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NFL Lockout: Free Agency Could Begin Next Week, Several Teams Will Be Forced To 'Spend Big'

As Thursday's estimated deadline looms near, further reports have begun to dribble out regarding the timetable for the next two weeks once a new NFL labor agreement is reached.

According to writer Jason La Canfora, the hope is that a new collective bargaining agreement could be reached by Wednesday, after which the plaintiffs in the Brady case would sign off on the deal. The NFLPA would then have to recertify, with roughly 1,900 players receiving ballots to vote on the new CBA.

Following the adoption of a new agreement, teams would receive a brief amount of time to understand the new cap rules and requirements, before free agent activity began on Monday. La Canfora estimates that there will be a 72-hour time period to negotiate and re-sign players, most likely starting Wednesday, before full-blown free agency begins over the latter half of the week.

Amidst the speculation, one interesting development stands out in particular. According to La Canfora, internal reports from cap experts have commented that several low-budget teams will be forced to spend a rather large amount of money before the onset of the season in order to meet the new minimum.

Capologists very eager to get handle on where their teams stand, and others, exactly with the new cap and how new cap credits operate. Internal projections by cap guys I spoke to estimate the Cards, Bengals, Bucs and Chiefs will have to spend very big to get to 90% of cap.