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Looking At The Real NFL Lockout Deadline

It's been previously reported that one of the unspoken deadlines in the NFL lockout was July 15 because that would give some time for teams to have a short free agency period before training camps start. The first camp starts on July 22 for the Rams and Bears, who play in the Hall of Fame game on Aug. 7.

According to Don Banks of SI.com, some folks on the inside of the NFL lockout may be thinking the Hall of Fame game could be sacrificed in the event of a lockout.

While it has been presumed that the two sides would have to have a deal in place by July 15 in order to play the entire preseason schedule, it is now thought that only the Aug. 7 Hall of Fame Game between the Rams and Bears would have to be sacrificed if an agreement came together as late as July 22.

There are 65 total preseason games as the Rams and Bears will actually play five preseason games due to the Hall of Fame game. Sacrificing just that game would preserve 64 of the league's 65 preseason games. An NFL spokesman recently said that the preseason generates approximately $800 million in revenue so missing just one game wouldn't be as devastating as missing them all.

So it's possible the new deadline for the NFL lockout could be July 22. Most camps open the following week so, if an agreement comes around that time, it's possible just one game would be missed and, even then, the Bears and Rams would still be playing four preseason games like the rest of the league.

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