Progress being made in NFL talks

Sports Network

, Last Updated: 10:46 AM ET

NEW YORK -- Team owners and NFL players reportedly took a big step in progress as far as the league lockout is concerned by coming to terms on a rookie wage scale and a salary cap.

The New York Times was among the media sources to report the wage system settlement, which is considered a big sticking point in the negotiations on a new collective bargaining agreement.

ESPN reported all first-round draft picks were set to receive four-year contracts with a team option for a fifth year. The network reported if the option is exercised, the top 10 picks would receive a salary equal to the average of the top 10 player salaries at their respective positions. The network also reported the money would be guaranteed if the option is exercised after the third year.

According to several reports, there was an agreement to make the salary cap $120 million.

The two sides reportedly met late into the night Thursday and are due to get together Friday morning for what could be another long day of negotiations.

Time is ticking for a new CBA as the preseason is fast approaching. The first contest is August 7 when the Chicago Bears and St. Louis Rams take part in the Hall of Fame Game in Canton, Ohio. The start of training camps, scheduled to begin the end of next week, are also threatened if the lockout continues.

The two sides are due to have a mediation session before U.S. Magistrate Judge Arthur Boylan Tuesday in Minneapolis. If an agreement is reached by then, owners could vote on the deal when they are scheduled to meet on July 21 in Atlanta.

The lockout began on March 12 after the NFL and players' union failed to reach an agreement on how to split about $9 billion in revenue, among other issues.

The players decertified their union and -- headlined by Tom Brady, Peyton Manning and Drew Brees -- filed an antitrust lawsuit against the league.

In the four months since, the sides have battled each other in courts and during negotiating sessions.


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