Mar 2, 2011
The labor talks are obviously the big story in the NFL with the CBA expiration date approaching rapidly. With the chance of a lockout looming, teams are making some last-minute roster moves, whether it be signings, releases, or placing RFA tenders (which may mean nothing) on certain players.
The NFLPA gets a favorable ruling … from U.S. District Judge David Doty, who declared that the NFL was in violation of the CBA by locking up $4 billion in television revenue to help survive a possible lockout. Despite the NFL downplaying the ruling by saying it was expected and that the teams were prepared for the possibility, there’s no doubt that this is a huge victory for the NFLPA since we are talking about billions of dollars. A hearing will be held to determine what happens to the money and whether or not the players will receive damages as a result of the violation by the NFL. After meeting for six hours on Tuesday, the two sides continue mediation talks on Wednesday with the entire NFL labor committee and the NFLPA executive committee present, including NFLPA president Kevin Mawae. With an owners meeting also scheduled on Wednesday just 25 miles away from the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service building, the two sides are expected to break talks with the possibility of reconvening later in the day.
Carson Palmer appears set on leaving Cincinnati … according to a report that he said he’ll “never set foot in Paul Brown Stadium again.” Palmer’s agent, David Dunn, released a statement confirming that “Carson feels strongly that a separation between him and the Bengals would be in the best interest of both parties.” Palmer appears to have no issues with money, reportedly saying, “I have $80 million in the bank. I don’t have to play football for money. I’ll play it for the love of the game but that would have to be elsewhere. I’m prepared to live my life.” While Owner Mike Brown said in January that the team won’t be trading Palmer, the quarterback, who threatened retirement, seems to be intent on never putting on the orange and black ever again.
Michael Vick to sign franchise tender … on Wednesday, which will pay him just over $16 million on a one-year deal for 2011. It should be noted that the franchise tag could be altered or possibly eliminated in a new CBA deal, but with those talks on going and a threat of a lockout looming, Vick signed the tender and is expected to work out a long-term deal after the new deal is agreed upon, whenever that may be. Eagle president Joe Banner recently said the team wouldn’t be “putting a franchise tag on him if he’s somebody that we weren’t very excited about.” That statement would indicate that the team is willing to listen to offers for Kevin Kolb, who enters 2011 in the final year of his contract extension signed before the 2010 season, when he was named the starter. Kolb has mentioned on multiple occasions that he wants to start in 2011, which would apparently need to happen elsewhere. However, Kolb cannot be traded until a new labor deal happens.
- Even though they may not mean anything when it comes to a new CBA, the Jets extended restricted free-agent tenders to nine players, including WR Santonio Holmes and CB Antonio Holmes, both of whom were tendered at the highest level (1st/3rd round draft picks).
- The other New York team, the Giants, also used potentially meaningless RFA tenders on Tuesday. The most notable players were RB Ahmad Bradshaw, WR Steven Smith, TE Kevin Boss, and DE/LB Mathias Kiwanuka, who all received a 2nd-round tender.
- The Seahawks and KR/RB Leon Washington agreed to a four-year deal on Tuesday, according to an announcement by the team and his agent, Alvin Keels.