Updated March 17, 2011 @ 8:04 p.m. ET
More than 100 members of the NFL Players Association gathered Thursday at a hotel in Marco Island, Fla., for an annual meeting of team representatives, according to reports.
The meeting will last 10 days, and the focus will be on sorting through issues related to the work stoppage. The owners locked the players out almost one week ago after the players' union decided to decertify when negotiations on a new Collective Bargaining Agreement reached an impasse following 17 days of mediation.
The players, who filed an antitrust lawsuit against the NFL after decertifying, are emphasizing the importance of staying unified in their dispute with the owners and are focusing on keeping all players well-informed.
"I think we're stronger than ever," Jets FB Tony Richardson, an NFLPA executive committee member, told the Naples News. "The biggest thing we talked about was trying to find ways to getting back to playing football."
An April 6 federal court hearing in Minnesota will determine whether the players will be granted an injunction to end the lockout.
While the players are locked out, many of them are conducting workouts and making plans to practice with teammates.
Fox Sports reported Thursday that the NFLPA and Athletes' Performance — a company with professional trainers and medical staff and top-line training facilities — have agreed to a deal. It will give players the opportunity to participate in monitored group or individual sessions.
"(Players) want to be ready to go at a moment's notice," NFLPA executive George Atallah said Thursday, per Fox Sports. "They're preparing themselves and continuing to work out so if the (lockout) is lifted, guys can go back to work and will be in shape and you won't see a decline in the players' ability to perform at a very, very high level.
"That's one of the things going on: How do we make sure we're prepared to get back on the field? That's our No. 1 goal here."