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Drew Brees Says Deal Is 'Very Close'

Based on the reports from Wednesday's NFL labor negotiations, the general consensus is that some of the main issues that remain haven't been solved just yet. The two sides are still trying to come to an agreement on how the rookie wage scale will work and what will be the exact rules for free agency. To say the least, the next two days of negotiations could tell us if we are looking at a deal being done sometime this weekend or by the end of next week at the earliest.

No matter what happens during negotiations the rest of this week, I probably won't be ready to start celebrating the end of the lockout or panic about the lack of progress unless something drastic happens (i.e. a deal is agreed to or negotiations fall apart and the two sides don't agree to meet any further). Throughout the lockout there have been daily signs of both optimism and pessimism, and Wednesday was no different.

On the one hand, little progress was seemingly made with the two big issues that remain, but on the flip side, Saints quarterback Drew Brees said that a deal is "very close" before the negotiations even got rolling on Wednesday. Now, perhaps he was saying that a deal is very close in the grand scheme of things rather than that something is expected to be complete in the next day or so, but it's nice to hear optimism from the players' side.

Of course, it's important to note that Tom Brady and the other plaintiffs in the Brady v. NFL lawsuit released a statement on Wednesday saying that "it is time to get this deal done," so it's tough to put too much faith in the "very close" comment. It seems with every positive development there is an equally negative one, so at this point nothing is probably worth getting too worked up about until something is official.