The lockout is over! The Lockout is Over! THE LOCKOUT IS OVER!!!!
Although rumors of a done deal have been pending for what seems like weeks, negotiators and lawyers for the NFL and the NFLPA finally reached the actual agreement at 3:00am this morning. The deal is just waiting for final voting from the players, and a sign off from the litigants of the individual players’ suits against the league which is all expected to come later this afternoon.
What this all means is that team facilities could open as soon as today, with teams being allowed to talk with their own draft picks and restricted free agents, as well as unrestricted free agents. They can also discuss trades, but these won’t get final approval until Saturday. Beginning Tuesday, unrestricted free agents can begin to be signed. Then on Wednesday through Saturday, the teams will begin a truncated training camp schedule. There will be no missed games, even though I wouldn’t have minded some missed preseason games.
Technically, there is not a final agreement, because there is no players union. There is enough of a framework however to end the lockout, allow the reforming of the union and hammering out the details of the final agreement that can legally only be discussed with a union.
As much as we feared the end of the world with the labor situation, we really did not miss much of anything. The truncated free agency period could actually be pretty exciting as the pieces fall into place for your team, or fall away as the case may be. The rookies will probably be a little slow getting into the game because of the lack of three months of training, but they usually take some adjustment anyway.
We are all extremely excited here at Grizzly Bomb, because without the return of the NFL, we had have no excuse for sitting on our ass every Sunday through the fall and winter.