Apologies for the late start today, ladies and gentlemen. . .yours truly has been away from the computer pretty much all day long, as I got selected to assist with the Air Force's "Drug Demand Reduction" program. For the non-military types out there, that means I've been volunteered (or voluntold, whichever you prefer) to watch people urinate into plastic cups when they come in to be randomly drug tested.
Yes, it's as exciting as I just made it sound. Not one Whizzinator found yet, either.
Anyway, there have been a couple of spots around the internet that are reporting that the NFL and the NFLPA* are shooting for a deal to be completed in order to be ratified when the NFL owners get together in Atlanta on July 21. Since it seems like we get alternating days of optimism and pessimism during this process, I'm not really sure how much of that can be believed at this point, but it would be nice if that could happen.
Adam Schefter and Chris Mortensen at the four-letter are reporting that there is a set of "transition rules" that will kick in after the lockout deal is ratified by all sides. After the jump, we'll go through those, based on a date of July 21 for the ratification of the new Collective Bargaining Agreement.July 21 - Education of clubs on new league rules, allowing for voluntary training for teams and agents
July 25 - Beginning of signing period for undrafted free agents, plus a window for teams to sign their own free agents
July 28 - League year starts/free agency begins
August 2 - Rosters must be set at 90 players
August 3 - Deadline for restricted free agents to sign offer sheets
August 7 - Four-day period for teams to match offer sheets to restricted free agents
August 12 - Deadline for rookies to sign contracts
August 16 - Signing period for restricted free agents ends, as does the signing period for franchise and transition tenders
August 29 - Deadline for players to report to earned credit for an accrued season toward free agency
So, after four or five months of not having anything to talk about, it looks like we might have a whole lot to talk about here starting in ten days. Naturally, you're going to want to get all of your news from the best Minnesota Vikings website on the internet. Luckily for you, since you're already here, you already know what site that is.