Remember when the NFL lockout ended? You know, at 3:30 today? Yeah, that was cool.
Not so cool for a busload of signers of new contracts with the Rams, including returning players like Danny Amendola and Jacob Bell and the slew of new incoming free agents like Quintin Mikell, Harvey Dahl, Mike Sims-Walker and Jerious Norwood. Especially not when they came out onto the practice field all suited up in uniforms and pads, and had to be pulled off the field minutes later.
In legal terms, none of these contracts can be considered official until the entire population of the players casts their vote in favor of the CBA. That was supposed to be done by today, but apparently a contingent was still concerned with some elements of the league's conduct policies: specifically HGH testing and Commissioner Roger Goodell's ability to act as Judge, Jury and Executioner.
But this last-minute hang-up has had the effect of giving the Lockout one last final twist of the knife, for the players and for the fans.
They playing wit my emotions saying that we (free agents) might not be able to practice tomorrow......
Today's practice was originally scheduled for 1:50pm, but was pushed back by the Rams to 3:00 to allow time for the votes to come in. At 3:05, reported Mike Freeman of CBS Sports, player reps were waiting for a text message with the official announcement that practices were a go. Minutes later, RamsHerd correspondent Dane Pinkston sent a tweet from the practice field sidelines:
Al Harris just came out in full pads. We are a go!
Harris, wearing number 31, got in a few drills. Danny Amendola and Jerious Norwood (number 34) caught a few punts. Then, according to Dane, the new signees were pulled from their drills, gathered together under a tent aside the field, and asked to remove the uniforms and pads and stand aside.
For twenty minutes or so, the Lockout monster raised its weary head off the ground and stole one final bit of football from us. Then with a text message at 3:30, it was finally slain once and for all.
Just got word from a source they have received enough votes! Let the league year begin
Once word trickled back into the camps, those Rams signees became spectators no longer. And with that, ten years of NFL labor peace finally begins.
Oh, and Harvey Dahl is now officially allowed to start hitting players. You have been warned.