MINNEAPOLIS, MN - MAY 16: NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell leaves court-ordered mediation at the U.S. Courthouse on May 16, 2011 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Mediation was ordered after a hearing on an antitrust lawsuit filed by NFL players against the NFL owners that followed a breakdown of labor talks between the two in March. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
By now all of you know that the end to the lockout is near. The two sides are meeting and are currently discussing a framework for a new possible CBA, which is a very positive sign. The deal is likely to be finalized next week. So I wanted to make a post listing how I believe the schedule will look.
My thoughts after the jump.
Even after they agree and finalize the CBA it will take a couple of days before the league year starts. The NFL will want to make sure everyone knows the new rookie cap rules and also the RFA rules.
First off with the rookie cap system I think teams will be able to sign their draft picks quickly. This will be very helpful to the Rams and to the Bears since both of their training camps will start soon after the lockout is over.
UDFAs will be able to be signed right when the new league year starts.
There will probably be at least 4 or 5 days for teams to negotiate with their to be free agents. Hopefully durning this time the Rams can get a deal done with Mark Clayton. Teams will be able to sign players to new contracts after these few days when free agency open, and the Nnamdi Asomugha open will begin.
Accoring to what I'm hearing the owners won't be getting the 4 right to first refusals, so the Rams will be able to target possible free agents like Barry Coefield. Also I believe that the franchise tags will be honored, so that takes Vincent Jackson and Logan Mankins off the market.
Before training camps, I think they will hold rookie OTA's where the rookies can basically get an extra couple of days of training camp. I haven't' heard any reports of this. That's just speculation on my part.
After those quick couple of weeks the Rams and Bears will open training camp, along with every other team after. Faulk will get inducted into the Hall of Fame. The HOF game should be played if they can get the CBA done next week, and then we can finally return to the normal football schedule. HELL TO THE YEAH!!!!