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Tuesday, July 19, 2011
Mortensen: Packers deny player contact

By Kevin Seifert
ESPN.com

Earlier Monday, we noted multiple reports suggesting the Green Bay Packers have made plans for at least some players to gather Saturday at Lambeau Field, presuming NFL owners have ratified a new collective bargaining agreement (CBA) at that point.

The league expressly forbids contact between teams and players during the lockout, however, and there is no legal way the Packers could have directly contacted players to schedule any post-lockout activity. ESPN's Chris Mortensen, in fact, quotes a high-ranking Packers official denying that any players have been contacted about reporting.

The team has made internal contingency plans about contacting players for travel arrangements, Mortensen reported. To me, whether that constitutes a violation of NFL lockout rules is mostly irrelevant. As we discussed earlier, the most important part of this story is that the Packers -- and probably other teams as well -- are operating under the assumption we in the media are as well: That the lockout will end this week and teams will be open for business by this weekend.