Optimism continues to abound with the NFL lockout, as it seems that the chance of losing football games will be slim to none at this point. For the third consecutive week, the NFL and players have engaged in "secret" talks, this time in the Washington, DC area. The two sides are hoping to make a lot of progress in the next two or three days, as they plan to meet again next week on Tuesday in Chicago.
Also, as tweeted by Adam Schefter, the league sent a memo out to the teams regarding the meeting in Chicago next week, advising them to be ready to stay overnight. Typically these meetings last three to four hours. The fact that they are planning for an overnight stay means that there could be something substantive happening.
Also according to Schefter, there are general managers that believe that next week the owners could be voting on a CBA proposal. This is great news.
None of this means that next week the deal will be done, and we should not get that excited. What it does mean that it is possible that an agreement in principle is on its way.
As for a target date for when the lockout ends and the two sides have agreed on a new CBA, Shefter believes it will be July 8. I'm not sure why he picks that day, but he did.
It is key to remember that a deal is closer than it has been, but it is not actually close to being done.
If I had to peg a date, I would imagine that the two sides want to have it done before the 4th of July weekend. I would bet that July 1 would be when it all comes together, meaning a free agency period and no loss of training camp or actual games.