It's all but official now - we will have a 2011-2012 season in the NFL.
And I will crush the souls of everyone in my fantasy league. This is a good thing.
After four and a half months of negotiations, frustration and worried players, owners and fans, the players associations and the owners have unanimously agreed on a multi-billion dollar, 10-year deal. There are still a few remaining strings that need to be tied up, but those are a mere formality.
The only real casualty other than training camp time is the Hall of Fame game, which has been cancelled. There will even be a preseason. Soon, I expect, this whole thing will become a distant memory.
Free agency could open up as soon as Tuesday and the proposed schedule allows for 10 of the 32 teams to open up camps on Wednesday, 10 more on Thursday, 10 more on Friday and the remaining two teams on Sunday.
NFL Players and Organizations are both sounding off about the end of the lockout on Twitter. Here is some of the response -
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has just confirmed that a new 10-year collective bargaining agreement has been agreed to. Football is back.
Just got off the Bat Phone...Football is back in business baby!!! Here we go! Hines
Thank the Lord! And all parties involved. Time for some football!!!!!
Football Is back! Great work by our leadership! It's time baby!
"Hey Laaaa hey Laaaa my girlfriend's (Football) back"
Patriots owner Robert Kraft looks to have been influential in the deal being reached. He issued this apology to fans after the agreement was announced today -
First of all, on behalf of both sides, I want to apologize to fans that for the last 5-6 months we've been talking about the business of football and not what goes on on the field and building the teams in each market. The end result is that we have an agreement that is going to allow this sport to flourish over the next decade and we've done that in a way that's unique among the major sports in that every team, all 32j, will be competitive. We've improved player safety and we've remembered the players who played in the past.
He is currently a trending topic -
I've spent time w/Robert Kraft & his amazing family. Truly a remarkable family/business man. Myra will be missed. Comments today pure class.
Jeff Saturday hugs Robert Kraft, says he was the reason deal got done. great theatre, raw emotion
Some even see a parallel between the NFL negotiations and the debt negotiations going on in Washington right now -
The NFL is back! Now let's raise that debt ceiling.
Hallelujah!!! NFL lockout is over!!! now can these guys go help the morons in DC agree to a debt deal!
It's encouraging to know that, if our country defaults on its loans and its economy crumbles, at least there will be football this fall.
Are you excited about the return of the NFL? As a fan, have the labor disputes left a sour taste in your mouth? Let us know in the comments.