NFL Labor: 'Welcome Back, Football'

WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 11: NFL Players Association Executive Director DeMaurice Smith (C -wearing hat) walks with a group of player representatives as they arrive for labor talks at the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service building March 11, 2011 in Washington, DC. Representatives from the National Football League (NFL) and National Football League Players' Association (NFLPA) continue to negotiate a labor dispute as a deadline looms at the end of a seven day extension of talks. (Photo by Jonathan Ernst/Getty Images)

Adam Schefter, yesterday:

Welcome back, football.

Merril Hoge, tweeting from some dude's wedding:

NFL is on! However I'm at Ben Rothlisberger wedding right now and players that should have voted just heard the news!!

If you watched Sunday morning's The Sports Reporters, John Saunders reported that the lockout is 'all but over.' 

Back to Schefter, he's also written a column this morning stating that a 'deal to end lockout reached.' This morning on SportsCenter, Schefter reported that DeMaurice Smith and the NFLPA executive committee have endorsed the new deal and will recommend that all players vote for the deal. In the history of the NFL, no CBA has been rejected by the players once it has the endorsement of the NFLPA executive committee.

Reports everywhere say that the NFLPA will meet tomorrow to vote on the CBA. Schefter says this is a 'formality.' The deal is done.

Now, no offense to Schefter, Hoge, Chris Mortensen, and anyone else at ESPN who is prematurely celebrating the return of football, but I've heard this 'deal is done' stuff before.

Until I see a formal announcement from the NFL stating the lockout has officially ended, I'm not celebrating. Until I see DeMaurice Smith announcing that the players have approved the CBA, I'm not celebrating. Until I see Colts players walking into West 56th Street and hi-fiving the receptionist, I'm not celebrating.

When all of those things do happen, we fans should get ready for what Schefter described as the 'busiest, most chaotic offseason in sports history.'

When that new season starts, I'll celebrate by writing one thing and one thing only. When it happens, I'll make sure all you readers can see that statement when NFL Festivus returns.

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