Here are the top 3 reasons that the NFL Lockout will come to an end on July 14, 2011 at 11:59 pm with all parties acknowledging their tacit approval:
#1. We’re at 85% right now according to sources. Although a few owners are reportedly dissenting, talks are estimated to be 80-85% complete right now. All that’s required is a margin of 24 approvals out of 35 and we’ve got a deal, a preseason, free agency, and you’ve got a season. Whether or not irreparable harm IS being caused and players aren’t getting younger with age (ehem, Osi) — it’s in everyone’s best interest to get this thing wrapped up and into camp so the product doesn’t suffer further than it already has. The last thing anyone wants are the fans to completely sour on the #1 sport in the land.
#2. Money. On July 15 it’s estimated by SI guru Peter King that the preseason is officially in jeopardy and ~$700 million is at stake. This is really the first glaring money-losing milestone that will come to pass if an agreement isn’t reached. I think they’ll find a way to reach a deal with 3/4 of a billion dollars at stake.
#3. Everything always comes down to the wire. When’s the last time you heard of any major decisions like this happening way ahead of time? NEVER! Because every transaction/deal/trade/negotiation always goes the distance in the NFL. It’s practically baked right in to the DNA of the league — so this thing doesn’t get completely ironed out until the close of the 11th hour. You can bank on that….
Forget about the July 4 feel-good holiday reasons, forget about early surprises, we’re way past that. The final countdown begins on midnight July and ends July 14 just before the stroke of midnight.