Monday will mark Day 136 of the longest lockout in NFL history. It might also be the day in which football finally returns.
Major progress has been made in CBA talks today, according to Chris Mortensen and John Clayton of ESPN, and it’s beginning to look as though the players will be in a position to vote on the latest proposal at some point on Monday (and maybe earlier).
During a conference call on Saturday, the labor committee reportedly put a plan in place for how to execute voting procedures and timelines, as well as to determine how and when to recertify as a union.
Liz Mullen of the Sports Business Journal reports that “10 or so outstanding issues” have been “whittled down to two or three.” Ideally, those issues will be worked out today and tomorrow and the NFLPA executive committee will recommend approval of the collective bargaining agreement Monday, enabling teams to open their facilities on Tuesday, according to Mark Maske of the Washington Post.
Based on that timeline, we can expect the new league year and free agency to officially begin on either Sunday or Monday of next week. That’s assuming everything goes according to plan. And at this point, we’d be foolish to assume anything.
Regardless, it’s beginning to look as though the Hall of Fame game will go down as the only victim of the 2011 NFL lockout.