Feb 24, 2011
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 you’re interested. While this is going on, both the owners and the NFLPA will be holding their typical meetings in Indianapolis at the scouting combine, providing updates on the talks
Shockey drawing interest… We told you yesterday that the Saints had terminated TE Jeremy Shockey’s contract. Well Shockey already has a physical scheduled with an unknown team, but his agent may have given us a peek into the situation. Agent Drew Rosenhaus told a radio station that Shockey is “very interested” in the chance to join the Miami Dolphins. Shockey played his college football at the University of Miami. However, Rosenhaus would not confirm whether or not Shockey’s physical today is with the Dolphins. Wherever Shockey goes, it’s likely he’ll be part of a TE rotation at this stage in his career. He’s a strong blocker and can contest for catches in the red zone, but he doesn’t have the burst that made him an elite TE years ago. The Dolphins extended TE Anthony Fasano during the season, so he isn’t going anywhere.
Flacco leads league in holding the ball too long… We thought this was a particularly interesting study. Experienced fantasy football players know that all sacks are not created equal; some are the blatant fault of the offensive line, others are the fault of the QB for failing to get rid of the football. This Fanhouse writer chose to draw the line between “QB sack” and “OL sack” at three seconds to determine which QBs held onto the ball for too long, and his findings were interesting. As expected, some mobile QBs like Michael Vick and Ben Roethlisberger placed very high on the list (mobile QBs tend to take more sacks as they try to make plays), and Peyton Manning’s inhuman internal clock meant he took just one sack all season during which he held the ball for three seconds or more. But the league leader? Raven QB Joe Flacco, who took a whopping 25 sacks after holding the ball for three seconds or longer. This is not entirely Flacco’s fault, as his receivers struggled to get open all season, but rest assured the Ravens fired QB coach Jim Zorn in an effort to speed up Flacco’s reading of defenses and feel in the pocket.
- Jet LB David Harris signed his franchise tender, which will pay him about $10 million in 2011.
- The Panthers will apply restricted free agency tenders to RB DeAngelo Williams and DE Charles Johnson, although who knows what that means with the CBA situation where it is right now.
- Colt GM Bill Polian said his team is making progress in contract talks with QB Peyton Manning.
- Joe Dolan