Well, if Jeremy Shockey and Drew Rosenhaus said it, it has to be true, right? Shockey told the world that he has been instructed, by his agent, to report to Charlotte on Friday, July 22, for a three-day mini-camp of sorts before training camp officially opens sometime next week. Details are sketchy, but that sort of fits with the info about the CBA settlement now trickling out of negotiations.
Let's back up. Earlier today we learned that NFL team owners have been told to bring up to four executives with them to the meetings Thursday in Atlanta. If a deal is ratified at that meeting, which seems likely, team officials will be immediately placed in a crash course on the new rules of the CBA that evening and on Friday.
Player agents and clubs would then have three days to study the rules and three days to sign draft picks, undrafted free agents and the team's current free agents. Following that period, roughly a week, the flood gates of free agency would open, allowing trades and chasing free agents from other clubs. That timeline comes from Liz Mullen at the Sports Business Journal.
That timeline doesn't necessarily invalidate what Shockey's report. With the lockout over, teams could bring in their players to do sort of a mini-camp to learn the playbook and, more importantly, let coaches see for themselves which players are overweight or out of playing shape.
For those of you keeping score at home, that would mean the league year could open on July 28.
Shockey also says that the Hall of Fame Game is go. Judy Battista of the New York Times told TST earlier today that the game is "still scheduled."