Seattle Seahawks player representative Chester Pitts has been making the media rounds over the last two days, updating the public on the progress of the talks to end the NFL lockout. Pitts was optimistic on ESPN just moments ago, and hinted at a vote taking place at 5 p.m. PDT on Thursday evening. The player vote on an agreement to end the NFL lockout is one of the final hurdles remaining, though the biggest is the recertification of the NFLPA.
The owners are holding steadfast in their requirement that the NFLPA becomes a union again after it decertified at the start of the NFL lockout. Even if both sides approve the deal, it will not be put into affect until another vote is taken and the NFLPA forms again, adding another wrinkle to the timetable for the beginning of football. As of Thursday morning, there was some debate about re-forming the union, and the time it would take to properly do so.
Because of all the hurdles, however big or small, that need to be cleared to end the NFL lockout, Pitts is less than optimistic about an accelerated timeframe for the start of training camps and football. On Wednesday night, he felt it would be two weeks before the NFL lurched into motion -- with a free agency period and the NFLPA vote standing in the way.
He held to that timetable on Thursday, telling ESPN, "I would be shocked if this happened in under a week. It may be closer to a two-week timetable."
For now, the vote on an agreement should be encouraging. Neither the NFL or NFLPA would hold a vote if they didn't have the necessary votes in place to pass it. If it does, in fact, happen on Thursday night, it's likely the agreement will go through, beginning the process of ending the lockout.
We'll be back with more as it becomes available. For the latest news and updates on the ongoing labor battle, stay with our NFL lockout StoryStream. Head over to Field Gulls for a breakdown of the lockout.