New Orleans Saints: Looking back at the lockout, preseason, and roster cuts

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Roger Goodell, DeMaurice Smith (Source: zimbio.com)

It’s all happened, the lockout is over, the preaseason is over, and roster cuts have been completed thus reducing teams to the 53 player maximum across the NFL. The start of the season is just around the corner — it’s been one wild ride.

For months the NFL lay dormant as the teams owners and it’s players attempted to reach a new labor agreement. Negotiations dragged on month after month, marred by fall-outs and false truths.

Suddenly with the 2011 NFL preseason looming players and owners softened their stance and miraculously started making real progress. Before you knew it, a deal was in place and the NFL was back in business.

Realistically there were points during the negotiations where it seemed there was a legitimate chance that the preseason, and perhaps part or all of the regular season, would not happen at all.

But just as realistic as that chance may have been, it was equally un-realistic to think they wouldn’t get a deal done. Both parties stood to lose millions, into billions, had there been any delay getting the season underway.

Once the NFL was back in business one of the most hectic free agent periods we are likely to ever see got underway. Teams made a mad dash to fill their 90 man rosters with free agents and undrafted rookies.

Signings followed shortly there after as teams started the process of inking key veteran players to new long term contracts.  Drafted rookie contracts were also finalized, under the new rules of the CBA, which paid substantially less.

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