While it’s what most people predicted after the initial furor died down from the players this week, both sides are reportedly ready to agree to the new collective bargaining agreement the owners have given the players to vote on. Earlier this week, 31 of 32 owners ratified their side of the deal (with Al Davis abstaining) and now the players must do the same. They’re flying in to the nation’s capital on Monday to officially vote and sign.
This will bring a reprieve for NFL fans who have been waiting for some signs of life to alleviate their fears over any lost time. The reality is that the Hall of Fame game during the first weekend in August is the only official NFL action that was cancelled during this time outside of off-season workouts and communication. For all of the fuss over the lockout, the damage was actually minimal.
The league year can officially start Wednesday, so expect a slew of announcements on the players sign in terms of when players can resign their own free agents, pursue other unrestricted free agents and teams can start to talk trades with one another. In addition, you can expect cram sessions between rookies and coaches and a frenzy of individual players trying to figure out how they fit in the new NFL — and complaining about it if they don’t like what they hear.
Either way, fans will gladly accept any slight changes if it means we’re talking about actual football again instead of more drama between the rich and richer.