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NFL Lockout 2011: Optimism Abounds, But Can The Two Sides Seal The Deal?

On the heels of Tuesday's NFL owners' meetings in Chicago there has been lots of positive talk about NFL owners and players reaching a new collective bargaining agreement within 2-3 weeks, ending the ongoing NFL Lockout and allowing an on-time start to the 2011 NFL regular season.

The two sides will reportedly meet for another negotiating session Wednesday and Thursday in Boston. Most reports have indicated that progress has been made during the not-so-secret sessions held the past few weeks. With ownership apparently onboard with the direction those negotiations are taking, let's hope the two sides are able to capitalize on that momentum and move closer to a deal during their meetings in Boston.

"We’ve got a lot of work to do and we’ve got to do it right.  The agreement that we’re focusing on and negotiating has got to address several issues.  Those issues are complex and it needs to be done in a way that is fair to the players, fair to the clubs, and most importantly allows us to continue to have that full 2011 football season," said NFL commissioner Roger Goodell in a statement following Tuesday's meeting. "That’s what we want, that’s what the fans want, they want football and it’s our job to try to make that happen."

What are the parameters of the deal being worked on? ESPN has a point-by-point breakdown of the details that have emerged thus far, including a nearly 50-50 revenue split between owners and players.

Fans, in all honesty, probably don't care about any of the particulars. They just want to know one thing. Will the NFL season start on time or won't it?