Is There Light At The End Of The NFL Lockout Tunnel?

For the NFL lockout to come to an end, 24 of the 32 owners must meet and vote on the terms of a new labor agreement.

That may be happening next week.

The NFL owners are scheduled to meet next Tuesday in Chicago. Now it is important to mention that the owners are scheduling one meeting a month during the labor dispute. For example, they already have a date set for a July meeting. What makes Tuesday’s meeting more interesting, however, is a recent report by ESPN.com’s Adam Schefter that the owners have been told to “pack a bag and plan to spend the night.”

While this is all just speculation, the news indicates to me that the owners are hoping to have the basic terms of a labor deal in place so that they can vote next week.

The players and owners have been engaging in “no lawyers allowed” meetings for the last couple of weeks and have been working hard to inch themselves toward a deal. The talks will resume this week and if the two sides can get a basic framework of a deal in place, then presumably the owners could talk it out and take a vote next week. This would give the players and owners a week or so to hammer out the smaller details and get everything wrapped up in time for the preseason.

If a deal were signed shortly after the 4th of July, there would be a couple of weeks for free agency and contract negotiations before training camp. Things would still be very compressed for GM’s but it beats missing actual games.

So let’s all circle June 21st on our calendars and hope the players and owners can get this mess worked out this week.

And let’s hope the courts stay out of it until they do.

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