The Associated Press and Fox Sports News are reporting that the five month NFL Lockout is over. There will be pro football this fall. Thirty two team representatives and the Players Association Executive Board reportedly have voted unanimously to approve the terms of a 10 year deal offered by Team Owners last week.
There were some unresolved issues that had to be worked out last week, in particular was the owner's opt-out clause. Now it appears that the owners agreed over the weekend to a contract that does not have the clause.
The old opt out clause from 2008 was acted upon this Spring when Owners voted to opt out of the league's old labor contract, which expired in March. That action triggered a Player's strike which was followed by an Owner's lockout.
While this is good news for most all concerned, one has to feel bad for the dozens of college players that may have missed their opportunity to make a team's roster as a free agent. Valuable time to try out with teams and learn play books have been lost.
Time is not something that can be retrieved. This author was especially looking forward to following whether players such as Auburn's Mario Fannin, Josh Bynes, Zac Etheridge, and Darvin Adams would be able to hook up with a team.
The 32 team representatives still have to officially recommend the agreement to their teammates. And then the players (1,900 strong) have to vote on agreeing on the contract. Most believe that will come quickly and the 2011 NFL season may be able to be back on a delayed tract by Friday or next Monday at the latest.
This Spring and Summer marked the first time in 24 years that the NFL experienced a work stoppage and it may have irreparably damaged some of those college players chances at a professional career.