It’s (almost) overrrr

Yesterday, we noted that it was very likely the lockout would end Monday. Now, it seems to be an inevitability.

The players will vote on the new collective bargaining agreement on Monday, but the suspense-killing truth is that the process is considered to be a “formality.”

Once the executive committee and the board of representatives rubber stamp the deal tomorrow, they’ll hold a press conference to officially announce the return of football. Then the doors will swing open at all 32 facilities and 1,900-odd players will vote to approve the agreement and to recertify the union as they return to work midway through the week.

Watch for the floodgates of free agency to open next weekend (so much for a long weekend cottage getaway), with training camps getting underway early next week.

So take a deep breath, football fans. The moment we’ve been waiting for is about to arrive. And with only four accrued seasons required for players to become free agents, things are about to get very, very intense.

And 18 days from now, on Aug. 11, football will officially be back.