There is a growing belief inside league circles that the NFL and NFL Players Association will have an agreement in place that can be ratified during the July 21 league meetings in Atlanta, according to sources familiar with the state of negotiations.
As one NFL owner said this weekend, there's "no reason to believe it won't get done."
Here is how the outlined plan for a July 1 deal could be adjusted for a potential July 21 deal with what would be the corresponding dates, according to sources familiar with the document, which many teams in the league have not yet seen:
• July 1 (July 21) -- Educate the clubs on the new league rules and allow voluntary training for teams and agents.
• July 5 (July 25) -- Sign undrafted rookies, as well as give free agents a chance to re-sign with their teams.
• July 8 (July 28) -- League year starts and free agency begins.
• July 13 (Aug. 2) -- Rosters must be set at 90 players.
• July 14 (Aug. 3) -- Deadline for restricted free agents to sign offer sheets.
• July 18 (Aug. 7 ) -- A four-day match period for teams to match restricted free-agent offer sheets.
• July 23 (Aug 12) -- Deadline for rookies to sign contracts (not yet agreed upon).
• July 27 (Aug. 16) -- Signing period for restricted free agents ends, as does the signing period for franchise and transition tenders.
• Aug. 9 (Aug. 29) -- Deadline for players to report to earned credit for an accrued season toward free agency.
This is all still very tentative, but shows how the league may approach a shortened free agency period.