The light at the end of the tunnel

ESPN announced earlier tonight that the NFL Players Association has made major strides towards ending the over four month lockout, which would allow players to finally report to training camp and get this season underway.

ESPN’s Chris Mortensen and John Clayton have reported that the owners have agreed to some changes that the NFLPA has wanted to get through and that the players could vote on approving the new CBA as early as Monday.

“Owners tentatively agreed Saturday to a players-recommended plan for the NFL Players Association to bring players into team facilities starting as early as Wednesday to physically vote on whether to recertify the current trade association as a union, a source said.”

If this is true, which is no guarantee based on what we have seen these past few days, it means that the players union representatives would have an opportunity to vote on the new CBA and if it gets over 50 percent of the votes from the player representatives the CBA will be passed.

From there, the players union would only have to recertify itself and then it could report to camp as early as Friday of next week.

If this possible timeline stays true, the NFLPA would recommend to approve the new CBA on Monday, allowing general managers and teams to begin to negotiate contracts with its draft picks, restricted free agents and its unrestricted free agents on Wednesday, with free agency beginning next Saturday July 30th.

Mortensen and Clayton described it like this…

“Under that scenario, teams could potentially open contract talks with their own unrestricted free agents, restricted free agents and draft choices Wednesday,” Clayton and Mortensen described in their article. “However, no contracts could be signed until July 30 at the earliest. In that scenario, teams would also be able to renegotiate contracts with players from their own team starting as early as Wednesday.”

So hopefully, fingers crossed, this is the beginning of the end of the lockout and we can finally get on with our lives knowing that the 2011-2012 NFL season and more importantly our fantasy football season is safe and sound.

Tags: Carolina Panthers NFL NFL Lockout

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