The NFL lockout is one step closer to ending the lockout as the owners ratified the proposal on the table. According to Roger Goodell and lead negotiator Jeff Pash, the deal would have facilities open this Saturday but the new league year would be scheduled to begin next Wednesday. That means the players would be allowed back to facilities to start training and learning the new rules this Saturday.
However, before free agency and trades could begin, Pash indicated the union would have to recertify. That would mean the union would have until next Wednesday to get the recertification together. Given the argument for using the first day of camp to get cards signed, this weekend opening would seem to be a compromise for that. If that's the case, there could be further optimism indicating the players would be more likely to approve the deal tonight or tomorrow.
After the jump, check out the calendary provided by the NFL. This is of course all pending a union vote with their conference call scheduled for 5pm pacific. Fingers crossed.
July 23 Voluntary training, conditioning and classroom instruction permitted until first day of clubs' preseason training camps.
July 23 Pre-2011 League Year Period commences. 2011 Free Agency List to be issued and will become effective on the first day of the 2011 League Year (July 27). Clubs/players may begin to renegotiate contracts. Clubs may begin to sign Drafted Rookies and their own UFAs, RFAs, Exclusive Rights Players and Franchise Players.
July 23 Waivers begin for the 2011 League Year.
July 23 Starting at 2:00 PM ET, clubs may negotiate with, but not sign, Undrafted Rookie Free Agents, free agents, and other clubs' UFAs, RFAs, and Franchise Players.
July 24 Starting at 2:00 PM ET, clubs may begin to sign undrafted rookie free agents.
July 27 2011 League Year commences at 2:00 PM ET, provided NFLPA has ratified CBA. Free Agency Signing Period begins. Clubs may sign free agents and other clubs' Unrestricted Free Agents. Clubs may sign Offer Sheets. Trading period begins. All Clubs must be under the Salary Cap. Top 51 rule applies.
July 27 Expand rosters to 90-man limit.
July 27 Training Camps open for all clubs, provided NFLPA has ratified CBA. Day One activities limited to physicals, meetings, and conditioning. No pads permitted on Day Two or Day Three.
August 9 Deadline for players under contract to report to their clubs to earn an Accrued Season for free agency.
August 11-15 First Preseason Weekend
August 12 Deadline for signing of Offer Sheets by Restricted Free Agents.
August 12 Deadline for June 1 Tender to Unrestricted Free Agents. If the player has not signed a Player Contract with a Club by August 26, he may negotiate or sign a Player Contract from August 26 until the Tuesday following the tenth week of the regular season, at 4:00 PM ET, only with his Prior Club.
August 12 Deadline: if a Drafted Rookie has not signed a Player Contract by this date, he cannot be traded during his initial League Year and may sign a Player Contract only with the drafting Club until the day of the Draft in the next League Year.
August 13-17 Each Club has until five days prior to its second preseason game to provide any tendered but unsigned Exclusive Rights Player or Restricted Free Agent with written notice of the Club's intent to place the player on the Exempt List if the player fails to report at least the day before the Club's second preseason game.
August 16 Deadline for Prior Club to exercise Right of First Refusal to Restricted Free Agents.
August 17 Deadline for June 1 Tender to Restricted Free Agents who have received a Qualifying Offer for a Right of First Refusal Only.
August 18-22 Second Preseason Weekend.
August 25-28 Third Preseason Weekend.
August 26 Signing Period ends for Unrestricted Free Agents who received the June 1 Tender.
August 29 Deadline for June 15 Tender to Restricted Free Agents. If player's Qualifying Offer is greater than 110% of the player's prior year's Paragraph 5 Salary (with all other terms of his prior year contract carried forward unchanged), the Club may withdraw the Qualifying Offer on August 29 and retain its exclusive negotiating rights to the player, so long as the Club immediately tenders the player a one-year Player Contract of at least 110% of his prior year's Paragraph 5 Salary, with all the terms of his prior year's contract carried forward unchanged.
August 30 Clubs reduce rosters from 90 players to 75 players.
September 1-2 Fourth Preseason Weekend.
September 3 Clubs reduce rosters to 53 players.
September 8-12 First Regular-Season Weekend.
September 18-19 Second Regular-Season Weekend
September 20 Deadline at 4:00 PM ET for any Club that designated a Franchise Player to sign such player to a multi-year contract or extension.