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NFL Lockout To End By July 21st?

From ESPN.com:

There is a growing belief inside league circles that the NFL and NFL Players Association will have an agreement in place that can be ratified during the July 21 league meetings in Atlanta, according to sources familiar with the state of negotiations.

Other people familiar with the talks now think an agreement in principle will be put in place in the next seven to 10 days, a handshake deal that would allow each side to ratify the deal to start the 2011 season.

Things are far from certain and these negotiations could still go awry, but it makes sense that the NFL and NFLPA would start to buckle under around now. If they don’t reach an agreement soon, they won’t be able to get the season started in time and they will have to cut games from the schedule, and neither sides wants that to happen as it means less money all around. But if this deal is reached by the date mentioned, not only would the entire season be able to happen, but the entire preseason schedule would also be possible.

In other news: Is it a coincidence that this rumored date falls on almost the exact same day that President Obama has set as the deadline for the debt ceiling negotiations? In my somewhat delusions, media-saturated state, I’m beginning to wonder if the NFL is somehow the secret key to unlocking the hearts of Congressional Republicans…

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