WASHINGTON - MARCH 4: DeMaurice Smith, NFLPA executive director, leaves during an extra day of NFL collective bargaining negotiations at the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service building March 4, 2011 in Washington, DC. Representatives from the National Football League (NFL) and and National Football League Players' Association (NFLPA) continue to negotiate a collective bargaining agreement between players and owners during a 24 hour extenuation in negotiations. (Photo by Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images)
At long last, the collective bargaining agreement has been ratified. For the next ten years, we should be free of the kind of labor strife that robbed us of precious months of interesting off-season time. Blasted negotiations!
Regardless, the last domino has fallen and we're now officially back in the swing of things. Restricted free agents like Brent Grimes can sign their tenders and get back to practice, free agency is still going and pre-season is just around the corner. It's like emerging from a bunker into heaven.
In addition to being a ten year agreement without an opt-out clause, the new CBA reportedly contains HGH testing. It also keeps Roger Goodell's iron fist squarely around the league's personal conduct policy, which the players must love. Maybe they convinced him to tone it down a little bit.
Oh, and to circle the wagons back, Brent Grimes has signed his tender and is on the field exactly when he was supposed to do. That whole thing was needlessly dramatic, but at least we know he'll be lining up in the secondary in 2011.