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NFL Lockout: Everything Should Now Go According to Plan

The owners are already out of the way, so when it comes to the NFL Lockout, all of the attention has been on the players. For now, it seems like the negotiating is done and a firm plan is in place. One big key was that Vincent Jackson withdrew his request in the antitrust case. A player rep from each of the 32 teams in the league are scheduled to vote to recommend approval of the new collective bargaining agreement on Monday. The vote will probably be done via conference call. Since things have supposedly "calmed down" over the past day or two, I expect enough of the player reps to give their vote of support.

What would happen after that? 50 percent of the players in the league plus one would need to vote to re-certify the NFLPA. Cards to sign will be made available for some teams on Wednesday. They will be available for the rest of the teams on Friday. Once the tally reaches at least 50 percent plus one players, which is expected to be some time on Friday, free agency and the league year would open the following day. Specifically, that date would be July 30 at 2:00 PM EST.

Teams can start negotiating with their own free agents, their own restricted free agents, and their own draft choices Wednesday though, according to reports. They might also be able to negotiate with undrafted free agents on Wednesday, but that is not confirmed.