NEW YORK -- Detroit Lions linebacker Stan White, a member of the NFL Players Assocaition executive committee, admitted Tuesday night his side had to make substantial concesions to end the 57-day strike.
'In the final agreement, we touched all five points we went out on strike for but we weren't satisfied on any of them,' White said. 'But an agreement had to be done now to get anything accomplished this year.'
An agreement was tentatively reached at a midtown hotel late Tuesday night that will allow the NFL regular season to resume Sunday.
'We proved this union is strong enough to take effective action,' White said. 'We took a major step in making this union something to recognize and deal with in the future.'
White said the final acceptance of the five-year, $1.6 billion offer took many hours in coming because the executive committee, which did not formally recommend acceptance, wanted some points ironed out.
'There were a lot of things we had to swallow in the end that maybe we didn't want to,' he said. 'The reduced wage scale was the hardest thing to swallow.'
White said a formal ratification vote by the 1,500 rank-and-file would take place next Tuesday and he said it would not be a rubber stamp.
'If the players vote against the agreement, we will have to decide if we will continue bargaining while on the field or leave ... There's a possibility that there will be some unhappy people,' White said. 'But we spent a lot of time in the last two days working out some kinks.'
The NFL season is expected to resume Sunday. An abbreviated schedule calls for a nine-game season to be played, followed by playoffs involving 16 teams. The playoffs would begin Jan. 2 and lead to the Super Bowl, which will be played Jan. 30 at Pasadena, Calif. as originally scheuled.
Although the players have been out of camp for over eight weeks, White was optimistic that Sunday's schedule will be up to NFL standards.
'A lot of teams hit the first day of training camp and scrimmage the first weekend,' he said. 'There'll be hitting and some soreness.
'There will be as many players in camp Wednesday as can reasonably get there, but the announcement came at 11:30 at night and some players have not been notified.'