Are you ready for some football? You better be, because fans are about to get a major dose of it because the NFL lockout is officially over. The NFL Players’ Association executive committee has voted to accept the labor settlement with the NFL. The vote was unanimous. The deal now goes to the 32 team player representatives for approval, but that’s just a formality.
Trades can be made beginning Tuesday and free-agent signings can be filed with the league office Friday at 6 p.m. ET, according to ESPN. Teams may begin negotiating with unrestricted free agents beginning Tuesday. There will not be an exclusive negotiating period for teams to sign their own free agents. Teams can also sign their own draft picks and undrafted free agents beginning Tuesday. Players will begin arriving at team facilities Tuesday to vote to recertify the NFLPA as a union. Once they do, they can negotiate terms for the league’s drug programs, player discipline fines, workers compensation, etc.
It’s going to be a frenzy unlike anything we have ever seen in American sports.
Training camps will begin Wednesday for 10 teams, Thursday for 10 teams, Friday for another 10 and Sunday for the remaining two (reportedly Jets and Texans), only 15 days before the first preseason game. The Super Bowl champion Packers are set to report on Friday.
Owners overwhelmingly approved a proposal last week, but some unresolved issues still needed to be reviewed to satisfy players; the owners do not need to vote again. The only thing truly lost was the Aug. 7 Hall of Fame game between the Rams and Bears.
So who benefits from this? Certainly teams that return mostly intact, from the field to the front office. Clubs that have new coaching staffs obviously are going to be at a disadvantage as they try to cram in an entire offseason into just a few weeks.
It’s now time to bet on NFL futures at Bodog!