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CP NewsAlert: CFL, CFL Players' Association reach tentative agreement on new deal

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TORONTO - The CFL and CFL Players' Association have a tentative deal.

A league source requesting anonymity told The Canadian Press the league and its players reached an agreement in principle on a new contract Saturday, averting a potential strike.

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Specific details weren't immediately available but the deal is pending ratification.

The deal comes after the two sides began talking Friday and continued into Saturday morning before retiring. They resumed negotiations later in the day.

The CFL has been without a collective bargaining agreement since May 29 when the previous one expired. But the source said the two sides began talking Friday and continued into the early morning exchanging proposals.

The timing of this deal was surprising because the two sides hadn't met face to face since breaking off talks May 29.

The Calgary Stampeders and Edmonton Eskimos players were scheduled to hold their respective first strike votes Saturday.

Players on the other seven clubs had cast their ballots already and were in a legal strike position heading into the weekend.

The new deal means the exhibition game Monday night between the Toronto Argonauts and Winnipeg Blue Bombers will go ahead in the Manitoba capital.

Also, pending ratification, the regular season will kick off June 26 when Toronto visits Winnipeg as scheduled.

More coming.

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