The NFL lockout is a little like a black hole—the gravity is so strong that even rumors about its imminent end rarely manage to escape its pull. But Mike Freeman, at CBSSports.com, tweeted Saturday that he'd heard some genuine, intriguing, possibly legitimate rumors to the effect that a deal could be struck between the players and owners to end the lockout before the 8th Circuit court's ruling, which is due sometime in July.
As TST notes, Freeman isn't the only tweeter atwitter about this rumor—Peter King of SI retweeted that original message to add "You're on to something, Mike," which in this newly transparent media landscape can sometimes be as close as we get to confirmation from multiple reporters about the same story.
Should the NFL lockout end now there would still be an enormous amount of logistical workings-out to figure—when do games begin? How many do they play?—before the 2011 NFL season would begin. The worst-case scenario is a kind of sluggish half-season a la 98-99 in the NBA, but if the two sides and come to a deal in July they might be able to avoid something that disappointing.