The St. Louis Rams’ Stan Kroenke was among 31 NFL owners who voted for an immediate end to the NFL lockout Thursday morning after a week of hurried negotiation and more twists and turns than fans were hoping for. The Oakland Raiders were the only team that abstained in the final vote, but now it’s out of management’s hands and onto the players, who were set to hold a conference call later Thursday to address the news.
The players still have a long way to go before they’re ready to begin the 2011 NFL season—which looks, for the moment, like it will escape unscathed from the lockout as we know it. The truncated offseason will begin with an extraordinarily brief free agency season and an equally rough approximation of training camp and the preseason, but before all that is even available the NFLPA will have to deal with the aftermath of having decertified itself as a bargaining move in the early days of the lockout.
We’re not quite in the clear yet, but things are looking better for the NFL than they have since the end of the Super Bowl.