Apr 14, 2011
The NFL and its players are back together in mediation today, meaning we are returning to days of endless speculation and hoping that everyone actually comes to their senses. Courtroom football is back, and we know everyone must be thrilled.
Mediation is back! … After two days of meeting with the NFL and the players separately, everyone will be back under one roof today, under the supervision of Judge Arthur Boylan in Minneapolis. We can only hope that mediation is more thrilling this time around after weeks of reporters standing outside in Washington with little to show for it back in March. Judge Susan Nelson has insisted that decision-makers are present at the mediation sessions, so big guns such as Roger Goodell, Patriots owner Robert Kraft, and Steelers owner Art Rooney are there today. We likely won’t be getting many details from the sessions with the vow of silence, but we’ll keep hoping that progress is made. As for what to expect, the National Football Post’s Andrew Brandt points out that, ideally, the two sides use mediation as a lifeline before Nelson comes down with an unfavorable ruling against one of them. Of course, mediation has gotten us nowhere before, so this could all end up being nothing before things really get ugly in court. We prefer to think positive thoughts, so hopefully everyone comes to their senses.
Alex the Armadillo … Well, according to new 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh, QB Alex Smith has skin like an armadillo. So there’sthat. The Sacramento Bee reports that Smith has one-year offer on the table to return to the 49ers, and while Harbaugh said Smith would have a clean slate if he returns, obviously, 49er fans might not agree. If that’s the case, Harbaugh hopes Smith has thick skin. Smith is apparently working out with 49er teammates during the lockout, but he has also previously hinted that he’ll play elsewhere in 2011. Obviously, Harbaugh has a pretty good track record with QBs – Andrew Luck at Stanford – and might have more chemistry with Smith than Mike Singletary. Without free agency/trades, it’s hard to know which direction the 49ers will go in, but a trade for Eagle QB Kevin Kolb seems to be the top option. If not, and if Smith opts to return, we could see a trio of Smith, David Carr, and a rookie such as TCU’s Andy Dalton. The NFC West is there for the taking, and the 49ers have talent, but they just need some stability at quarterback to take the next step.
- The Associated Press obtained documents indicating how the NFL wants to handle rookie salaries, including a 60% cut in guaranteed money for 1st round picks, five-year contracts, and money diverted to veterans’ salaries and benefits. Given how out of control rookie salaries have gotten, this sounds like a fair plan. The agents may disagree, but does anyone care?