NFL Lockout Drawing To A Close

So we’re back to football. Almost.

The NFL players’ association have agreed to the terms that the owners set forth in their CBA proposal from Friday. While the rank-and-file players still have to approve the 10-year agreement in a vote later today, there is strong indication that they will, and that the NFL lockout will end later today after 136 days.

The goal is for the NFLPA to present the completed document to its 13-man executive committee between 11 a.m. to noon ET on Monday, with a vote to follow. Some members of the executive committee aren’t expected to arrive in D.C. until the 11 o’clock hour. The player rep call will include a briefing of the deal and, in particular, changes since last Wednesday’s meeting.

The player reps would then vote on the deal. After that, the 10 plaintiffs in the Brady et al v. the National Football League et al lawsuit would have to sign off, which is fully expected.

At this point, what remains is “a few small points” in the language, according to a source.


Tomorrow, rookies would be able to sign, players could be traded, and free agents would be allowed to negotiate with teams, but those players won’t be able to sign before Friday. The more interesting wrinkle of the current proposal is that all NFL teams would have to spend 99 percent of the cash in their available salary cap (which will be about $120 million). While some teams will struggle to get under that number, that’s big for teams like Cincinnati and Tampa Bay, who some people expect to find themselves at $50 million below that number or more. Hell, with $50 million, the Bengals could sign Dominique Strauss-Kahn and Casey Anthony and still have cap room left to buy Plaxico Burress a new pair of sweatpants.