I almost don't want to write this because it seems that any time we get a dose of optimism in the NFL lockout talks between the NFL owners and players something happens to push things back but I'll go ahead and write it anyway: a deal between the owners and players to end the lockout could happen as early as the end of this month.
Mark Maske of the Washington Post cites people familiar with the negotiations in writing that a deal the week after the owners' meetings on June 21-22 seems "increasingly realistic."
It is possible--but very unlikely--that the owners could vote on a labor deal at that meeting, said several of the people, who did not participate in the talks but are familiar with developments. It is more likely, they said, that owners could give negotiators their opinions and a deal with the players could be completed the following week.
Again, don't get too excited. We've thought progress was being made before only to see that knocked down by other developments. But I am starting to feel that something could actually get done this summer. A deal before the Fourth of July holiday would be welcomed by all because it means no games, and not even training camp, would be compromised.
Stay tuned for more NFL lockout news where we're hopefully writing about the new CBA soon.