Fantasy Guru Daily: 2/28/11

The moment of truth is upon us, as we are one day from the month of March and three days from the CBA expiring. While the combine continues in Indianapolis, the labor talks and other contract issues are the talk of the NFL right now.

Union plans to decertify … All season, we heard about individual teams voting to decertify in the event of a lockout, and now that’s about to become a reality. The NFL and the players are scheduled to return to mediation on Tuesday, but with a deal unexpected to get done by Thursday night’s deadline, we will likely see decertification happen by then. By decertifying, there is no union, and players can file injunctions in court to try to prevent the owners from locking them out. In turn, the NFL will fight decertification with the National Labor Relations Board. So, what does this all mean? As always, we recommend reading the decertification primer by the National Football Post’s Andrew Brandt, who has been on top of everything related to the CBA talks.

Rice will test market … Any hope the Vikings had of re-signing WR Sidney Rice before the CBA expires is gone, as agent Drew

The Vikings [...]

Fantasy Guru Daily: 2/25/11

The league now turns its focus from the labor negotiations to the combine in Indianapolis. With executives, coaches, agents, and prospects all in the same place, we are learning about draft plans, possible roster moves, and a whole lot more, which we cover in today’s Fantasy Guru Daily.

Labor talks are over for now … but will resume on Tuesday. Representative from the league and NFLPA finished seven days of negotiations on Thursday with the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service with mediator George H. Cohen. Cohen said, “Some progress was made, but very strong differences remain on the all-important core issues.” At Cohen’s suggestion, the two sides have agreed to continue mediation on Tuesday, March 1. The owners have meetings scheduled for March 2-3, with the CBA running out at 11:59p.m. ET on March 3. With a five-day break in talks, Cohen requested that the two sides continue to stay silent on matters discussed in mediation.

The Bronco organization seems to be behind Kyle Orton as their starter…for now.

Kyle Orton is the Broncos’ starter for now … according to HC John Fox. While Fox said Orton would be the team’s #1 QB if the season started right now, he did say [...]

Fantasy Guru Daily: 2/24/11

The NFL off-season remains about as active as we could expect for a league just 10 days from losing its Collective Bargaining Agreement, although both sides are still working on securing a new deal before the deadline. Will that happen? We have no idea. But the combine is starting up, and there’s other news to report on.

A big day in labor negotiations forthcoming… The sixth day of mediated labor talks were highlighted by an unconventional break at around 3:30 PM, which can lead to all kinds of speculation. The fact of the matter is we have no idea what’s going on as neither side has broken its vow of silence, and we won’t know until someone says something. But today (Thursday) should be a huge day in the talks. The NFL and NFLPA will meet in mediation for the seventh consecutive day (the final scheduled day of talks), and the “lockout insurance” case, surrounding the owners’ ability to collect money from TV contracts even without showing games, will be heard in court in front of Judge David Doty. We are admittedly underschooled on this issue, so listen to people who know what they’re talking about discuss the issue if [...]

Fantasy Guru Daily: 2/23/11

There still is not much to report on the labor front aside from the fact that the NFL and the players continue their mediated sessions. While the vow of silence continues, no news seems to be good news, as it was not a certainty that they would make it the full seven days without one side walking out. But here we were on Day Six, and talks continue. On we go to the rest of the news of the day:

You might want to draft Jimmy Graham … If the stock of young Saint TE Jimmy Graham wasn’t already on the rise after a

Saint TE Jimmy Graham should see an even bigger role in 2011 after the team cut veteran Jeremy Shockey.

strong finish to the season, it’s certainly on the rise now. The Saints cut veteran TE Jeremy Shockey, who battled injuries in 2010 and ended up 4th on the team with 41 catches for 409 yards and 3 TDs. Shockey, who will be 31 years old by the time the season starts, has never played all 16 games in a season and has missed 10 regular season games in three years with the Saints. Shockey would have made $4.7 [...]

Fantasy Guru Daily: 2/22/11

Labor talks continue, the NFL Scouting Combine starts on Wednesday, and some interesting player movement is taking place and we are covering it all in the latest edition of the Fantasy Guru Daily.

McGahee has become expendable now that Ray Rice has emerged as one of the best backs in football.

Ravens expected to cut Willis McGahee … after the back had spent the last four seasons in Baltimore. With McGahee playing a smaller role compared to starter RB Ray Rice, it really doesn’t make much sense to keep the eight-year veteran around when he’s due to make $6 million in 2011. McGahee, 29, played in 15 games last season, rushing just 100 times for 380 yards and 5 TDs. His last 1000-yard season (1207 in 2007) came a year before the Ravens drafted Rice and McGahee hasn’t topped 170 carries since Rice joined the team. We expect McGahee to look for a team that will give him a more even split in carries since he still has something left in the tank.

St. Louis trying to re-sign Mark Clayton … and will continue to do so even a new deal can’t be worked out before the CBA expires. The Ravens [...]

Fantasy Guru Daily: 2/21/11

There is nothing new on the labor negotiation front in the NFL, but no news is good news when both sides are sworn to secrecy until their meetings over the next week are completed. But the one thing we do know is nobody has walked away from the table yet, and that is a big positive.

Owners, players meet in mediation over the weekend… The NFL and NFLPA met with a federal mediator for upwards of 20 hours over the past three days, with at least four more days of talks scheduled. The mediator requested that both sides keep a vow of silence regarding the talks, and both sides have honored that request to this point. So the only thing we know for sure is the sides are still negotiating, and without negotiations, the chances of a deal getting struck by the March 4 deadline are slim. These talks are certainly a positive, but until either side is allowed to comment, we won’t know just how positive.

As a related aside, we implore you to follow National Football Post writer and former Packer executive Andrew Brandt on Twitter (@adbrandt) for his perspective on the negotiations. As a former front-office member, he knows [...]

Fantasy Guru Daily: 2/18/11

Hey, look at that! Positive news on the labor front! Okay, there is no reason to get excited yet, but any positive news is good news when it comes to the CBA.

Get ready for heavy doses of CBA talk … Thursday brought forth two seemingly important developments in the CBA talks between the owners and the NFLPA. For one, the two sides are scheduled to start a seven-day period of negotiations on Friday. It’s entirely possible that nothing happens and someone walks out well before seven days have been reached, but for now, it’s also possible that we will actually get seven straight days. At the very least, talking is better than not talking. Second, these negotiations will include a mediator, as the two sides have agreed to allow the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service to oversee things. These two developments by no means indicate that a deal will be reached by March 3 or any time soon, but they are certainly both positives, and mediation can only help. We’ll take any positive news we can get.

Driver plans to return to Green Bay … Veteran Packer WR Donald Driver said in a radio interview that he has no plans to [...]

Fantasy Guru Daily: 2/17/11

It may be all quiet on the CBA front, but that has not stopped teams from weighing their options and preparing for the future. Of course, if you are the Raiders, big contracts get handed out even with no certainty of a 2011 season.

The Giants appear to realize just how valuable Ahmad Bradshaw is after his fantastic 2010 campaign.

Ahmad Bradshaw isn’t going anywhere … according to the Giants, who told the player he’s a “big priority” in their off-season plans. Bradshaw just had ankle surgery, which he said went “great” and interestingly enough it was fumbles, not injury issues, that were a problem for him in 2010. He set career highs in carries (276), rushing yards (1235), TDs (8), receptions (47), and receiving yards (314) despite losing his starting job down the stretch to Brandon Jacobs, who may not be back in 2011 because of his high salary.

Richard Seymour signs extension … with the Raiders for two years worth $30 million. Reportedly, the new deal guarantees $22.5 million with a $7.5 million bonus that kicks in this season. By signing Seymour now, the Raiders don’t have to use the franchise tag on him again, which means the reports of [...]

Fantasy Guru Daily: 2/16/11

Unless a CBA agreement is miraculously reached in the next two weeks, league news is going to come to a pretty sudden halt. But for now, we have some coaching hires, some franchise tags, and other miscellany to talk about.

Colts franchise Peyton… Although contract talks remain fluid between Peyton Manning and the Colts, Indy is going to make sure that the greatest player in team history won’t test the free-agent market. The Colts placed the franchise tag on Manning, meaning he will earn about $23 million in 2011 should the two sides not agree on a contract extension before the season begins. Manning’s salary is 120% of his $19.3 million salary in 2010; by rule, the franchise tag gives a player a one-year deal equivalent to the average salary of the five highest-paid players at the position or 120% of that player’s previous salary, whichever figure is higher. If you’re asking for a hunch, the Colts will get a deal with Manning worked out before the season.

Ngata gets tagged… Also on the franchise front, the Ravens opted to tag DT Haloti Ngata, which will pay him about $12.5 million in 2011. But honestly, we’d be surprised if it got to [...]

Fantasy Guru Daily: 2/15/11

Despite the labor situation, we have some off-season action right now as teams start to use their franchise tags. Three 2010-11 playoff teams have announced moves, including one of the most important QBs in the league.

Vick, Mankins, and Harris get franchise treatment … All three moves had been reported as pending before, but they’re now

As of now, Eagle QB Michael Vick will make about $20 million in 2011 thanks to the franchise tag, but things remain uncertain thanks to the labor dispute.

official: the Patriots have placed a franchise tag on G Logan Mankins, the Eagles did the same with QB Michael Vick, and the Jets did the same with LB David Harris. By being franchised, each player will make the average of the top 5 players at their respective position in 2011. That means about $10 million for Mankins, who made the Pro Bowl despite holding out the first seven games of the 2010 season. Vick will make about $20 million – a significant raise from $5.25 in 2010 – after taking the starting job from Kevin Kolb and emerging as the top fantasy player in the league by far (29.7 FPG). Harris will make about $10 million, and [...]

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Joe Dolan

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