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Reports: Owners And Players Agree To Deal; Free Agency Could Start Saturday

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Adam Schefter is reporting in an article posted on ESPN.com this morning that a deal has been reached to end the lockout

The NFL Players Association and the league's owners have reached agreement on the remaining points needed in their 10-year labor deal, sources from both sides said.

Despite the fact the new agreement will require a majority vote from the players, that part of the deal between the two sides is considered a formality, according to sources.

The NFLPA is making plans for a major press conference Monday. But first the player reps' executive committee is scheduled to fly to Washington, D.C., on Sunday so they can vote Monday.

Obviously, we've heard all of this before, but barring any last-minute surprises, which we've also had before, the NFLPA will begin the voting process on Monday to ratify the CBA.

Though nothing has been formally communicated yet by the NFL, ESPN reports on the possible timeline of the return of football after the break.

Monday: The NFLPA kicks off the voting process to approve the deal with the owners. For that, the 11-man NFLPA executive committee will take the first vote, after which the 32 player reps will vote to recommend the deal. Then the 10 named plaintiffs from the Brady case need to sign off on the deal, a mere formality as it stands now.This would leave recertification by the union as the last remaining step in the process.

Wednesday and Friday: ESPN writes that "some" teams will open training camps on Wednesday, "other" teams on Friday. It's not clear yet which teams will open when and why they don't all open at the same time.

As the players report to their teams on either Wednesday or Friday, they'll also be signing the union cards required for the NFLPA to reform as a union. The NFLPA needs 50% + 1 of their players to sign the cards to recertify, after which teams could start re-signing their own free agents, or signing their rookies if they so choose.

Saturday: Free agency commences and we are going to have ourselves an epic weekend.

Keep it here at BTB, we'll be on top of the action throughout the weekend.