Mar 22, 2011
If you have been anything like us at FantasyGuru.com during this lockout business, we hope you learned to stop checking Twitter every five seconds to avoid overdosing on rhetoric and BS. Honestly, we have become 500% more productive in the short time since the “union” “decertified” and the owners imposed a lockout that might not actually be legal (we’ll see what the courts say about that). The point is that it’s still March, each side of the argument is applying the full-court press right now (as expected), and April 6 remains the next benchmark day in NFL labor strife. We could see negotiations before that day, but if the rhetoric is to be taken at face value, we wouldn’t count on it.
NFL claims decertification is a manipulation of the law… This is nothing new, but the NFL’s legal team asserts that the NFLPA decertified strictly to manipulate the law in order to file a lawsuit and gain leverage in labor talks. Obviously, that’s exactly what happened, but it will be up to courts to decide whether or not the players had the right to do so. If that’s the case, the courts will lift the lockout and we’ll have football while this thing gets sorted out in litigation. For fans, that seems like a pretty sweet option, but the owners sure as hell don’t want it to happen that way. If they lose the lockout, they lose their leverage, bottom line.
Coaches, competition committee discuss kickoffs… In the blog last week, we relayed the NFL’s suggestion to move kickoffs up from the 30 to the 35 and touchbacks up from the 20 to the 25 in order to lessen the impact of the kickoff on the game, a rule suggestion driven completely by safety concerns. However, both coaches and players reacted negatively to the news (especially Devin Hester), and there appears to be a willingness to reach a compromise that will allow two-man wedges to stay and touchbacks to remain at the 20. Hey, someone get these guys into the room to negotiate a CBA!
Ravens owner expects extension for Flacco next year… The current labor mess is prohibiting teams from making transactions even with their own players, but that doesn’t mean the Ravens aren’t plotting their next move. Having already signed head coach John Harbaugh to an extension this off-season, Raven owner Steve Bisciotti anticipates signing QB Joe Flacco to his own long-term deal in 2012. “I hate to speak for Ozzie [Newsome, general manager], but I would imagine that like John Harbaugh, we would be starting negotiations with [Flacco] so that entering 2012 he won’t be playing in his final year,” Bisciotti told the Baltimore Sun. Flacco hasn’t yet taken the step to being an upper-echelon QB, but he’s made the playoffs in each of his first three seasons and has played in an AFC Championship Game. That’s a much better track record than most teams have under center.
Irsay unhappy with lack of Manning deal, blames agent… Colt owner Jim Irsay expressed his disappointment that QB Peyton Manning was not signed to a long-term extension before the NFL lockout was put into effect, he said at the NFL owners’ meetings on Monday. Irsay told NFL.com that he had planned to get Manning signed, sealed, and delivered before any potential work stoppage, but hitches in the contract negotiations prevented that from happening. “If you ask me, it should have gotten done,” Irsay said. “You’ll have to ask (Manning’s agent) Tom Condon why it’s not done.” As you can see, Irsay is a typical NFL owner, passive-aggressively casting blame to another party (not saying he’s wrong, of course).
Mike Brown says he won’t trade Carson Palmer… In news that will surprise no one but will inevitably piss off QB Carson Palmer, Bengal owner Mike Brown expressed his reluctance to trade his franchise passer, despite Palmer’s threats to retire if the Bengals don’t grant his wishes. Brown could be playing hardball, or he also could be completely serious. If the Bengals don’t trade Palmer, it won’t be for lack of interest – the Dolphins are reportedly very interested in acquiring the veteran QB, among other teams.
- Joe Dolan