Mar 1, 2011
In recent history, March has signified the first month in the calendar year without an NFL game, and the first in general since July. In 2011, that fact could have a more gruesome meaning. Things are changing this year, and the NFLPA and the owners are going to have to eventually work hard to ensure that games start to kick off in August or September. Anything can happen over the next few days, weeks, and months, but expect to get tired of the rhetoric if a lockout begins this week.
Mediation to resume today… The NFL and NFLPA will resume meeting with mediator George Cohen in Washington today, just three days before the CBA expires, with it coming a potential lockout from the owners and/or decertification from the union. Hope for a deal by that point seems completely bleak, but stranger things have happened. The fact of the matter is that the only people knowing what’s going on in that room are the people in it. We’ll be hearing a hell of a lot about this over the next few days, so be prepared.
Redskins cut Clinton Portis… For the most part, RB Clinton Portis gave the Redskins seven incredible seasons, but it was time to cut ties after an injury-plagued 2010 campaign. The Redskins released Portis on Monday, confirming speculation that had run rampant for a few weeks now. What makes the Portis release a little more interesting is CB Champ Bailey’s contract extension, which he signed with the Broncos last week. Seven years ago, Portis and Bailey were traded for one another. Portis could have a chance to catch on as a third-down back elsewhere, but his days carrying the load for a backfield are long over.
Jets cut multiple veterans, retain one important one… None of these will come as a surprise, but the New York Jets released veterans DL Vernon Gholston, LB Jason Taylor, OT Damien Woody, and NT Kris Jenkins. A lot of teams have been trimming the fat before the potential work stoppage, and the Jets are no exception. Gholston, in particular, will go down as one of the biggest busts in NFL history. He produced exactly zero sacks in three seasons with the Jets, and we’ll see if he even gets a chance to catch on anywhere else. He didn’t flash at all, and his talent might not be intriguing enough for anything more than a camp invite. On the opposite side of the coin, the Jets will bring back RB LaDainian Tomlinson for the second year of his two-year deal. Tomlinson had a strong year last year and he’s anticipated to return as a third-down option alongside RB Shonn Greene.
Bears release several veterans… The Bears were another team making cuts this week, releasing veterans DT Tommie Harris, LB Hunter Hillenmeyer, and OT Kevin Shaffer. While all three have their issues, presuming health, they should draw some interest on the market. Harris, in particular, could bed a guy just looking for a change of scenery to revive his once-elite career.
- Raider LB Kamerion Wimbley will sign his franchise tender, worth about $11 million.
- Soon after being released by division rival Buffalo, the Patriots signed DL Marcus Stroud to a two-year deal.
- The Jags will retain backup QB Luke McCown on a one-year deal.
- Potential first-round pick WR Julio Jones of Alabama has a fractured foot that will require surgery.