The NFL lockout, which has—with a brief interlude for the 2011 NFL Draft—cast a terrible pall over what is usually an unpredictable, exciting offseason, could be on its way to ending sooner than anyone expected. Mike Freeman of CBSSports.com reports that negotiations are “80-85 percent complete,” a phrase that could prove permanently memorable if Freeman has actually scored the scoop of a lifetime. (Or permanently infamous if he hasn’t, and we all end up watching the UFL this year.)
Freeman hears both sides are making concessions, which is a major shift from the early days of the lockout, where the owners seemed determined to include the construction of a golden idol of Jerry Jones in any final CBA.
If that kind of timeline is accurate, we could see an end to lockout hostilities between players, owners, and fans before July, which had been until now the most optimistic timeline anyone was reporting. So buck up, St. Louis Rams fans—soon, instead of just speculating about Plaxico Burress, Mark Clayton, and a host of other sketchy veteran receivers, we could watch the Rams speculating about them. Officially-unofficially!