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NFL Lockout Ending: Catch Up On 2011 Falcons Schedule, Free Agency Targets And More

According to reports, the NFL lockout is winding down, and the world can't thank Atlanta enough. After former Falcons player Domonique Foxworth dropped a bomb on owners, negotiations began picking up right quick as the league realized it had nothing left with which to trump players. With just a few loose ends left to stitch, the parties headed to the Peach State, where the whole sad sideshow began to wind to a close.

So, now what?

First of all, head to's coverage of the lockout to catch up as details about the new collective bargaining agreement's free agency and rookie wage scale rules continue to make their way out. 

Now, Atlanta Falcons fan, you're going to need to catch up on some team-specific things (head here if you're not quite brave enough to root for the Falcons):

Schedules: Here's a quick look at the team's preseason schedule against the Pittsburgh Steelers, Baltimore Ravens, Jacksonville Jaguars and Miami Dolphinsand here's the entire 2011 Falcons regular season schedule, from their opener against the Chicago Bears, through four prime time games and finishing with a pair of NFC South rivalry games against the New Orleans Saints and Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Training camp: By all accounts, training camp will begin very soon. The Falcons could start on Thursday.

Free agents: Get ready for a quick and weird free agency period. The Falcons have players to sign (Trey Lewis has signed) and players to pursue. And don't forget about undrafted free agents.

How 2011 rookies fit into the upcoming roster: Here's our best guess at Atlanta's depth chart heading into next season -- we're assuming the team makes only one free agent splash, and that it will be a defensive end. The team will have a passel of rookies to sign in a hurry, including offseason centerpiece Julio Jones.

Much more to come as teams prepare for training camp.

Professional football!

Photographs by coka_koehler used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.