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NFL Rundown With Mike Reiss06:06
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San Francisco 49ers quarterback Alex Smith leads an informal mini-camp Tuesday in San Jose, CA during the NFL lockout. (AP)
San Francisco 49ers quarterback Alex Smith leads an informal mini-camp Tuesday in San Jose, CA during the NFL lockout. (AP)

Is there hope for the NFL? With the owners and players in intense negotiations, the end of lockout land may be near. ESPNBoston.com's Mike Reiss talks to Bill Littlefield about the hot topic of the revenue split, potential free agency changes and the ramifications of a delayed football season.

Reiss is optimistic after recent discussions, saying that the owners and players are "in a very good place when it comes to the revenue split." The split has been the main issue throughout the lockout.

In addition to revenue talks, NFL owners and players have been mulling over issues surrounding free agency. While the owners are hoping to add a right-of-first-refusal to the process, Reiss sees no chance of it happening. "[The players] worked so hard to get to free agency. I cannot imagine they would give that back to the owners."

Although Reiss does not expect the players to budge on the free agency issue, he has hopes that the lockout will end soon. When asked if the Hall of Fame Game, the NFL's preseason opener, will be played as scheduled on August 7, Reiss responded, "I believe it will. If the owners and players miss a week of preseason they'd be missing $200-250 million per week. I just can't imagine that being as far along as they are now in negotiations that they won't strike a deal."

Now that the end seems near, Reiss worries that the current lockout will affect the quality of the coming football season. "The discussion will turn to, will the quality of football be as good as we remembered it before this lockout?"

This segment aired on July 9, 2011.

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