Apr 27, 2011
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 is causing harm to their careers. And they want $1 billion bond from the league if the stay is granted.
The league has until 6 p.m. ET to respond and explain why the league year can’t start. This is all very complicated, and we’ll get a decision from Nelson soon. If she does not grant the stay, the owners will go to the Eighth Circuit Court with the same request. Until a decision is made, we’re stuck in a limbo. There is no lockout right now and theoretically teams have to go about their business, but if there’s no lockout, rules need to be decided upon, and the assumption is that the league will operate under 2010 rules. But we don’t know yet. Don’t expect to see free agency before/during the draft, but if the Eighth Circuit Court denies the stay, well, we could be talking Kevin Kolb trades next week – the key word being “could.” On the other side of things, the NFLPA sent a letter to agents saying they should start negotiating now.
Again, it’s all very complicated and confusing. Each party has a different view of what should be happening now, and we won’t get clarity until a ruling is made on the request to stay. One thing that should be said is you might want to brush aside Commissioner Roger Goodell’s scare tactics in the Wall Street Journal. There are a lot of PR red herrings being thrown around by both sides, and although some people are acting like it, the world is not actually ending because the players won the initial ruling. In fact, it brings us closer to football.
- Redskin DT Albert Haynesworth has been charged with misdemeanor sexual abuse over an alleged incident at a hotel restaurant in Washington.
- Sports Illustrated’s Peter King reports that the Falcons are interested in moving up into the top 10 in the draft to target a WR – either A.J. Green or Julio Jones. It’s unlikely to happen, but either would give the Falcons and instant contributor on the outside opposite Roddy White.
- TCU QB Andy Dalton is apparently a favorite of the Titans, who pick 8th, according to NFL Network’s Jason La Canfora. Dalton has a chance to play early in his career, but he has very limited upside because of questionable arm strength, and it would be extremely difficult to justify using such a high pick on him. In related news, former Raven HC Brian Billick offers an excellent look at the risk of drafting a QB.
Don’t forget to join me for a live blog/chat here on the staff blog during Days One and Two of the NFL Draft. We’ll be starting around 7:30 p.m. ET Thursday. Come join the fun.