By: Derek Havens
After two days of chaos over a botched announcement by NFL owners, it seems the players have regained focus on reaching an agreement by Monday to end the league’s lockout. And after more than 130 days of an NFL lockout, fans are more anxious than ever.
ESPN’s Chris Mortensen reported Sunday that NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and NFL Players Association executive director DeMaurice Smith have settled the last remaining issues in the past 48 hours. Players are expected to vote on the new deal Monday and if all goes well, players would likely report to their teams by Wednesday.
Mortensen is not the only ESPN informant that has cast a ray of hope to the NFL faithful though. Adam Schefter tweeted Sunday, “Welcome back, football.” This, of course, nearly blew up the Twitter world for fanatics around the globe. As well it should, the CBA negotiations between the NFL and NFLPA have been drawn out way too long.
The NFLPA is expected to recertify as a union some time during the week, clearing the way for a new collective bargaining agreement that would reportedly span 10 years with a possible opt out clause after year 7.
With the CBA proposal the NFL laid out on Thursday night, there is an expected three-day window for teams to re-sign veteran free agents who were on their team last year, as well as sign draft picks from late April. However, keep in mind that contracts wouldn’t be official until the NFLPA became a union again.
I would hope the vast majority of my readers would not be so naive to believe there has been no tampering during the leagues lockout. When the new CBA is in place, however, teams will be able to talk to all veteran free agents and undrafted rookies league wide immediately. But, any contracts could not be struck until after the three-day window I previously mentioned.
Fact is, when the CBA is finally agreed upon and the lockout is lifted, the NFL will be in high gear. There will be more news, content, and football topics to discuss than time might allow. I for one certainly won’t be complaining and I know many of you will feel the same way. After all, NFL lovers have been waiting for this nightmare to end for several months and the season is right around the corner.
Analysts, reporters, and spectators alike have made this mistake during the past couple of weeks, but it now seems appropriate to get excited for a NFL return. Time for league and their fans to welcome back football.
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