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NFL, CFL extend pact

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TORONTO — The NFL and CFL extended their working agreement through the 2006 season Tuesday.

The two leagues agreed to their first deal in 1997, one that saw the NFL give the CFL a $3 million loan for the right to sign CFL option-year players. The original agreement expired last December, but the two sides decided to extend it until April.

"The Canadian Football League is in a new and stronger position," CFL commissioner Tom Wright said. "We look forward to the continued development of our game in Canada with recent solid results as our foundation."

NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue agreed.

"We support the CFL and its unique role in Canada, and share its goal of strengthening the interest and support of football among Canadians," he said in a statement.