Yes, the NFL lockout ended last week and teams have opened free agency and training camps. Player movement is happening, preseason games are scheduled and we expect to play the regular season games as scheduled.
But...there are still lingering effects of the lockout that could affect training camp. The settlement between the owners and players has come and the two sides needed only to negotiate on a few collectively bargained items in order to finalize and ratify the CBA closing the book on the lockout.
The date to get that done was Aug. 4, which is also the date free agents signing new contracts can start practicing.
Pittsburgh Steelers player rep Ryan Clark tells Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette he's not sure the CBA will be fully ratified by then. He says the hang-up right now is over NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell's disciplinary power.
I don't think this would blow the whole deal up and reinstate a lockout -- it would just delay the final deal, again -- but it is a disappointing development for those of us who are trying -- very hard -- to forget the lockout ever happened.
One of the biggest effects of failing to ratify the CBA on Thursday will be that those free agent veterans won't be able to practice with their team until it's done.