And with that, the NFL lockout is inches from the finish line. On Monday morning, the NFLPA executive committee voted to approve a settlement negotiated over the weekend, setting the table for an official end to the lockout. The owners approved a proposal to end the lockout on Thursday, though it contained items the NFLPA had not seen, causing a momentary uproar. A weekend of negotiations calmed some nerves as DeMaurice Smith and Roger Goodell hammered out a few remaining issues ahead of Monday's vote.
With the executive committee's approval, all that's left is a vote by the players, who are expected to follow the committee's recommendation. NFLPA executive director of external affairs George Atallah put it simply when announcing the results of the vote.
With the lockout settled, business is about to pick up in the NFL. A tentative free agency schedule was released on Monday morning, with the first actual moves set to begin early Tuesday morning. Training camps will also open quickly as teams stagger starts throughout the week beginning on Wednesday.
The NFL lockout settlement is contingent on the NFLPA reforming as a union, though they have about two weeks to do so. The players are expected to vote to recertify using union cards distributed at team facilities and training camps.