Mar 3, 2011
Well, here we are. It is March 3. The day of reckoning is upon us. Despite seemingly endless mediated talks in Washington over the last couple weeks, we are a mere hours away from the CBA expiring with no new deal in place.
March 3 arrives … The CBA expires tonight, and we await word on what happens to football in the immediate future. While a new deal seems highly unlikely, there is still hope that the two sides agree to extend the deadline and bargain for a few more days or weeks, meaning there has been some progress and a lockout could be avoided. If that’s not the case, then it remains possible that the NFLPA will decide to decertify before the day ends, meaning the union will cease to exist and individual antitrust lawsuits may be filed. And, of course, we still face the threat of the owners locking out the players. Once again, we recommend reading Andrew Brandt’s take at the National Football Post, where he lays out all the possibilities. Fasten your seatbelts, things are about to get interesting. We’ll continue to hope for the best.
Hasselbeck far from deal … With the negotiation deadline coming tonight, the Seahawks and veteran QB Matt Hasselbeck
remain far apart from reaching a deal to keep him in Seattle. The 35-year-old Hasselbeck has been in Seattle for 10 years, leading the Seahawks to their only conference title in the 2005 season and to a surprising playoff win over the Saints despite a 7-9 record last year. HC Pete Carroll has said the team is working hard to bring Hasselbeck back, and Hasselbeck has also indicated he wants to stay. If Hasselbeck hits free agency, he’s sure to draw interest from a number of teams that are in the market for QBs. He would make for a great short-term option for a team that takes a QB early in April’s draft. In 14 games in 2010, Hasselbeck ran into some struggles and completed 59.9% of his passes for 2998 yards, 12 TDs, and 17 INTs. Of course, backup Charlie Whitehurst didn’t exactly look good in relief.
More surgery for Harrison … It’s been an odd year for Steeler LB James Harrison. He recorded 100 tackles and 10.5 sacks, was named an All-Pro linebacker, and helped lead the stingy Steeler defense to an AFC title. However, he also was in the spotlight all season thanks to the NFL’s crackdown on rough hits, as he was outspoken about his frequent run-ins with the commissioner’s office. Now, Harrison must recover from a second surgery on his back, although it was not major and was simply a clean-up procedure. With two surgeries down in a week, Harrison faces a four-week recovery. In the event of a lockout, injured players such as Harrison won’t even be allowed to rehab at their team facilities.
- Although they could be meaningless once a new CBA is in place, several teams are throwing around restricted tenders. Among them, Houston has tendered RB Arian Foster, TE Owen Daniels, and WR Jacoby Jones; the Titans tendered LB Stephen Tulloch; the Dolphins tendered QB Tyler Thigpen; the Bengals tendered CB Johnathan Joseph; the Browns tendered TE Evan Moore; the Colts tendered RB Joseph Addai; the Broncos tendered PK Matt Prater; the Vikings tendered WR Sidney Rice; the Panthers tendered RB DeAngelo Williams; the Saints tendered RB Pierre Thomas and WR Lance Moore; the Rams tendered TE Daniel Fells; and Tyson tendered its chicken. Of course, once again, this entire paragraph might not mean a thing depending on the new CBA.
- Veteran Patriot G Stephen Neal is retiring after missing the second half of the 2010 season with a shoulder injury. He spent 10 years with the Patriots.
- The Packers cut co-captain LB A.J. Hawk, but he and the team agreed to a new five-year deal to keep him in Green Bay. The move was made to restructure his deal.
- Former NFL Defensive Player of the Year Bob Sanders visited with the Jets on Wednesday. The former Colt has seen his career derailed by injuries, as he’s played nine games since 2007.