NFL lockout over; players to approve new deal

posted at 12:40 pm on July 25, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

Later today, the decertified NFL Players Association will announce that they have accepted the deal offered by the owners, ending the months-long lockout and putting the 2011 season back on the calendar.  Facilities will open almost immediately, and most teams will have camp open by the end of the week:

According to NFL Network, The Associated Press and Fox’s Jay Glazer, NFL owners and players have agreed to a new collective bargaining agreement and are on the cusp of ending the 136-day old lockout.

USA TODAY’s Jarrett Bell says the union will hold a press conference between noon and 2 p.m. ET today. The players executive committee and 32 team reps are expected to cast their final votes via conference call at 11 a.m. The plaintiffs in the Brady antitrust case are expected to rubber stamp the deal after that.

“It’s going well, we’ve got some good news,” Saints FB Heath Evans said on NFL Network. The league and (still decertified) NFLPA finally came to terms early Monday morning (3:52 a.m. ET according to Glazer).

After the camps open, the NFLPA has to go through the process of getting recertified as a union.  The process will moot the antitrust lawsuit brought by Tom Brady and other players as a means to pressure the league into ending the lockout.  Until that process is completed, disciplinary action and drug testing cannot resume, although it should not take long to recertify; the union should be back to full operation by the end of the week as well.

When owners announced the unanimous vote last week on the new collective bargaining agreement, they promised fans a full schedule in 2011 but fewer exhibition games.  You know who that helps, right?

Folks, we’re really sorry for this. We really are. But it’s our duty to keep our Spidey-Senses up for NFL news, and we’ve caught wind of a … well, we’re searching for the right word to describe it … rumor. Howard Eskin of 610 WIP Sports Radio in Philadelphia has it out there that the Eagles are interested in possibly procuring the services of …

Br…

Bre…

Brett Fa…

Say it!  Say it!

The worst part is that though Favre has made no noises about returning to the game after retirement (again), his possible tenure with the Eagles makes all the sense in the world, especially given the time constraints of the (potential) new CBA. If the league year starts next Wednesday, training camps will be limited at best, and we all know how Favre has enjoyed playing his own tune when it comes to that part of the preseason — he was very transparent in his last two retirements, both of which had him with the Minnesota Vikings when those retirements were retracted.

The Eagles have Kevin Kolb on the trading block, which means they have fully committed to Michael Vick as their franchise QB.  Vick sent out a supportive tweet yesterday for having Favre as his backup, hoping to learn Favre’s skills for dealing with defenses.  Would Favre agree to warm the bench in a final season?  He’d better hope to warm the bench, because as last year showed, he no longer has the quickness to make up for a lack of protection.  He’d be better off in the coaching booth or the broadcast booth than behind center in the NFL, training camp or not.

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