NFL Lockout: Deal coming in the weeks ahead?

ST. LOUIS, MO - JUNE 3: Adam Goldberg of the St. Louis Rams addresses the media outside the Thomas F. Eagleton U.S. Federal Courthouse after the NFL lockout hearing on June 3, 2011 in St. Louis, Missouri. NFL players and the league met in court today for a federal appeals hearing on the legality of the three-month-old lockout. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)

A gaggle of well-paid lawyers clashed like big heavies in a St. Louis federal court room this week. However, the real action happened in Chicago, as TMZ-like reports of a secret owners meeting turned into full-fledged confirmation of actual talks between owners and players. Not even talks, settlement talks, a big difference than the kabuki that passed for mediation before that. Oh, and those $2,000/hour lawyers were not on hand for those meetings, which is why it should come as no surprise that reports of progress have turned into rumors of a solution.

Last night, Mike Freemen of CBSSports.com tweeted some very, very good news.

Multiple sources continue to tell me a deal could be struck between owners and players before 8th circuit rules in July.

I'm a cynic by nature, especially when it comes to billion dollar businesses doing something right. But even a cosmos half-empty guy like me is a little giddy at the mere idea that a solution to the NFL Lockout might be a close at hand. It wasn't just Freeman either. The venerable Peter King picked up his tweet and seconded.

RT @realfreemancbs: Sources tell me a deal could be struck betw owners+players before 8th circuit rules." ... You're on to something, Mike.

I suppose we'll know much more in the coming weeks. For now, be cautiously optimistic. 

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