As we mentioned in this morning’s links, optimism continues to bloom in regard to labor talks between the National Football League and the trade organization formerly known as the NFLPA. The sides met for two days earlier this week, but they’ve reportedly been staying in touch since, and have now scheduled more talks for next week.

As NFL.com’s Albert Breer points out, the bigger story would be if the league and the players weren’t meeting next week, as they continue a race to get something done by early July in order to avoid cancelling any major events on the 2011 calendar.

Now there’s even a belief that something might get done in this month. Pro Football Weekly’s Eric Edholm cites sources who claim that the league might be aiming to settle on the parameters of a new collective bargaining agreement in timeĀ for the Tuesday after next (June 21). On that day, the owners have scheduled meetings in Chicago.

Back in May, the Goal-Line Stand made an official prediction that a new labor deal would be announced on Friday, July 9. But recent developments are causing me to adjust that projection. At this point, I wouldn’t be surprised to see the two sides strike a deal prior to the long weekend on Friday, July 2, with the new league year launching at some point during the following week.