Feb 28, 2011
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
Rosenhaus said Rice will test the open market before considering a long-term deal to stay in Minnesota. HC Leslie Frazier said Rice has a contract offer from the team, but it looks like that won’t matter. The 24-year-old Rice has had one big year in four, putting up 84/1312/8 with QB Brett Favre having a big year in 2009. He played in just six games in 2010 thanks to a hip injury and caught 17 passes. Whether or not Rice is a restricted free agent will depend on the new CBA. The Vikings opted not to place the franchise tag on Rice, as instead LB Chad Greenway got the franchise treatment.
Fitzgerald, Manning unlikely to beat CBA clock … Both Cardinal WR Larry Fitzgerald and Colt QB Peyton Manning have been in talks with their teams to sign long-term deals before the CBA expires Thursday night, but it’s unlikely that either deal will come together in time. Fitzgerald is still under contract through the 2011 season, so a new deal isn’t urgent since he won’t become a free agent. Still, the Cardinals would like to get a deal done to keep their best player in Arizona for years to come. Of course, they might also want to get a quarterback so he can actually be utilized properly. As for Manning, the Colts placed their franchise tag on him, meaning – if franchise tags stick in the new CBA – he’ll make about $23 million and stay with the Colts in 2011. However, the two sides have had ongoing discussions about a long-term deal, and progress has apparently been made with nothing imminent though.
McNabb still wants out … In news that will shock no one, Redskin QB Donovan McNabb still wants out of Washington. HC Mike Shanahan and agent Fletcher Smith spoke at length last week, but McNabb still wants to find a new home after a disappointing season saw him get benched in favor of Rex Grossman. McNabb threw 14 TD passes and 15 INTs and struggled with a thin receiving corps. McNabb is owed a $10 million bonus at the start of the season, so there’s a good chance the Redskins might end up having to release him.
- The Jeremy Shockey tour continues following his release from New Orleans, as he is expected to take a physical with the Panthers this week. Shockey already passed a physical with the Dolphins last week.
- The one constant bit of news during Super Bowl week was the status of Pro Bowl C Maurkice Pouncey and his ankle. Well, the team finally got some good news, as Pouncey won’t need surgery.
- Former Auburn QB Cam Newton had an up-and-down combine, wowing scouts with his athleticism but struggling in passing drills. Stay tuned for a FantasyGuru.com combine wrap-up article.