NFL Lockout OVER: This Week's Free Agency Schedule



The NFL Lockout is over. According to ESPN, the new CBA was officially signed by both sides of the party this afternoon. The players and the organizations are all excited to get back to work. Here’s what you can expect from this week coming up:

From the above clip:

• Monday: The NFL will announce that teams can go to 90-man rosters and the official free-agent list will be distributed to teams.

• Tuesday: Trades can commence. Teams can reach agreements with rookies and undrafted free agents beginning at 10 a.m. ET. Teams can reach agreements with all free agents and signed players are allowed to enter team facilities.

• Wednesday: Players can begin reporting to training camps 15 days before their first preseason games. According to the proposed timeline, 10 teams would report on Wednesday, 10 more on Thursday and 10 additional teams on Friday. The New York Jets and Houston Texans would be the last two teams to report, on Sunday.

• Thursday: Teams can begin to cut players at 4 p.m. ET.

• Friday: Teams can begin filing transactions to the league office at 6 p.m. ET.

• Aug. 4: Deadline for recertification and ratification of the collective bargaining agreement by the players.

The Union still needs to recertify, and once that happens then they will negotiate things like health care, grievances, and other issues along those lines but the hold up in the recertification will not halt the League business from happening. The bulk of the money work was finished weeks ago. Here is what the above article has to say about the money happenings:

“That included how the more than $9 billion in annual league revenues will be divided (about 53 percent to owners and 47 percent to players over the next decade; the old CBA resulted in nearly a 50-50 split); a per-club cap of about $120 million for salary and bonuses in 2011 — and at least that in 2012 and 2013 — plus about $22 million for benefits; a salary system to rein in spending on first-round draft picks; and unrestricted free agency for most players after four seasons.”

We are well on our way to a football season in 2011!

That being said, whether we will see solid, sharp football is still up for debate. The lockout did a serious number on the players, both rookies and veterans, and now is doing away with full padded 2 a days opting for no pad run throughs. Many fans and writers, including my brother, who I respect greatly as a football mind and Steeler fan, believe that this could really effect the efficiency of the NFL teams, and even create injuries. When I was growing up playing sports, people always got hurt when someone didn’t know what they were doing. This is obviously on a more advanced level, but I think we can expect the same thing here. The point is actually to decrease the amount of concussions that occur in practice, which is allegedly where these things happen most of the time.

No hall of fame game. Pre Season? We’ll see.

For now, I’m just pumped to have football back. I can already hear the chants of “I got a feelin'” coming from the upper floor of McGovern’s Pub in Saint Paul – my own personal Steelers crazy bar here in MN. Boom!

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