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NFL Lockout: Not over, but close?

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The NFL Lockout is not over yet, but there may be more cause for optimism as talks continue.
The NFL Lockout is not over yet, but there may be more cause for optimism as talks continue.

Newspapers. A small newspaper in Massachusetts set the interwebs on fire today with an erroneous report that the NFL lockout was over. It's not. Not by a long shot. However, there is a low-level buzz that good news is indeed on the horizon, with a number of people reporting that real progress was being made and that a deal could come soon enough. 

It started this morning with a report from Mike Freeman at CBSSports.com. Freeman cited sources who said that owners and players had "significantly" bridged the gap on revenue sharing, with owners going far enough below their initial demand on another $1 billion off the top to keep players assured of their commitment. 

Tonight, Lance Zierlein, a Houston sports radio personality, reported info similar to what Freeman said in a blog post. Zierlein cited sources from both sides who said that a deal could be done by early July and maybe late June. That timeline is consistent to talk recently that a deal needed to be done no later than July 15 in order to avoid missing any of the scheduled events for the 2011 preseason. 

Check your Twitter timeline, or better yet, check ours, because there are other optimistic reports of a deal coming within the not-too-late time frame. 

I'm naturally cynical, so the Louie has yet to be opened. Still, this is easily the most positive batch of lockout news yet.