Since the end appears to be nigh, I'm going to be relentless with the labor updates. Just think, soon we can talk about free agents without it seeming like an exercise in futility!
It appears that Monday and Tuesday have been set aside as the detail days for a new Collective Bargaining Agreement, designed to hammer out issues like the future of the franchise tag, some antitrust stuff I vaguely understand and where everyone's going to dinner after this nonsense is finally over.
With those issues resolved, the hope is that the league and players can put the finishing touches on a deal by Wednesday and have it ready to present by Thursday. Depending on who you believe, that will either cost the league exactly one pre-season game—the Hall of Fame game between the St. Louis Rams and Chicago Bears—or no games at all. Free agency would be on an accelerated curve, and teams would have to cram in practices, training camp and lots of learning sessions for rookies over the coming weeks.
In short, it's not ideal, but at last it seems we're within arm's reach of an accord. I can't wait to see Falcons on the field and roster changes arriving. It's been way too damn long.
Are you as optimistic as I am, friends?