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NFL Lockout Officially In Its Death Throes

(Hey, how many times can you work "death throes" into a headline? Especially on a football site.)

After all of the months of negotiation and acrimony, it appears that we are in the last day or two of the National Football League lockout.

Here is the basic timeline for what we're looking at as far as the end of the lockout.

-The NFLPA* is currently meeting in New York to debate, discuss, and ultimately vote on the new collective bargaining agreement. If, for some reason, they choose not to pass it today, the vote will be immediately followed by the sound of heads exploding from coast to coast and border to border. There's no reason that this thing shouldn't get passed by the NFLPA*, and today is seen as more of a formality/information session than anything else.

-Tomorrow, the NFL owners will be meeting in Atlanta. After the NFLPA* passes the CBA, it will go to the owners, where it will require a 3/4 majority in order to go forward. This should not be much of a problem, either.

-As soon as the owners ratify the CBA, the lockout is OVAH and players can begin contacting their teams, reporting to facilities, and receiving medical treatment from team personnel.

When the new CBA goes into effect, a special seminar will be held for team executives to get them familiar with the new rules. Teams will then get about three days to sit down and ponder what, exactly, the new rules mean and how it will affect their plans and preparation for the 2011 season.

On Monday, July 25, the three-day period for negotiating with and signing your own team's free agents will begin. This is the time period for signing undrafted rookie free agents as well. On Thursday, July 28, the biggest free agent free-for-all in the history of the National Football League will get underway, as will Training Camp and everything else that we are accustomed to.

It's finally coming to an end, ladies and gentlemen. Once this thing is cleared up, the news is going to be flying fast and furious. . .and, as you all already know, the best place for you to get that news is right here at the best, most professional, and most well-written Minnesota Vikings blog on the internet.