National Nightmare, Over? Why The NFL Lockout Might Soon Be Ending
There may be a 2011 NFL season after all- and a full one, at that.
Last night, Mike Freeman of CBSSPorts.com reported that a new Collective Bargaining Agreement between the NFL players and owners is 80-85% done.
One source with intimate knowledge of the discussions tells me negotiations are 80-85 percent complete. They've made such fast progress, I'm told, it's catching many of the principals by surprise. Some are now canceling vacations, believing an agreement will be reached within a matter of days.
Caution: condensed legal jargon ahead. And, go!
The sudden movement towards a deal is apparently thanks to the oral arguments that the players and owners presented in front of the Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on June 3, which concluded with Judge Kermit Bye encouraging the two sides to work out a deal on their own.
Whew. According to Yahoo! Sports' Dan Wetzel, an official agreement between the players and owners could be just weeks away.
“A June 30 or July 4 announcement is a reasonable expectation,” the source said. “My sense is that by week’s end they are likely to have some substantial framework if not a complete plan to go back and present to the owners and the players.”
The NFL owners are next set to meet next Tuesday in Chicago, and according to both ESPN and the NFL Network, a memo was sent to each owner encouraging them to stay overnight, a sign that significant progress is expected to be made, and a super-serious slumber party will be had.
While an agreement between the two sides is certainly welcoming news to football fans, Mike Florio at ProFootballTalk.com pointed out this morning that it would be just the beginning to ending the lockout, as once an agreement is reached, the new CBA would have to be converted into a settlement for the Tom Brady anti-trust action, all members of the agreement would have to be informed of it in an appropriate manner, a fairness hearing would have to be held, and the NFLPA would have to be resurrected. Translation: this is just a first step. A good first step, but a first step.
Regardless, this newfound progress between the two sides is a far cry from the rumors of an eight game NFL season that appeared a week ago.
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