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2011 NFL Lockout Update: The End Is Nigh(?), What It Means For The Texans

The NFL Lockout may end today, tomorrow, next week, or sometime in the future. The exact day won't be known until the announcement is made, but reports tag it as soon (July 25th last I heard). Personally, the NFL Lockout coverage has left me burnt out and jaded on the product. I'm sure I'm not the only fan feeling like that. It's hard to focus on a truly wonderful game when you've seen how greedy all involved have been for your hard-earned cash. It's the main reason why I've written very little about the Lockout and followed it even less.

On the other side of the fence, some fans choose to ignore that or don't care about it and are eagerly awaiting news that the lockout is over. They're waiting for their time to devour free agency news and hit the stands for training camps. I'm fairly sure there are many more fans like this than the ones from the first paragraph, and that the NFL's economic business will be more than fine despite these locked out months.

Focusing on real football action, once the lockout ends there will be a fast and furious start to the NFL season. The teams that will rise to the top will have a strong plan in place, be ready to pounce on multiple fronts (which means that they will have a talented staff capable of working at every level), and not panic at the short time windows they'll be provided. How short are these windows?

Per a report from ESPN's Adam Schefter, teams will have four days to learn the new collective bargaining agreement, three days to re-sign their own free agents and undrafted rookies, another four days to set their rosters at 90 players for training camp (read: free agency), and then we'll hit camp while free agents are still available (I'm ignoring the restricted free agent thing because the rights of first refusal are off the table at last report).

As for your Houston Texans, the heat will be on. Three days to try and sign another potential Arian Foster story (undrafted rookie free agents) while trying to lock up Foster's personal bulldozer (All-Pro fullback Vonta Leach) and other free agents (like backup quarterback Matt Leinart, reserve offensive tackle Rashad Butler and wide receiver Jacoby Jones). If Rick Smith and company can take care of business here then it will put Houston on the right track, in a manner of speaking.

Once that's done then everyone's eyes will focus on what they've been on for the past five months: Houston's pursuit of All-Pro cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha. However, there's plenty more time to touch on that subject (if you haven't had your fill of Nnamdimania of course) while we wait for the lockout to end.

Images by eflon used in background images under a Creative Commons license. Thank you.