WASHINGTON - The lockout could well be in its final hours.
Legal teams for NFL owners and players negotiated deep into Monday morning, wrapping up at 3 a.m. with an agreement on basic terms.
According to multiple sources involved, the deal is not 100 percent done yet, with the final document still incomplete. That's important, because the language of a completed deal is what caused some of the hang-ups that occurred last week.
But the goal is for the NFLPA to be able to present the completed document to its 13-man executive committee between 11 a.m. to noon ET on Monday, with a vote to follow. The NFLPA has a conference call set up for its 32 player reps to vote following that. After that, the 10 plaintiffs in Brady v. the NFL would have to sign off, which is fully expected.
At this point, what remains is "a few small points" in the language, according to a source.
According to another source, the league does have a plan in place for the coming days. The doors would open Tuesday, with clubs allowed to sign draftees and rookie free agents. Free agency would begin Friday at 6 p.m. ET, though clubs could begin to speak with free agents starting Tuesday. Ten teams would open camp Wednesday, another 10 Thursday, another 10 Friday, and the remaining two on Sunday.