Brees: Players have agreed to take pay cut

SAN DIEGO, July 13 (UPI) -- New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees told a radio audience NFL players had made a major salary concession to owners and that it was time "to make a deal."

Brees and fellow quarterbacks Peyton Manning and Tom Brady issued a statement Wednesday saying they believed the proposal on the table was one that could end the NFL lockout.


Varying reports during the past week have suggested a deal in the NFL labor dispute is close and could come in time to save the entire season. reported Wednesday a "handshake deal" could be agreed upon within a week or 10 days.

Mediated talks have been ongoing during the past month in an attempt to end the lockout imposed by the owners on March 12.

Brady, Manning and Brees were all part of the antitrust suit filed by players against the league after collective bargaining talks broke down in March.

"We believe the overall proposal made by the players is fair for both sides and it is time to get this deal done," they said in their statement.

The NFL released a statement on its Web site saying owners "share the view that now is the time to reach an agreement so we can all get back to football and a full 2011 season."


After the players issued their statement, Brees appeared Wednesday on XX Radio in San Diego.

"We've taken a significant setback in overall revenue in terms of what we've offered them compared to what we were making," Brees said. "I feel like there's a fair deal there. We all do. And we think it's time to step up and make a deal."

The ESPN report said the deal on the table would give players about 48 percent of the league's football related revenue at the start of the contract and no less than 46.5 percent during any year of the agreement. Under the old contract the players received close to 60 percent.

Details of a proposed rookie wage scale are reported to be the biggest obstacle in reaching a deal.

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