The headlines have looked the same for months now. And many of you have probably ignored them. I don't blame you.
Cautious optimism followed by setbacks has pretty much been the ongoing cycle during the NFL lockout.
While there is still no deal in place, the latest update from ESPN's Adam Schefter and Chris Mortensen cites sources indicating that an agreement will be in place and ready to be ratified by July 21 at the league meetings in Atlanta.
What does that mean for training camp, the preseason and most importantly, player movement?
Per the report, a document known as "The Transition Rules" is already in place and contains a detailed timeline of what we could be looking at.
And the key date is July 28. Per the report, that would potentially be the date when the new league year would start and free agency and trades would be allowed.
Teams would be able to sign undrafted free agents a few days before on July 25. And rosters would have to be set at 90 players by August 2.
Restricted free agents would have to be signed to offer sheets by Aug. 3, and teams would then have a four-day period to match.
The two sides have discussed a deadline for signing rookies (which could be Aug. 12), but that has not been agreed on.
According to the report, all training camps would be able to start on time, and the only preseason game in danger would be the Aug. 7 Hall of Fame game between the Bears and Rams.
As a point of reference, Eagles rookies reported to Lehigh on July 26 last year, and the first full-squad practices were on July 31. This year, the Birds are scheduled to open the preseason at home against the Ravens on Aug. 11.
Again, there's still nothing definite in place, but this is the most detailed look that's been released of a potential timeline.
DESEAN GETS ROASTED
DeSean Jackson got a lot of positive pub earlier this offseason for his crusade against bullying (which, to his credit, is ongoing).
And now, he's taking heat for comments made during a radio interview.
I thought ESPN.com's Dan Graziano had a strong, but fair, take on Jackson:
Jackson's Saturday Twitter apologies were pathetic -- the minimalist work of a man who's apologizing because people are upset, not because he's truly sorry for what he did. He backed them up with defiant, all-capital boasts about how people want to bring him down but he's not going to let them. Said he was "standing tall."
He shouldn't be standing tall. He should be sitting sadly by himself, thinking about the impact of what he said and how it relates to the things for which he wants us to believe he stands. He should be wondering what he'll say the next time he's at one of those schools making one of those speeches and a child raises his hand and asks, "So, if it's wrong to bully and call people names, why did you say what you said to that guy on the radio? Why did you call him the same thing the bullies call me?"
The whole post is definitely worth a read.
Meanwhile, Mike Freeman of CBSSports.com wonders whether Jackson is trying to be someone he's not.
Why he chooses to propagate a false image as a homophobic, showboating, fake tough guy is a mystery. Because I actually don't think that's him at all.
Jackson might be making the cold calculation a handful of other African American athletes do and figure it's more marketable to act the fool -- see Owens, Terrell -- than be outwardly professional and studious.
Who is DeSean Jackson?
He's still figuring it out.
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