Feb 18, 2011
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 retire, so you can expect to see 36-year-old back in a Packer uniform in 2011. Not surprisingly given his age, Driver saw his numbers slip in 2010, as he broke a streak of six straight 1000-yard seasons with just 51/565/4 – his worst numbers since 2001. He signed a contract extension before the season, and he’s set to earn $9.6 million through 2012. That answers one question about the Packer receiving corps, but another remains with #3 WR James Jones set to become a free agent.
Manning has big offer in front of him … While the Colts have already designated four-time MVP QB Peyton Manning as their
franchise player, they are still working to reach a long-term
extension with the near-35-year-old QB. Owner Jim Irsay said the club has offered Manning a five- or six-year contract that would make him the highest paid player in league history. Manning is often subject to comparisons with Patriot QB Tom Brady, who signed a four-year, $72 million extension in September. Manning ran into some uncharacteristic struggles at times in 2010, but he also dealt with inconsistency up front, a poor running game, and injuries in the receiving corps. He completed 66.2% for 4700 yards – his most since 2004 – 33 TDs, and 17 INTs.
- As expected, new Bronco HC John Fox confirmed that the Broncos will switch back to a 4-3 defense from a 3-4. The team has operated out of a 3-4 each of the last two seasons, and the switch will mean OLBs Robert Ayers and Elvis Dumervil – who missed the 2010 season – will play DE. The Broncos ranked 25th against the pass and 31st against the run in 2010.
- Cowboy QB Tony Romo has been seen at the team’s practice facility throwing several times since the season ended, and he appears to be on track for a return after missing the second half of the 2010 season with a broken left collarbone. Unfortunately, his good health did not equate to success on the golf course with John Daly.
- As for the Cowboy defense, new DC Rob Ryan is pretty [expletive] confident he’ll do a good job with a unit that struggled, particularly against the pass, last season.