The NFL lockout could finally be drawing to a close, if the most recent tea leaves handed out to a hungry crowd of fans, journalists, and fan-journalists is any indication. After weeks with no news, information has begun to leak out about the new collective bargaining agreement currently under debate by NFL owners. The new agreement involves some concessions from the players, but the owners give a little as well, most notably creating a strict-sounding salary floor and capping the share of the revenue they’re allowed to take at 53.5%.
The question now is whether the NFL’s owners, around whom rumors of dissent have begun to orbit, will be able to come together around the new agreement—and if they do, whether the league will be able to rouse itself quickly enough to avoid missing the start of the regular season, or putting a subpar product out there to begin the year.
Even after the lockout ends, the story of the lockout will have only begun; it’s not over until the NFL plays a season and shows off the product it was able to get onto the field after all these unproductive months.