The future of the NFL could be reaching a significant point in the coming weeks.
The NFL Players Association executive committee and player representatives are headed to Washington, D.C. for a Thursday meeting with the NFL armed with a final list of their asks of the league's owners, NFL Network's Ian Rapoport and Mike Garafolo reported.
How the league responds to those asks will go a long way toward determining whether a new collective bargaining agreement will be reached before the final season is played under the existing agreement, Rapoport added during Friday's edition of NFL Now, because if they're to the owners' liking, there will likely be a vote.
Historically, things don't happen so smoothly in such negotiations, but these talks have had a more positive tone than the last time the two sides begrudgingly came to terms on an agreement nearly a decade ago. Discussions between the two sides have been described as "productive" since the summer and seem to be much further along, meaning there's a better chance than usual this might come to an important vote.
Then again, these final asks will launch a bit of a tennis match between the two sides, because even if the owners approve each and every one of these final asks, it will still have to come to a vote on the players' side as well. We're not quite out of the woods yet, but the mere fact we're nearing a vote from at least one side and discussions seem to be winding down is encouraging. Now it seems it's just a matter of when it will get done -- before free agency, or after the 2020 regular season -- not if.