Ray Fittipaldo reports that agents representing NFL players are beginning to prepare to shop their players, suggesting that the NFL Lockout could end soon. He speaks to Joel Turner, who represents Ryan Clark of the Steelers, and who thinks that it could be over in the next couple of weeks:
He believes a deal in principle will be reached by Friday or early next week, with a two-week period to follow for the lawyers on both sides to finalize the agreement. Turner said a person who was familiar with the negotiations told him neither side wants judges to be forced to rule on the case, and that might happen if an agreement is not reached.
The goal for the deal to be signed, sealed and delivered by July 15. Free agency would follow in the next week or two after that before teams report to training camp.
What this means - and we already knew this, but it's exceptionally clear when scenarios like this lay everything out in front of you - is that the free agency period is going to be a wild one, with a whole lot happening in a very short period of time.
Fittipaldo notes that the owners will have ample reason to get a deal done quickly, since preseason games can be very lucrative for them, and if the lockout stretches much past the next couple of weeks, it will be hard to play a full slate of preseason games.