I’m still 100% committed to my all-pessimism outlook of all rumors and innuendo regarding the lockout, but even I will admit that it looks like this thing is about over. I know we’ve all heard that before, and to be honest I’ve said it before, but by all accounts the players’ vote on Monday is only a formality and they will agree to the deal sometime in the next 24 hours, probably sooner rather than later.
As far as time lines go, we have already heard countless so-called “time lines” put forth by the major media outlets, so I don’t want to do any unnecessary speculation until the deal is actually agreed upon. However, the latest news supposedly comes from an email from Saints’ quarterback Drew Brees to his teammates in which he says, “It now looks like free agency will begin at noon on Tuesday and it will be open free agency. There will be no 3 day grace period for teams to sign their own players. It will be open for anyone to sign anywhere.”
Brees goes on to discuss training camps: “It looks like the NFL is trying to force teams into camp on time. This would move us to a report date of Thursday, July 28. We would have physicals, conditioning, and meetings on this day. The day before would be a travel day and the hotel would be open that night for guys to check in as well as physicals but nothing mandatory until Thursday”
He says later that all of this is subject to change, which I think is probably a huge understatement, but I just wanted to let you know what is out there so you can be prepared if it happens. Brees is obviously in the know when it comes to this stuff, because he has been one of the leaders from the beginning on the players side. Again, none of this is confirmed, but it is possible that free agency could begin 36 hours. As much as I love typing that, I’ll believe it only when I see it.