The lockout is one step closer to being over. According to multiple sources, the NFL owners voted 31-0 to accept "the proposed 10-year collective bargaining agreement". No. The lone absentee vote came from the Oakland Raiders.
Sources told ESPN.com's John Clayton that the owners have notified the players they would accept this deal contingent on all union matters being resolved next week, and the NFL Players Association being reconstituted as a union.
This doesn't mean the lockout is over. The players are scheduled to vote at 8 p.m. Thursday night over a conference call. Once they vote for the CBA, other issues will need to be resolved before the new league year begins. That includes, as Clayton points out, union matters resolved and the NFLPA recertifying as a union.
Also during Roger Goodell's conference announcing the vote, the NFL finally cancelled this year's Hall of Fame game.
“The time is just too short and we feel that it’s important for all 32 teams to be operating with the same number of preseason games and also starting camp at the same date or near the same date," said Goodell.
Close. Oh so close.