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Packers CEO Murphy: 5-6 Month Window To Get Labor Deal Done

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GREEN BAY, Wis. (WTAQ) - With the 2010 NFL season just kicking off, will this be the last season before a work stoppage?

Packers President and CEO Mark Murphy says he's hopeful an agreement can be worked out.

"We want a deal, we want to get an agreement," Murphy said on 97.5/1360 News Talk WTAQ's Jerry Bader Show Thursday. "I think we have a window over the next 5 or 6 months to get a deal done."

He says a proposal the owners are working on explains the benefits of an 18-game regular season. Murphy contends there's not a lot of value in playing four pre-season games.

"I think our fans don't like pre-season games. We're asking them to pay full price," Murphy says. "Anybody that watched our 4th pre-season game against Kansas City realizes that the pre-season has changed."

Murphy recalled his own 8-year career with the Washington Redskins from 1977-through-'84. He remembers when teams played six pre-season games, "because we had to."

But now Murphy says with enhanced off-season programs, players don't need 4 games to get ready for the regular season. He says contained within the owners proposal, they outline all the benefits of playing 18 regular season games.

"It generates quite a bit of additional money that will go to the players," Murphy said. "The proposal will look at everything and make the game as safe as possible."

He also made it clear, "we're not asking the players to take a pay cut."

Murphy also made clear the current economic model needs, "some minor tweaks" which include cost recognition and paying the players out of teams' net revenue, rather than gross revenue.

He cited the NBA labor negotiations as a reason for all 32 NFL teams to show their books.

"Every team opened their books and the first words out of the players mouth were 'we don't believe it'," Murphy indicated. "Opening the books is not going to lead to an agreement."

Despite the uncertain road ahead for both NFL owners and the players union, Commissioner Roger Goodell previously expressed confidence in the negotiation. Attending the Packers shareholders meeting back in July, Goodell said he fully expects the owners and players will reach a new collective bargaining agreement in time to avoid not having a football season in 2011.

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