For a third straight day, we get to write and talk about optimism on the NFL labor front. On Sunday, we talked about a Sports Business Journal report that said a timetable for a possible labor agreement could be as short as two weeks. Yesterday, Peter King of Sports Illustrated set his over/under date for a new CBA at July 10.
Today, there are a bunch of different lockout-related stories we could talk about.
There's Mark Maske's report at the Washington Post, which says that a deal being completed before the Fourth of July is "increasingly realistic." Or an Albert Breer (NFL.com) report that says a rough deadline of July 15 has been set by both parties for a deal to preserve normal training camp and pre-season activities. Or even ESPN's Chris Mortensen saying that the two sides are in "deal-making mode."
Sure, there's still plenty of "don't get too excited" rhetoric out there. Mike Florio points out that the re-involvement of lawyers might hamper negotiating progress, even though others insist that it's good news. (He also points out that a deal before July 4 would be an unbelievable marketing opportunity.) We don't know what's changed on the negotiating front, aside from one thing: the general mood. We'll take what we can get for now.