Optimism Springing Up In NFL Labor Talks

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - MAY 17: NFL lawyer Jeff Pash (L), NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and Art Rooney II (R), president of the Pittsburgh Steelers arrive for court ordered mediation at the U.S. Courthouse on May 17, 2011 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. As the NFL lockout remains in place mediation was ordered after a hearing on an antitrust lawsuit filed by NFL players against the NFL owners after labor talks between the two broke down in March. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)

On day No. 92 of the NFL lockout, optimism finally sprang forth so convincingly that dreaming of the end of the NFL's labor dispute now has some basis in reality.

Yesterday, Daniel Kaplan of the Sports Business Journal reported that optimism permeating the highly-publicized "secret" meetings taking place between NFL owners and players is so high that there is an expectation that the parameters of a new labor agreement could be in place within roughly two weeks.

This is the part where you quietly pump your fist at your computer monitor, then hope you haven't jinxed it. At least, that's how it went down for me.

Keep in mind that Kaplan is not reporting that the lockout will be over in two weeks. He's merely reporting that the optimism exists, and that the people he's spoken with believe that the expectation is the framework of a deal in the foreseeable future. None of that is concrete. But it is also, unequivocally, the best news on the labor front in months.

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