Houston Texans Ready For a Possible July 21 Offseason Start Date?

With the July 21 league meetings in Atlanta set to happen and all 32 owners required to be in attendance there are optimists out there that believe that date as the next target date for a possible conclusion to the NFL Lockout.

As one NFL owner said this weekend, there’s “no reason to believe it won’t get done.” All 32 owners will be on hand to vote on an agreement. At least 24 of the 32 owners must approve the agreement before it can be effective.

Chris Mortenson and Adam Schefter aren’t reporting a deal will be finalized.  Instead, they’re saying (and Schefter just said on ESPN2′s Mike & Mike in the Morning) that “many people believe” the deal will be completed in time to be ratified by July 21.

Per Mort and Schefter, a document titled “The Transition Rules” sets forth the time line for the events that will unfold after July 21.

If an agreement is ratified on July 21st then the timeline of events regarding teams and logistics of the offseason would be as follows:

• July 21 — Educate the clubs on the new league rules and allow voluntary training for teams and agents.

• July 25 — Sign undrafted rookies, as well as give free agents a chance to re-sign with their teams.

• July 28 — League year starts and free agency begins.

• Aug. 2 — Rosters must be set at 90 players.

• Aug. 3 — Deadline for restricted free agents to sign offer sheets.

• Aug. 7  — A four-day match period for teams to match restricted free-agent offer sheets.

• Aug 12 — Deadline for rookies to sign contracts (not yet agreed upon).

• Aug. 16 — Signing period for restricted free agents ends, as does the signing period for franchise and transition tenders.

• Aug. 29 — Deadline for players to report to earned credit for an accrued season toward free agency

Let’s hope once again that this is not all smoke and mirrors and another means of getting the NFL fans excited about the start of the NFL season only to bring us all back down to earth once we find out that some minor detail that can’t be agreed upon is holding everything up.

One example of a minor detail that could derail the whole thing is a source from the players side has stated that the players have agreed to cut rookie compensation in half but they will not agree to a deal that does not allow the rookie class to become free agents at the end of four years.

The source goes on to state, “we’ve basically reached the limits of compromise.” and let’s not forget that wrapping up the Tom Brady class action continues to be an impediment.

Basically let’s not get our hopes up as fans, let’s adopt a realist view point and continue to watch as July 21st slowly approaches.

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