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NFL Lockout Comes Down To One Relationship

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When all is finally said and done with the NFL labor dispute, the ability for both sides to come together and agree to a deal hinges on the personal relationship between NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and NFL Players Association Executive Director DeMaurice Smith.

This, according to PressBox Online, means that while both the NFL owners and players know we are coming down to the time when a lack of agreement will mean a possible delay to the regular season, the key to reaching common ground for both sides is how well the two opposite leaders get long.

It's scary to think that the $9 billion industry is teetering on the brink of either settlement or implosion unless these two strong-willed and probably egotistical leaders can play "give-and-take" to the point of ending the labor standoff and getting the 2011 season underway, with not a moment to lose. Most people are now talking about a possible agreement being in place by mid-July, allowing two weeks of what will surely be a frenzied free agency period before Training Camps open in late July.