A contract settlement has much that will please both owners and experienced players.

For those fans of pro football who were either wondering how they would like the Canadian game with its 12-player teams, 110-yard fields and three-down possessions, or who were scanning the college schedules and freeing up their Saturday afternoons instead of their Sundays, there’s good news today.

The National Football League lockout is over, and players and owners have settled their differences in time for the regular season — including the standard four exhibition games per team — to go on as scheduled.

The only casualty was the Hall of Fame game, which was mostly nostalgia anyway, even though it raised a significant amount for charity.

Now, NFL players are working under a 10-year contract that, among its major features, puts off pressure to raise the regular season from the present 16 games to a more player-unfriendly 18 games for at least two years. Players saw the extra games as offering more chances for injury. Minimum salaries at all experience levels will rise by $50,000, and since half of all players get the minimum, that’s a major boost — but high-draft rookies can expect to get much smaller offers than before.

Low-spending teams will have to pay a higher percentage of the salary cap, and practices and other mandatory team activities were restricted for experienced players.

The owners will get a higher percentage of overall revenues, but since they are anticipated to continue to rise, the players expect more total dollars to come their way, too. The fans? Oh, they get to watch, and cheer, and groan.

On Sundays. Just like always.

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