NEW ORLEANS, LA - MARCH 21: Chicago Bears head coach Lovey Smith attends the NFL Annual Meetings at the Roosevelt Hotel on March 21, 2011 in New Orleans, Louisiana. Despite a NFL owners imposed lockout in effect since March 12 the league is conducting its annual owners meeting in New Orleans. (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
Most every NFL expert and legal analyst agree that the NFL lockout will end at some point to allow football to be played in 2011. There's just no way either side will leave that kind of money in limbo. Something will get done... eventually. But when? After the jump we'll look at what some who are 'in the know' have to say.
The NFL Network and nfl.com had a few of their guys give their take on the lockout. Jason La Canfora sees it this way:
The "expedited" schedule with the 8th Circuit still results in a decision sometime after July 4. I'll throw a dart at a calendar and say July 11. And I'll say, based off the wording of the stay, that the court sides with the owners.
Which means we're back where we were 22-odd months ago when negotiations began. In this scenario, my best-case is a deal sometime around Aug. 15, but, honestly, all bets are off. A truncated season, in my estimation, becomes a very real probability.
Points to Jason for using 'truncated', well done.
Vic Carucci believes the lockout will end around July 4th and that there'll be a bang-bang period for trades and free agency to take place, he adds:
Although training camps might be delayed and there could be some adjustments needed to preseason schedules, the regular season should be able to start on time.
That'd work for me.
I'll call Steve Wyche an optimist. He says:
I'm projecting a deal gets done no later than July 9 and free agency starts a few days later. I don't think we'll miss preseason games. Call me an optimist.
I just did? Duh...
predicts the lockout is over on August 22nd, 2011 and Pat Kirwan thinks July 15th, 2011 is the day it ends.
NBC TV released their fall schedule and Sunday Night Football is on there. NBC Entertainment chairman Bob Greenblatt said:
"We're obviously very close to what's going on with this situation," Greenblatt said in a conference call with TV critics. "And we're feeling pretty optimistic that football will be there. I think worst-case scenario is we might have a delay of games for a few weeks."
Even undrafted free agent Henry Hynoski, former fullback from Pitt, has an opinion of the subject:
Asked if he had any idea when the lockout might end, Hynoski says that he hears late June. "That's the common consensus," he says, "but you just never know."
He "hears" late June... He must have "people" in the know in his "inner circle"... I wish I had "people"...