The Falcons are tentatively set to return to practice on Friday after the NFLPA approved the 10-year collective bargaining agreement by a unanimous 32-0 vote in Washington, D.C. on Monday.
The players are set to vote on recertifying the union on Wednesday. They can report for training camp on Thursday and are tentatively set to hit the field on Friday.
The player representatives took part in a three-hour conference call before voting to approve the deal. The owners approved the deal last Thursday at a hotel near Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport.
“We talked about the process that we are about to go through,” said Falcons player representative Tyson Clabo. “The reconstituion of the union. The process here over the next week with the team. For the most part, we had already discussed the financials of the deal last week.”
There was a public backlash against the NFLPA after they didn’t immediate ratify the deal last week.
“There were a lot of questions,” Clabo said. “A lot of guys had concerns. We tried to address those concerns. Finally, at the end of the day, it came down to the vote and everybody was on board. I was happy to see that.”
The news of the vote sent the Falcons’ braintrust into a frenzy. The team has to address 11 free agents, five rookie draft picks and sign 10 to 15 undrafted college free agents.
“Coy Wire sent out an email to everybody and I called a couple of the guys personally,” Clabo said. “At this point, I would anticipate that the guys would be getting a lot of phone calls from the coaches.”
–D. Orlando Ledbetter, The Atlanta Falcons beat blog