The word around the NFL is that the owners and players have basically agreed on a new Collective Bargaining Agreement, which would end the current labor dispute and get the season back on track within the next few days. As recently as Saturday afternoon, ESPN employees were put on alert that the NFL Lockout would be ending momentarily. Apparently, all that truly remains is the need to let the legal teams work out the exact wording of the documents so it can be signed and done with.
The reports are that the lockout would be lifted on July 21st, and NFL teams would have a 72 hour window to sign their own free agents before the market opened up to what will surely be a free agent feeding frenzy. Both veteran and undrafted players will be swamped with offers and very little time to mull them over and make a decision, lest they be passed by anther player who signs before them
The exhibition season is almost upon us, with the Pro Football Hall of Fame game scheduled for three weeks from now. The full exhibition calendar starts the following week, meaning that the timeline from now until Training Camp and the beginning of pre-season is less than a month, as there is roughly just over seven weeks until the first game of the 2011 regular season.