Two more seasons remain on the 2011 CBA, and the NFL and NFLPA will begin an effort to hammer out a new agreement as early as this offseason.

The sides will begin talks in a few weeks, with John Mara informing ESPN.com’s Dan Graziano the league and the union are expected to begin talks in April (Twitter link). Starting talks this soon, a previously rumored scenario, would be a key development. The 2011 negotiations obviously featured extensive contention.

Eight years ago, the owners locked out the players, causing a several-month work stoppage that ended in a late-July agreement. That prompted a frenzied offseason, with free agency being put on hold until just before training camps began. This time around, the NFLPA has consistently advised players to prepare for a lockout. T