Mar 21, 2011
We are in Week Two of Lockout 2011, and the owners have arrived in New Orleans for their annual meetings. Anything important for them to talk about? Hmmm.
Players answer Goodell’s letter … First both sides in the CBA talks quietly met in mediation. Then they started taking shots at each other over Twitter and through the media. Now, they’re writing letters to each other. Commissioner Roger Goodell sent a letter to the players at the end of last week, detailing the owners’ offer and asking the players to return to negotiations. Many players didn’t enjoy the letter, and the NFLPA’s executive committee sent a reply to Goodell on Saturday. The gist of the letter: “Your statements are false.” So there we go. Andrew Brandt of the National Football Post says the letters again show the distrust between the two sides as they battle for public support. The April 6 court date still seems like ages away with nothing but this back-and-forth war of words happening. Brant also delivered a nice overview of what to expect from the Brady v. NFL case that will begin in a few weeks. The latter piece is required reading for anyone interested in the upcoming courtroom battle that will help decide if we have football or not, which is all anyone is really interested in.
Owners to talk player safety … Although the lockout is obviously the top story right now, the owners will also discuss player safety at their meetings in New Orleans this week. On Tuesday, owners will vote on increasing protection for defenseless players. The player safety issue was the big ongoing storyline of the 2010 season, as several players – most notably Steeler LB James Harrison – were outspoken critics of the NFL’s crackdown on vicious hits. Harrison was tagged with several fines, and now the NFL might also use suspensions as deterrents. The off-season has only increased attention paid to effects of football on the brain, most notably in the case of Fred McNeill, as detailed in GQ, and the death of Dave Duerson.
Reid talks Kolb … Whenever the NFL resumes operations and the new league year finally begins, the hot name will be Eagle QB Kevin Kolb. With Michael Vick back in the fold in 2011, HC Andy Reid said the Eagles have already heard from teams who are interested in dealing for Kolb, the former 2nd round pick who was thought to be the successor to Donovan McNabb. Sports Illustrated’s Peter King reports that one team is already willing to send a 1st round pick to Philly for Kolb. With several teams in the market for QBs, Kolb could provide an instant upgrade and help a club like San Francisco take a big step forward.
- Patriot TE Alge Crumpler, who was used mainly as a blocker in 2010, underwent surgery in January to repair a “significant” shoulder injury.