Sorry this is a day late folks, but the news is official: football is back!
The two sides have agreed to a decade-long CBA, meaning we'll all be old before we ever have to deal with this again thankfully.

With that in hand, today starts the most frenzied few weeks of NFL offseason in history. We are compressing a four-month long free agency period into a week, starting camps late, and watching trades happen that should have been on draft day.

-One of the new provisions becomes immediately relevant this week, and that is the new salary cap system. Under the new CBA, each team has a cap of $120 million, but the catch is that they must spend a minimum of 89%, or $107.1 million. That leaves several teams like the Chicago Bears and Seattle Seahawks with over $30 million in unused space, so some guys will be getting big contracts with those clubs. It should be interesting to see how this cap works, after an uncapped year, teams are going to have to change how they do things.

-At long last, there is a rookie wage scale in place. No longer will an unproven draft choice be given an exorbitant amount of cash before he is due. The new deal cuts top rookie contracts by 50%, with top picks receiving 4-year deals with a 5th year team option.These 4-year contracts are eligible for rounds 2-7 as well. Cam Newton, the first pick in this year's draft, is eligible for a 4-year $22.03 million contract. If the Panthers keep him for a fifth year, his salary would be at the average of the top 10 salaries of other quarterbacks, which is far more reasonable.
The best part of the rookie wage scale? No more holdouts. This means idiots in the mold of Jamarcus Russell and Michael Crabtree can no longer sit out for long periods of time, because they lose their first round cap status after August if unsigned.
Even better, if a player goes the Revis route and sits out while under rookie contract, they are prohibited from renegotiating at all. Sweet deal I say.

-Owners have agreed to a 10-12 percent increase in the minimum salary structure. Rookies, for example, would go from $330,000 to $375,000. The increases go to $450,000 for second-year players, $525,000 for third-year players, $600,000 for fourth-year players, $685,000 for players with five-to-seven years of experience, and so on. Players with 10 years or more receive a minimum of $910,000, which is excellent for players in decline that still need money.

-The franchise tag remains unchanged, so don't expect any of the players franchised now or in the future to depart the team that tags them. That little item is here to stay. Logan Mankins, Michael Vick and Vincent Jackson will have to live with being the highest paid players at their positions.

All things considered, I'd say everybody wins with this new deal. Players get the money they wanted, owners get the power they wanted, and rookies are screwed. All is as it should be.