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Five months of frustration about to vanish with NFL lockout coming to an end

New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees (9) looks up at the scoreboard while playing the Carolina Panthers during their NFL football game in Charlotte, North Carolina on November 7, 2010. REUTERS/Chris Keane (UNITED STATES – Tags: SPORT FOOTBALL)

If you were one of the many NFL fans that said you were done watching football because of all the greed that has taken place over the last five months between the players and owners, you can officially stop lying to yourself right now. Because once the new Collective Bargaining Agreement has been signed, you know damn well that the first thing you’re going to do is check the rumor mill to see what your favorite team has in store in terms of free agency.

And hey, I’m not judging you. There have been many times over the last couple of months that I wanted to say that I too was done with football. That I wasn’t going to dump a couple of hundred dollars on NFL Sunday Ticket and only further line the pockets of the super-rich. But I would have been lying to myself as well.

According to NFL Network’s Albert Breer, the “economics” of the labor agreement are done and there have been several reports over the last couple of days that state the CBA will be signed anytime between now and Tuesday. Once that happens and the free agent winds start blowing, what happened over these last five months will quickly fade until nobody even remembers how nasty this entire process has been for everyone involved. People may say differently. They may say that they will never forget what has transpired and won’t return. But the truth of the matter is that the NFL is still king. As long as gambling and fantasy football (which might as well be gambling) never ceases to exist, people will continue to watch. It’s the most popular sport in America.

For those few and far between that really won’t come back, I commend you. Instead of spending countless hours this fall watching players and a game that you have zero impact on, you’ll turn a blind eye and do something else. Don’t line anyone’s pockets but your own. I wish I could do the same thing but I’m not as strong as you are. I love the NFL and no matter how much frustration it has caused fans over these last couple of months, I’m going to welcome it back with open arms once the games count in September.

Sure, like a scorned lover I won’t dive back in with two feet. I’ll proceed with caution as if the water is infested with piranha. But over time, I’ll be fully invested again. It’s football after all.

Friday Quick-Hitters:

- Brandon Marshall told the South Florida Sun-Sentinel that his wife did not stab him and that he truly did slip on a vase. This is also the same Brandon Marshall who once said he slipped on a McDonald’s wrapper and wound up putting his forearm through a television set. So this is either the unluckiest, goofiest human being on the face of the planet or my man is doing some lying.

- The new salary cap in the NFL will reportedly be $120 million and will also come with a salary floor. Thus, some teams will be forced to spend money on free agents just to qualify for the salary floor. That means you, Malcolm Glazer…

- James Harrison has released a lengthy statement apologizing for his harsh comments on commissioner Roger Goodell and teammates Ben Roethlisberger and Rashard Mendenhall. Of course, the only thing he apologized for in reference to Goodell was his “careless use of a slang word.” Nothing like apologizing without really apologizing, eh James?

- Tom Watson hit a hole-in-one in the second round of the British Open today to give him his 15th ace of his career. I think I speak for all weekend golfers who have never hit one hole-in-one in their lifetime (not to mention 15) when I say: Congrats, Tom…you douche bag.

Follow the Scores Report editors on Twitter @TheScoresReport. You can also follow TSR editor Gerardo Orlando @clevelandteams and @bullzeyedotcom, and you can follow TSR editor Anthony Stalter @AnthonyStalter.

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NFL facilities to open on Friday morning?

The home of the NFL’s San Diego Chargers is shown in San Diego, California at Qualcomm Stadium March 15, 2011. The antitrust suit filed by NFL players against the league will be heard on April 6 in a federal court in Minnesota, according to court documents released on Monday. The hearing is to be heard by Judge Susan Nelson with the players asking for an injunction against the lockout declared by the NFL on Saturday. REUTERS/Mike Blake(UNITED STATES – Tags: SPORT FOOTBALL)

Rotoworld.com (via NBCSports.com) is reporting that the NFL has sent a memo to all teams indicating that players will be allowed into facilities and coaches may begin distributing playbooks as early as Friday morning.

In other words, injured players may begin rehabbing and coaches can begin discussing football matters with all players. Teams may also begin scheduling OTAs/minicamps. The NFL will also hand out guidelines for the 2011 League Year, including when it will start. Free agency and trades remain on hold, though NFL Network’s Jason LaCanfora has reported that GMs have begun prepping for the market to open Monday. It’s believed that 2010 free agency rules would apply, which would leave four- and five-year veterans such as Sidney Rice and DeAngelo Williams restricted.

This is a nice report with the first round of the draft a mere hours away now. It would be nice if we could have confirmation that free agency will begin on Monday, but the fact that the NFL is sending out a memo telling teams that they can partake in football matters (to borrow a term from Rotoworld) is positive sign.

It’s interesting to note that ESPN’s Adam Schefter, NFL Network’s Albert Breer and draft analyst Mike Mayock have all predicted that the first round will be heavy on trades. Seeing as how there is no CBA in place and therefore, there is no 2012 NFL Draft (or 2012 draft picks), one would assume that teams will largely stay put tonight. But maybe that won’t be the case if their prediction is correct.

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