Feb 21, 2011
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 how these negotiations work, and his perspective has been easily the fairest and most insightful we’ve read on the labor situation.
Bad weekend for veteran safeties… Two Pro Bowl safeties were given the axe recently, ending sustained tenures with their original teams. The Colts cut the incredibly gifted but injury-prone Bob Sanders, and the Rams opted to part ways with ballhawk Oshiomogho Atogwe. Both players will certainly drum up interest (Sanders is already meeting with the Jaguars and Atogwe with the Redskins), but the money was getting to be too much for either team to bring the players back. Atogwe, however, has expressed an interest in restructuring his deal and returning to the upstart Rams.
Duerson, member of ’85 Bear defense, commits suicide… This is one of the saddest stories of the year. Dave Duerson was an All-Pro safety for the Bears and a member of perhaps the single most famous defense in NFL history in 1985, and this past weekend he took his own life at the age of 50. Duerson has requested that his brain be donated to research, which will perhaps offer more insight into the risks NFL players face in their later lives. Duerson’s death comes in the midst of significant labor unrest, much of which surrounds the players’ unhappiness with their post-career health benefits.
- The Steelers used the franchise tag on LB LaMarr Woodley.
- Patriot TE Aaron Hernandez is on crutches as he recovers from off-season hip surgery.
- Redskin KR Brandon Banks was released from the hospital this weekend after suffering serious stabbing injuries.
- Bear GM Jerry Angelo denied reports that the club will release disappointing RB Chester Taylor.
- The Lions were found guilty of tampering charges brought about when DC Gunther Cunningham commented on players under contract with the Chiefs in Feb. 2010. The Lions will lose a 7th-round pick and will swap picks with the Chiefs in the 5th round of April’s draft.
- Joe Dolan