Could there be a CBA in place by the time of the NFL draft?

David Boies, attorney for the National Football League, speaks to the media after attending a federal court hearing regarding labor negotiations between the NFL and the NFL Players Association in St. Paul, April 6, 2011. Right of Boies is attorney Gregg Levy. REUTERS/Eric Miller (UNITED STATES – Tags: SPORT FOOTBALL CRIME LAW BUSINESS)

Football fans have been waiting weeks for positive news to come out of the NFL labor dispute for weeks and finally, we may have a little.

The NFL Network’s Albert Breer is reporting that the CBA discussions between the owners and players are “serious,” even though the two sides will not talk over the weekend. Apparently progress is being made under mediator Judge Arthur Boylan and a new Collective Bargaining Agreement may be struck before or just after this month’s draft.

Of course, fans have gotten their hopes up before only to see them dashed. Back when the previous CBA was still in place, the two sides agreed to an extension and some thought that meant the owners and players were serious about agreeing on a new deal. But it wasn’t meant to be and a week later, the lockout began.

At this point, all we can do is hope that progress is actually being made. Nobody outside of the players and owners themselves truly know what’s going on behind closed doors, so maybe a deal will be struck within the next two weeks. Considering the issues at hand, I find it hard to believe that the two sides are any closer now than they were a month ago, and it’s rather disappointing that the players and owners won’t continue talks over the weekend. But at least they’re in mediation and talking. It’s certainly better than the alternative (i.e. leaving everything in the hands of the court system).

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