Obviously, the lockout has prevented a steady stream of news from sneaking out of NFL land, but Wednesday still saw an important meeting of the NFL competition committee, which recommended several rule changes for the 2011 season and beyond. Here is a brief rundown of the rules suggested.
The biggest change would be moving the kickoff up to the 35-yard line, and moving touchback start points from the 20 to the 25. The committee believes that serious injuries can be avoided by marginalizing the kickoff, which is tough to argue. But how will a team like the Chicago Bears, so dependent on star KR Devin Hester, feel about the rule changes? We can’t imagine they’re thrilled.
Wedge blocking, of the two or three-man variety, would be banned on returns. The competition committee banned three-man wedges last season, but teams were able to scheme around the rule changes with two-man wedges. This rule will seek to change that.
The committee has recommended expanding instant replay. If passed, the new replay rules would require a replay official to watch every scoring play and determine if the correct call was made, as opposed to a coach having to use a challenge flag on a pivotal play. [...]
Welcome to another day filled with exciting talk about he lockout. The vow of silence of a few weeks ago seems like ancient history, as the two sides continue to do anything but discuss a new CBA together. With that, we pass along some lockout reading to you.
The commissioner speaks … Roger Goodell appeared on the NFL Network on Tuesday to discuss his view of where things stand. Goodell doesn’t want draft prospects to boycott the draft, saying players who worked hard to get to that point shouldn’t be denied the spotlight on the stage in New York. Of course, as soon as they walk off the stage, they’ll be unable to negotiate contracts or deal with their new teams, and one of the top prospects happens to be involved in the players’ lawsuit. I’m guessing Von Miller won’t be shaking Goodell’s hand on the stage. Goodell went on to say that he’d return to mediation in a heartbeat, although we wished everyone involved had that enthusiasm when they seemed to be quietly sitting on their hands during most of the sessions before speaking up at the last moment. Other than that, Goodell wisely avoided taking shots at the other [...]
As the league and NFLPA continue to put their own spin on what happened during negotiations over the last two weeks, we continue to deal with the lockout and the ramifications of having absolutely no player movement to discuss.
If the NFLPA gets their wish, we won't be seeing top prospects like Cam Newton at the 2011 NFL Draft.
NFLPA considering boycott of draft … by “recommending” to 17 top prospects that they skip the annual event. Reports state that instead of the draftees showing up at Radio City Music Hall, they’ll be given the “same experience down the street.” This may include getting the prospects who don’t attend on another network for interviews or having them appear on social media platforms. The league has been very diplomatic in their response, stating that the decision to accept the initiation to attend the draft has always been up to the players. NFLPA Assistant Executive Director of External Affairs George Atallah responded to the backlash from fans against the idea by tweeting, “Lots of interesting commentary on the possible NFL Draft issue. Fans rightfully frustrated. We will set the record straight today (Tuesday).”
Lockout injunction case to be heard April 6 … by U.S. [...]
So, how about that NCAA Tournament? Honestly, if you are like us and are sick and tired of hearing about the NFL lockout and legal proceedings, NCAA basketball will provide a welcome distraction this week. But when all is said and done, will we have football in 2011? That’s the question fantasy junkies want answered. Luckily, a good number of people believe we will.
Essential Lockout Links
As player news is desperately tough to come by at this time, we wanted to provide you a handful of links to help you understand this lockout and litigation process a little bit better. There is a lot of misinformation out there right now, and it’s important to realize that we’re still six months from the regular season and a lot can happen in the courts – or even out of court – between now and then.
Yes, it's come to this.
If the court system rules over the next three to six weeks that the owners cannot lock out a decertified NFLPA, which is very much a possibility, the NFL off-season and regular season would continue under the 2010 CBA rules, reports the Washington Post. These rules would include an uncapped year, but players [...]
So here we are… again. We have arrived at Deadline Day, Part III, and things have been far from calm in Washington with talks, at least publically, becoming much more heated between the NFL and the union.
The CBA is set to expire at midnight, and not surprisingly, that is the only story in the NFL. The vow of silence outside the room has been broken, as both sides fired shots at each other through the media and via Twitter last night. NFL general counsel Jeff Pash made a comment hinting that the union was not as committed to getting a deal done as the owners, causing NFLPA head DeMaurice Smith, who had left the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service building, to come back and deliver a response to the assembled media:
“We have been committed to this process,” Smith said. “But for anyone to stand and turn to the American people and say they question that. “We’re going to work like heck to make sure football continues.”
Union spokesman George Atallah and NFL spokesman Greg Aiello also took public shots at each other, except that conversation played out over Twitter. Welcome to labor talks in 2011.
It’s possible we’ll have answers sometime in [...]
Welcome to the CBA Daily! While not a lot of positive news have come from talks taking place this week, we have been careful not to overreact knowing that the situation looked grim just one week ago before the sides agreed to two extensions.
NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith is still looking for more financial information from the league.
Day 14 of mediation is in the books … and while the two sides continue to squabble over the amount of financial data released by the league, we did get some interesting tidbits from NFLPA executive DeMaurice Smith. He noted that the league lowered the amount of addition revenues taken off the top from $1 billion to $800 million, although he said that number is still too high because of the lack of financial information needed to agree to that number. As part of the last CBA, the NFL received $1 billion off the top, so they’re now looking for $1.8 billion in their latest proposal. While the idea of an 18-game season was never something the NFLPA seemed very interested in, it has been a topic that’s remained part of the negotiations although Smith revealed that the league never formally proposed [...]
Honestly, we are getting sick and tired of writing about the CBA talks. Unfortunately, with transactions frozen, there is very little to writer about other than CBA talks. However, we did get a bit of a laugh from a former fantasy stud who wants to try his luck at the NFL level yet again.
NFL, NFLPA squabbling over financial transparency… We knew the talks would get to this point, but it still makes us uneasy just a few days from the new CBA deadline. The NFLPA is requesting significant financial information from the owners, and although the owners have already conceded more than they have in the past, the union is not yet relenting on its demands for full audited financials. We’ll see if either side blinks, and there are still three days (including Wednesday) left of mediation. But we implore you not to overreact to any news – positive or negative – that comes out in the next couple days. As we saw last week, deadlines have been sparking progress in these talks. Let’s hope it’s the same case again this week.
Former Giant RB Tiki Barber is making a comeback. Seriously.
Tiki Barber comes out of retirement… No, that is [...]
Extended CBA talks have begun, and as they continue for this week, there will not be much else to talk about in the NFL world. Despite the extension, there will not be any roster moves, so we are stuck anxiously waiting for a deal to hopefully get done.
Back to mediation … Representatives of the NFLPA and the league reconvened in Washington on Monday for Day 12 of mediation and the first day since extending the deadline a week. Not surprisingly, there wasn’t much news to report, and we should get a greater sense of what’s going on as the week progresses – just like last week. The closer we get to the deadline, the more pressure there is for the two sides to act. Perhaps the most important thing to watch will be whether or not the NFL actually opts for more financial transparency and opens its books. The National Football Post’s Andrew Brandt says an agreement hinges on the word “risk.” So, once again, we sit here and wait and hope for the best come Friday.
Benson could stay in Cincinnati … While QB Carson Palmer apparently wants nothing more than to leave the Bengals, RB
Bengal RB Cedric Benson [...]
Roster moves are done for the time being, as all eyes are on the ongoing CBA talks. Even though negotiations have been extended, the deadline for roster moves passed last Friday, which has put the league at a standstill until a new deal is reached, which will hopefully happen this week.
Commissioner Roger Goodell made it clear that communication through mediation and negotiation is better than going to litigation.
NFL, NFLPA resume talks … on Monday afternoon after agreeing to an extension last Friday. The two sides were expected to use the weekend to figure out their plans of action heading into this week’s talks. While an extension of talks came down to the two sides agreeing to seven more days of mediation, teams are no longer allowed to make any roster moves with the CBA considered expired. Multiple reports have suggested the sides are far apart on revenue splits, but that they’ve also made significant progress in the last two days of talks compared to the little that was accomplished in the two years leading up to the deadline. Before the sides agreed to an extension last Thursday, the NFLPA was apparently just minutes away from decertifying, which would have [...]
Thursday might have been the biggest off-season day in the NFL in a long time. The NFL and NFLPA agreed to a 24-hour extension on the volatile CBA talks, and we are now in a more positive position in regards to the potential of a relatively unaffected off-season than we have been in a long time. That didn’t stop teams from making moves before Thursday’s perceived CBA expiration. Now, it’s Groundhog Day. If the two sides agree to a longer extension, many believe a new CBA before the draft is inevitable. Amazing how things change on deadline.
About the CBA extension… We could give you a ton of links here, but there was a really good primer from Yahoo’s Mike Silver on what this whole thing means and how we got to this unlikely point. Essentially, reports are that the players have already agreed to a 10-day extension suggested by federal mediator George Cohen, and the ball is in the owners’ court. The owners are widely expected to accept the offer, and a new CBA could be right behind. As always, we implore you to follow ESPN’s Andrew Brandt (@adbrandt) on the issue. He’s worked on both sides of the table, [...]