be ready for this moment – to go from zero to 100 mph overnight. That includes giving our fans a worthwhile preseason experience. So we kept working at it, even when we weren't sure we would have time for training camp at all. We owe thanks to many people at Lehigh and on our Eagles staff for making that possible.
"Now we have to be quick learners, and quick to act. We're studying the new contract hard so we can make good football decisions fast. We want to be on top of the nuances of this new agreement so we can help our ballclub compete."
Head Coach Andy Reid
"I'm happy that the NFL and its players can get back doing what they love to do. The coaches can get back to coaching. Players can get back to playing and we're all pleased about that.
"As far as our team, we look forward to reconvening in the near future and we are looking forward to holding training camp once again on the campus of Lehigh University. We understand that we have a lot of work ahead of us in order to get ready for the season opener at St. Louis and I'm excited to get started on that as soon as we can."