In context of the NFL lockout, a global settlement clears the books of all current lawsuits being fought in different courtrooms around the country. It would tie together lawsuits that include the Brady et al suit brought by 10 players in March, the lawsuit filed by players to withhold the TV money that the owners would have received even if the entire 2011 season wasn't play, the lawsuit claiming NFL collusion during the uncapped year and a lawsuit filed by Carl Eller and other former players.
Under the plan being discussed Monday, all of those suits would be either dismissed or dropped, which would grease the wheels to get a final CBA ratified as early as Thursday. So confident are some that the deal will be done on Thursday that there have already been discussions that team facilities would open to players as early as Friday with organized team activities able to get underway as early as next Monday.
On Monday, the NFL made its own pitch to owners in order to fast track to get the owners to approve the agreement Thursday. A memo sent to all 32 teams to have their key executives in attendance at the scheduled owners meeting Thursday in Atlanta, with the expectation that, before they convene, owners would vote to ratify the CBA. Given that it is an unprecedented 10-year deal, there will likely be some significant discussion about specifics for those owners that haven't been involved in the direct mediation and negotiations.
Before that happens, the NFL Players Association is expected to get the ball rolling. The NFL Executive Committee, comprised of 11 current and former players, is expected to meet today and review the agreement. Part of the deal will be adding $1 billion into the Legacy Fund, money earmarked for the former players that helped build the game that find themselves disabled for their years of playing NFL football – at a time when players weren't protected from shots to the head (in fact, they were encouraged). The player representatives for the 32 teams are expected to meet Wednesday in Washington D.C. to ratify the agreement, which would send it to the owners for its approval Thursday to end to the lockout.
It seems at this point in the steamrolling of progress, the situation is like a player that has broken into the open field and is rushing for a touchdown. You can almost hear fans chanting, "He's to the 30…the 20…the 10…the 5…" They haven't hit the goal line yet, but it is so close you can smell it. Fans are hoping the guy running for the proverbial touchdown is Adrian Peterson, not Leon Lett.
John Holler has been writing about the Vikings for more than a decade for Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this topic on our message boards. To become a subscriber to the Viking Update web site or magazine, click here.