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New York Giants Notes: No, Really, The Lockout Could Be Over Soon Edition

Good morning, fellow Giants fans. I know you're all tired of hearing that the lockout is ending "soon," but more and more signs are pointing to just that. On Monday, SB Nation reported that former Giants' and current Panthers' tight end Jeremy Shockey told Busted Coverage that he had been briefed on a conference call to report to Charlotte beginning Friday for a weekend minicamp and CBA crash course. Nevermind that there is supposed to be a confidentiality clause, this is Jeremy Shockey we're talking about--a guy who loves to run his mouth. Still, Shockey gave us all what we've been wanting to hear, at least for now. Here are a few more lockout stories to start your Tuesday: news: NFL, players zero in on labor deal, but complex issues remain
Lawyers for the NFL and its players met Monday in New York, but several issues still must be resolved before the parties can ratify a full collective bargaining agreement. According to sources with direct knowledge of the negotiations, some of those remaining items are sufficiently complicated and could require more than a few days to settle.

But Jeremy Shockey said.....oh yeah, it's Shockey. I think that the "complex issues" are still going to be ironed out very soon, but I'm also trying extra hard to be optimistic here.

NFL, players anticipating tentative agreement - NFL - Yahoo! Sports
The NFL wants team executives ready to be schooled in the ins and outs of a new labor contract as early as Thursday. Players are gathering in Washington so they’re ready to vote on an agreement in principle even sooner than that. Yes, signs are strong that football’s four-month lockout might almost be over. Lawyers for both sides were scheduled to meet with a court-appointed mediator in New York on Tuesday, when representatives of retired players were expected to participate, too, in an attempt to close a deal to resolve the NFL’s first work stoppage since 1987.

NFL -- Salary cap scramble will be interesting - ESPN
Now that the NFL is on the verge of ending the lockout and getting a new collective bargaining agreement, it's funny watching the scramble. The NFL temporarily gave up the salary cap to gain leverage and try to get concessions from the players. They saved plenty of money last year, particularly $320 million in benefits they weren't required to pay. They also saved on salaries because so many top free agents were restricted. Now everyone in the league is angling to work within the salary cap. There were talks of moving the $163 million of remaining cap room from 2009 to this year, but those ideas fell apart.

I don't know if I'd use the word "interesting." It's going to be pure insanity. And will players take less money just to be employed? I'll let you guys debate that, but it wouldn't suprise me, especially with an extremely abbreviated free agency period.

Hall of Fame Game still has life — for now - Canton, OH -
No one knows the source of a Chicago Sun-Times report over the weekend that said the Hall of Fame Game has been canceled. Steve Perry wouldn’t mind talking to him or her, though. Perry, the president and executive director of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, said this afternoon that Canton still is planning for the Chicago Bears and St. Louis Rams to kick off the season at Fawcett Stadium on Aug. 7.

I think many of us could care less about this game, but okay.

Let’s get this NFL lockout over with - Chicago Sun-Times
The NFL is not bulletproof, but it’s the closest thing to it in sports. The owners and players know they’ll pile up loads of ill will if games are lost this season. In a poor economy, the last thing people want to see is rich owners and rich players arguing about a mountain of cash. It’s obvious both sides get that part of it. There’s enough money to go around for everyone.

This is a pretty funny column, and it echoes how most of us feel. news: Bradshaw wants to stay a Giant, would consider Dolphins
Ahmad Bradshaw seemed to back away a little from his agent's recent overtures about the Miami Dolphins, telling ESPN Radio on Monday night that he "loves New York more than anything" and wants to remain with the Giants. Still, the running back allowed, "if the Dolphins are interested, I've got to look at my options." That's because Bradshaw, a four-year pro, could become an unrestricted free agent when the NFL lockout is lifted.

We reported Monday that Bradshaw's agent, Drew Rosenhaus (ironically Shockey's agent too....hmmm) said that he was shopping Bradshaw to the Dolphins, so I'm sure Ahmad had to do some damage control for the New York area media. Then again, we all knew staying a Giant is a priority for Bradshaw and for the team....but what we don't know is what the "free agent frenzy" will ultimately look like.

Rupert Murdoch's News Corp scandal could mean trouble for U.S. sports partners | Professional | -- Your State. Your News.
Murdoch has taken a financial hit which has forced him to buy back a significant share of his company's stock. In the case of the National Football League and Major League Baseball, he doesn't have cable subscriber fees to help pay off the licensing fees to show games on over-the-air television. His cable TV properties have no such problems in that most of the ones that pay huge rights fees to teams are on the basic expanded tier which means all of the people who get basic expanded are paying for what a few watch.

Now, I'm not an attorney, but I'd say this means Fox's rights to NFL games could be in jeopardy. Does that mean another network could swoop in? Please, please, please make it be true, if only so we wouldn't have to endure Joe Buck and Troy Aikman on Sundays.