Report: Patriots recertify union

Updated: July 27, 2011, 4:58 PM ET
ESPNBoston.com

After agreeing to a settlement to end the lockout, NFL players had to re-establish the union in order to establish a new collective bargaining agreement. That process has begun.

The New England Patriots were the first team to recertify the union, with the players voting unanimously after meeting with NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith for more than 90 minutes, the Boston Herald reported.

The Baltimore Ravens will meet next, according to the newspaper, as all 32 teams must vote.

Once the NFLPA is recertified, and all indications are that it is a formality, owners and the union will negotiate areas that only a union can bargain in a CBA, including drug testing, player discipline and disability and pension programs.

The pact requires that those issues be resolved and a full CBA be done by Aug. 4. Both sides have indicated that this will not be a problem.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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