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2011 NFL Lockout: Letter Urges Players To Prepare Not To Play

A letter from the NFL Players Association to its members urged players to save their last three paychecks of this 2010 season because it believes a lockout in 2011 is likely. The memo to players was seen by reporters who came across lose copies of the document in the New England Patriots locker room.

In a letter to the players that was seen by The Associated Press, NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith said the union had an "internal deadline" for agreeing to a new collective bargaining agreement.

"That deadline has now passed," he wrote. "It is important that you protect yourself and your family."

The letter was dated Wednesday, and copies were strewn across a table in the New England Patriots locker room during the media availability on Saturday. After a reporter asked players about the letter, a Patriots spokesman flipped the copies face-down.

The one-page letter on NFLPA stationery said the union expects the lockout to come on March 4, and that players should work with their advisers to prepare for an impending lack of income.

The NFLPA's own gloomy analysis should have an effect on juniors and third-year sophomores who are considering whether to leave early for the National Football League. For Texas, the news could impact the decisions of juniors such as Aaron Williams, Kheeston Randall, and Keenan Robinson, among others.