NFL owners have voted in favor of a tentative agreement to end the football lockout, pending player approval.
Thursday's ratification came after a full day of meetings at an Atlanta-area hotel, where team executives pored over the terms of the deal.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said the ball is now in the players' hands.
"There is an urgency to this. We want to have a full 2011 season, that includes the four preseason games, and we're up against a wall," he said. "And I think that's indicated by the unfortunate cancellation of the Hall of Fame game."
Players still have to sign off on the deal. They didn't vote on a full pact Wednesday because there were issues that had not been resolved. They plan to have a conference call later Thursday.
The four-month lockout is the NFL's first work stoppage since 1987.
Material from The Associated Press was used in this report.