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NFL Lockout 2011: Optimism For Settlement Growing

Optimism is apparently growing that NFL owners and players could reach an agreement on a new collective bargaining agreement within the next two to three weeks. The Washington Post was the first to report that owners have been told to prepare for the possibility of a meeting scheduled for next Tuesday in Chicago lasting all night.

It has been widely speculated that the sides need to have an agreement in place by July 4 in order to ensure that training camps, and thus the preseason, will start on time. Teams like the New York Giants and New York Jets, who train away from their regular-season homes, face pressure to let officials at their usual training camp sites know what their plans are. Delays in the start of training camp could cause the teams to have to train at their regular-season facilities.

At least 24 of the league's 32 owners will have to ratify any agreement reached.