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What owners' vote means for Pats

NFL owners approved a proposed labor deal on Thursday. If players also approve, which must happen for there to be football, here is a look at what this means for the Patriots and other NFL teams from a schedule standpoint:

Saturday, July 23 -- Facilities open to players. Voluntary training, conditioning and classroom instruction permitted until first day of clubs’ preseason training camps.

Saturday, July 23 -- Clubs/players may begin to renegotiate contracts. Clubs may begin to sign drafted rookies and their own unrestricted free agents (e.g. Matt Light), restricted free agents (e.g. BenJarvus Green-Ellis), exclusive rights players (e.g. Kyle Arrington) and franchise players (e.g. Logan Mankins).

Saturday, July 23 -- Waivers begin; clubs may begin to release/waive players.

Saturday, July 23 -- Starting at 2 p.m., clubs may negotiate with, but not sign, undrafted rookie free agents, street free agents, and other teams' free agents.

Sunday, July 24 -- Starting at 2 p.m., clubs may begin to sign undrafted rookie free agents (e.g. Boston College's Mark Herzlich).

Wednesday, July 27 -- 2011 league year begins at 2 p.m. Teams can begin to sign free agents from other teams, and trades can be made. All clubs must be under the $120 million salary cap. Rosters expand to 90 players (up from 80 last year).

Wednesday, July 27 -- Training camps open for all clubs. Day 1 activities limited to physicals, meetings, and conditioning. No pads permitted for practices on Day 2 or Day 3.

Thursday, August 11 -- Preseason Week 1: Patriots vs. Jaguars, 7:30 p.m., Gillette Stadium.

Other notable items included in the proposal ratified by owners on Thursday evening that would affect free agency and the Patriots' salary cap situation:

  • Players will earn unrestricted free agency with four accrued seasons, unchanged from the capped-year (2009 & prior) threshold of the prior CBA. This only affects safety Jarrad Page, who will be an unrestricted free agent under the terms of this proposal.

  • Franchise and transition tags will remain. This means that guard Logan Mankins' free agency will continue to be restricted by the rules of the franchise tag.

  • All drafted rookies will sign four-year contracts; first-round selections will have a fifth-year team option included. Undrafted rookie free agents may only sign three-year deals. All rookie contracts will have limited terms and strong anti-holdout rules.

  • In 2011, teams will have $3.5 million (taken from "performance-based pay," which does not fall under the salary cap) to fund veteran player salaries who may otherwise be "cap casualty" cuts. Teams may also "borrow" $3 million in cap room from a future season to retain veteran players. In 2012, teams will have $1.5 million to "borrow" from future cap room. Both these amounts would be repaid in future years.

More details on the proposal can be found at NFLLabor.com, a website operated by the NFL dedicated to the lockout.