Thursday may have been the best day to be a football fan since the season ended, as we not only found out that the league was re-opening their doors to players, but saw one hell of a first round in this year’s draft. While the majority of picks were safe, we did see a few trades and a few shockers that shook things up significantly.
While Cam Newton may need some time to develop, fear not Panther fans, Jimmy Clausen was back to work this morning.
League allows players to return to work … as of 8 a.m. ET Friday morning. With Judge Susan Nelson ruling that the lockout was illegal and refusing to grant a stay, it took some time for the league to work out the details before they re-opened the doors to the players. Teams had been told to turn away players who reported over the last three days, but welcomed them in this morning with reports of the Panthers and Titan players already at team facilities. Team workouts have already been scheduled by the Lions (OTAs on Wednesday) and Bears (rookie camp next weekend). Players reporting for workouts will get credit towards team bonuses, which was a [...]
For the first time in a long while, we have actual football to discuss. It is NFL Draft day everyone! Of course, we also have more courtroom stuff to talk about, and this time, there has been some real progress toward the off-season starting in earnest. We think. Whatever the case, we do have the draft to talk about tonight, and there’s a chance (again, we think) free agency might not be long after. For the breakdown there, we’ll give way to people smarter than us.
No word on whether either side hired Chubby Checker or the poet Virgil to navigate the River Styx through lockout purgatory.
Judge Nelson denies NFL’s request for a stay… Judge Susan Nelson, opining that the “irreparable harm” suffered by the players in a potential long lockout outweighs the damage that would be done to the owners if her ruling to overturn the lockout is not stayed, decided to deny the NFL’s request to stay her lockout-blocking ruling upon appeal. This is somewhat of a surprise; although most legal experts expected Nelson to side with the players in the preliminary injunction hearing, they also expected Nelson to issue a stay of the ruling while the NFL [...]
While the NFL Draft begins tomorrow night and gives us a nice break from lockout talk, the whole event has been overshadowed by the endless labor battle that gets more confusing each day. For a few hours, we can actually talk football, but for now, we bring you more news on the labor front.
The most confusing day in NFL history … And on April 26, 2011, media members were forced to stand on street corners and count how many players chose to show up at “work,” only to not work out and leave 20 minutes later. Some players showed up at their team facilities, many didn’t, some were able to use equipment (the New York Giants), and others weren’t. What does it all mean? Great question.
We’re still waiting a ruling from Judge Susan Nelson on granting the owners a stay, which would allow the lockout to continue until the appeals process has played out over the next couple months. The NFLPA filed a motion in opposition, and it came in at 23 pages. Things are changing by the minute, but for now we’ll point you to ESPN’s detailed summary. Essentially, the players argue that a stay should be denied because [...]
The lockout has been lifted, but will it stay that way?. On Monday, Judge Susan Richard Nelson ruled in favor of the players by granting them an injunction to lift the lockout after 45 days. While the general consensus was Nelson would side with the players, she was also expected to grant a stay of the lockout, but did not. With no stay granted, the league filed an appeal of Nelson’s decision to the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in St. Louis and would like it handled by June, as they feel Nelson exceeded her jurisdiction. The league also filed a motion with Nelson for a stay, and she has given the players’ side until 9am central time on Wednesday to respond. In the meantime, the league held a conference call with all 32 teams on Monday night to determine how to handle players reporting for work on Tuesday morning. NFL spokesman Greg Aiello told NFL Network’s Albert Breer that players would be allowed into team facilities if they showed up on Tuesday morning and would “be treated courteously and with respect.” With players looking to earn their workout bonus, some agents have told their clients to report to [...]
One of the most prevalent talking points leading up to the NFL Draft is the idea of the running back position being devalued. With the move toward more timeshare/RB-by-committee approaches in the NFL, the belief is that a team is better off waiting until the middle rounds to grab a RB who can be plugged in alongside a veteran and split time while receiving 10-12 touches per game. In other words, taking a RB in the 1st round isn’t worth it because you can draft someone of similar value to your offensive approach later.
In theory, the committee approach is rational. RBs have the shortest shelf life in the NFL, and by rotating backs and splitting carries, a team can reduce the wear and tear suffered by a RB and possibly extend careers. Of course, for “volume” runners like Marion Barber, the system isn’t very helpful, and for fantasy owners, it’s the source of endless frustration. But, as always, coaches and GMs aren’t concerned with helping your fantasy team.
We’re still in the early stages of the RBBC era, so it’s impossible to know how drafts will play out with RBs in the next few years. However, over the last several years, [...]
It is possible, if not likely, that a major step in the Brady v. NFL case will be taken today. And oh yeah, Brandon Marshall got stabbed. So in summation, it is just a usual case of the Mondays in the Fantasy Guru Daily.
Judge Nelson’s decision could come on Monday… For more than two weeks, Judge Susan Nelson has sat on her decision whether to issue an injunction against the NFL’s lockout in the Brady v. NFL case. Now, sources close to the case believe that decision will come Monday. To summarize, an injunction (requested by the players) would block the NFL’s lockout as illegal and would force the owners to open the doors of the league. Of course, it’s not going to be that simple. Should Nelson rule in favor of the players, as most expect, it seems likely that she will grant a stay of the injunction, pending the NFL’s appeal to the 8th Circuit Appellate Court, meaning we’ll have to wait for a decision on the appeal to actually learn anything definitively. Should the players win this decision, the NFL will immediately ask Nelson to grant a stay, pending appeal. Should Nelson deny that request, the request [...]
The Fantasy Guru Daily returns today after a productive one-day hiatus. Yesterday, the staff joined Greg Cosell, Adam Caplan, Brian Billick, Ron Jaworski, Sal Paolantonio, Ray Didinger, and others for a mock draft at NFL Films. It was a great way to hear different opinions on the players and draft strategy, and we came out of it feeling like we have an even greater grasp on what this year’s rookie class is like. On to today’s news…
Schedule has flexibility … While we remain cautiously optimistic that Judge Susan Nelson will end the lockout and the owners will lose their appeal – therefore giving us football in a month or two – the NFL has built in some flexibility in the 2011 schedule to help make sure that every game will be played. We already knew there were two weeks of flexibility, as the off week between the conference title games and the Super Bowl can be eliminated and the Super Bowl can be moved back a week. ESPN’s Adam Schefter points out that every matchup in Week Three features teams that share a common bye week. In other words, if three weeks were lost, Week Three games could be made [...]
Mock drafts are always difficult to accurately put together, but it seems that 2011 has taken things to another level. The lack of free agency and the numerous shaky QB situations help make the 2011 NFL Draft extremely uncertain, and it should be interesting to watch unfold next week.
As always, the following mock draft should be taken with a grain of salt. It doesn’t account for trades, and there’s a good chance several teams could be making deals to position themselves to take QBs in the second half of Day One.
1. Carolina Panthers – Cam Newton (QB, Auburn)
With no chance for pre-draft negotiations this year, the #1 pick is as uncertain as ever. Well, at least it was. While we still don’t know for sure, all signs are pointing to the new regime in Carolina taking Newton, who has loads of upside but may need time to develop.
2. Denver Broncos – Marcell Dareus (DT, Alabama)
The Broncos sit in a good position, as they need a lot of defensive help but should have their choice of top defenders. Von Miller and Patrick Peterson also make sense, but Dareus is a good choice as a versatile player who is capable of [...]
So, the NFL schedule got released last night. Whoopee. Forgive me for not getting too excited about it, but I have never been the type to get worked up about the release of a schedule, even in a normal year. Obviously, this year, there is a lot more uncertainty surrounding when or where games will be played, even with the final schedule released. But to credit the NFL, there are a lot of interesting games to look at in the time being. We’ll look at some of the finer aspects of the schedule today, and we’ll try to avoid making “clever” lockout jokes about the schedule that every would-be comedian on Twitter has deemed appropriate. Hey, “comedians:” STFU. Your jokes are old, not clever, and brutally unfunny.
If you've made a lockout-related joke about the NFL schedule, may we suggest this delicious beverage to calm your nerves?
Anyway, here are some things we noticed about the schedule (and other people have done a fine job writing about):
The league has made a concerted effort to honor not just New York City but Washington D.C. as well on the 10th anniversary of September 11, 2001, which happens to coincide perfectly with Week One [...]
While the NFL and its players return to mediation today, we will instead focus on football. Could McNabb head to Minnesota? Could the London game actually take place in Tampa? We are on the edge of our seats waiting to find out.
A new home for McNabb? … We’ll take any chance we can get to talk free agency/trades, even if it’s all speculation at this point.
A young Brett Favre is not walking through the Metrodome door. Could it be McNabb's turn?
Everyone’s sick of the understandable but tiring “all lockout, all the time” NFL news cycle, so let’s take some time to speculate on the future of Donovan McNabb. A year ago, the long-time Eagle QB was surprisingly dealt within the division to the Redskins to make room for Kevin Kolb. Well, now Kolb might be on his way out of Philly, Michael Vick is the new star, and McNabb fell behind Rex Grossman of all people in Washington. It’s hard to imagine McNabb will return to Washington next season, and given the unsettled QB situations across the NFL, he should have plenty of suitors despite a lousy 2010 season. Arizona and Miami would be among the logical destinations, as [...]