For the NFL and its players’ association, there appears to be a light at the end of the long tunnel that is the NFL lockout.
The Washington Post’s Mark Maske reports that representatives for both the players and owners say talks have progressed in recent days. Each side believes that a new collective bargaining agreement could be reached in the next 2-3 weeks.
Maske lays out the likely timetable here, starting with an NFL owners meeting in Chicago on Tuesday:
It is possible—but very unlikely—that the owners could vote on a labor deal at that meeting, said several of the people, who did not participate in the talks but are familiar with developments. It is more likely, they said, that owners could give negotiators their opinions and a deal with the players could be completed the following week.
This is great news for lovers of all things NFL, football, America, freedom, puppies, apple pie, etc. Any deal reached by early July would salvage the entire 2011 regular season.
However, any and all optimism should be of the cautious variety, as contentious labor negotiations like these can fall apart at any time. Let’s keep our fingers crossed.