During the last couple of weeks of the NFL labor negotiations there have been numerous reports about progress being made and a deal potentially being close. For the most part, though, we have had nothing to show for all of the optimism, as the NFL is still in lockout mode and there's no telling when a new deal will be in place.
That said, we got some great news tonight that could be a sign things are moving in the right direction: NFL owners and players have reached an agreement on a new rookie wage scale. ESPN's Adam Schefter broke the news that is actual evidence of progress being made. This issue was a big hurdle that the owners and players have been trying to get past for a while, and now it looks like it can be put in the rearview mirror, allowing the two sides to focus on other things.
Sources told Mortensen that the two sides expect to work late into Thursday night and return Friday morning to work on open issues that include workman's compensation, extra right-of-first-refusals on this year's free agent class, settlement on the television damages and the antitrust lawsuit and issues relating to commercial sponsorships.
A lot of work still needs to be done, but the good news is that one of the biggest remaining issues appears to almost be behind the owners and players. Hopefully the other issues will be resolved shortly and we will soon be able to put the entire lockout in our rearview mirror.