There were two important developments late today regarding a new CBA. First, one of the union negotiators emerged saying he was now "cautiously optimistic" a deal will get done this week. Even more important, a Federal Judge in Minneapolis has just ruled against the owners in a suit brought by the NFLPA claiming that the sweetheart deal with the tv networks to pay the NFL $4 billion next year even if there are no games to televise is illegal. The owners were counting on that money to tide them over in the event of a lockout; now they will likely not have that war chest available.
The owners will surely appeal the ruling, but that will take some time and in the meanwhile the outcome is very uncertain for them (the law seems to be on the union's side, as the judge found). What all of this means is that the league may be far more open to a settlement than before this ruling came down. That could, along with the good work of the Federal Mediator, be just what is needed to save not only the 2011 season but also the offseason.
Let us hope and pray . . . .