After NFLPA leader DeMaurice Smith briefed team player representatives this past week on the latest labor developments, one of the players hung up the phone after the meeting's conclusion and had an immediate thought: "It sounds like this damn thing could be close to being over."
When Smith spoke to the players he didn't offer specifics or a timetable, but he did offer optimism. Still, whether the damn lockout is really almost damn well over, no damn body knows for sure.
So here we are. When searching for a hardened status update, much depends on the eye of the lockout beholder. Some NFLPA and league officials think the lockout will end sooner than later. Others think August. Others think a season will be lost. More think a single day of training camp won't be missed.
During the past 48 hours, after speaking with a number of players and league officials, the best consensus is this: the lockout will probably end sometime between early- and mid-July which is what I've believed all along.