The number of barriers to the end of the NFL lockout are dropping by the day. Last night, ESPN’s Adam Schefter tweeted that the two sides had all but agreed to the rookie wage scale.
That’s followed by this report (from former Fearless Leader Rivers McCown) that sources say an agreement in principle could be announced as soon as today.
Of course, that’s not the end of the craziness. It’s just the beginning. Before we can be assured of football soon, lots of things need to happen, like:
- The NFLPA needs to re-incorporate. That has to happen before things like retired player benefits, the league’s drug testing policy and health insurance for players.
- The lawsuits currently in play by some big-name players need to be settled. That means you, Drew Brees. Stand down.
- Players need to not seek a lockout injunction for rookies and free agents, which they may do after a court ruled the lockout could continue.
- The entire thing needs to be ratified by the NFL owners and players. As previously mentioned, the owners will all be meeting on July 21 and can ratify the agreement then.
It also looks like the salary cap has been set somewhere around $120 million, with teams having to spend a big percentage of that on actual salary, instead of on deferred payments and other loopholes. That’s a big win for the players and will produce some frantic activity by teams in coming weeks.
Basically, we’re going to get a whole three-month offseason in a couple of weeks. Does that mean Brett Favre will retire and unretire every two days?