Is Michael Crabtree hurt or healthy? Is the lockout almost over or is there still a lot of work to be done? Is Carson Palmer finished in Cincinnati? We have a lot of questions with few concrete answers.
Crabtree says he’s fine … On Tuesday, the Sacramento Bee reported that 49er WR Michael Crabtree has been bothered by his left foot, which he had surgery on in 2009. Crabtree has sat out workouts for much of the Alex Smith-led sessions, but on Wednesday, he told reporters that everything was fine. And hey! Here’s Crabtree putting on shoes. Crabtree has caught some passes during workouts, and 49er OT Joe Staley stuck up for the receiver. Reporters have been allowed to watch only 30 minutes and haven’t seen Crabtree do much, but he’s insisted that he’s been active. So, if Crabtree is feeling even the slightest bit of discomfort, it probably isn’t a bad thing that he’s taking it easy during informal workouts. We really have no idea how significant the discomfort is though, and this is just one more story that makes us look forward to real football in September.
What $2 million looks like
Investigating the Cincinnati area real estate market … [...]
Even though labor negotiations appear to be in the final stages, players are not taking anything for granted and have continued workouts. It might be fun to discuss the rumors of player movement, but our only real source of concrete information comes from the practices being held at high schools and colleges across the country featuring your favorite NFL players (and a bunch of guys you’ve never heard of).
While that magazine cover may be over two years old, the foot in that boot remains an issue for Crabtree.
Good news, bad news at Camp Alex II … Alex Smith, who despite being unsigned, is running his second set of workouts for the 49ers this week. Rookie QB Colin Kaepernick decided to skip the NFLPA rookie symposium in favor of these workouts after being unable to do much work on the field during the last set while recovering from surgery he had early last month. Kaepernick admitted he needed to get his timing down, but felt good. Starting LT Joe Staley doesn’t think Kaepernick comes across as a rookie and his play in practice has already excited the team. Now, the bad news. WR Michael Crabtree, who missed time at [...]
Hey! We are preparing for another week of labor talks, so [INSERT CLEVER BLOG INTRO HERE]. In the meantime, there’s still plenty of news to go around this week.
Labor talks heating up yet again… With crunch time approaching to save a healthy free-agency period before a full training camp, the NFL and its players are back to meeting in hopes of ending the lockout and striking a new labor deal. This time, they’re meeting in Minnesota, and optimism remains high that deal will be struck not only in enough time to preserve the preseason and regular season, but to preserve training camp as well. It appears as if the snags in last week’s talks were over a potential rookie wage scale, which both sides are willing to implement but have different ideas on exactly how to do that.
Hillis reveals he played with broken ribs… Brown RB and new Madden cover boy Peyton Hillis had a magical breakout year in 2011, but the honeymoon ended just soon enough so his owners didn’t benefit from using him in the fantasy postseason. Hillis combined for just 32/107/0 on the ground and 4/31/0 through the air over the final three weeks of the season, [...]
As we wait for more positive news on the labor front, the weekend brought injury news for a couple of big-name players, including the possible end of a career.
Is T.O.'s career over? Next question.
The end of the T.O. era? … We already knew that we probably wouldn’t be seeing Terrell Owens in a Bengal jersey again in 2011, leaving us with another offseason of uncertainty for the 37-year-old WR. Well, now we don’t know if T.O. will even play again at all. ESPN reports that Owens tore his ACL and underwent knee surgery. This follows a previously undisclosed injury and a torn meniscus that cut his 2010 season short in Week Fourteen. ESPN’s report indicates that Owens won’t be ready to play until November at the earliest, meaning a team would have to take a chance on him late down the stretch. He showed he could still play last year despite losing a step, as he had a huge stretch toward the middle of the season and finished with 72/983/9. He’s played for four teams in seven years (three teams in the last three years) after spending his first eight seasons in San Francisco, and now he’ll need a [...]
We have come to the end of another week, and while the two sides completed another round of not-so-secret negotiations, no new CBA has been signed. Meanwhile, the locked-out players continue to work out on their own, trying to replicate a typical off-season, in a year that’s been anything but typical.
This is Chris Johnson's car. He needs more money for bigger rims.
Chris Johnson may holdout … The star RB made the same threat last season, but reported after the team tacked an extra $1.5 million to his base salary, which was among the lowest on the offensive side of the ball at $500,000. Johnson is set to make $800,000 in 2011, but is ready to sit out to get something much more significant. His rookie deal locks him up through the 2012 season, but after seeing Chief RB Jamaal Charles get an extension worth about $5 million/year with just a year and half of high-end production, Johnson has stated he wants even more, especially guaranteed money, considering he’s been one of the most productive backs in the league for the last three seasons, including a record-setting 2009 when he ran for 2006 yards and broke Marshall Faulk’s mark of [...]
As we wind down these (hopefully) last few weeks of lockout news, we are getting a vibe that the players sense the whole thing is about to end. So while there are still some interesting things going on, we really hope this is the proverbial “calm before the storm.”
Tiki Barber goes at it with NYC radio host… OK, maybe “calm” was the wrong word to use. In a contentious interview with New York’s “Numbah One” Mike Francesa, former Giant RB Tiki Barber was insistent he is ready to return to the NFL and talked down the notion that his widely panned broadcasting career with NBC was a failure. Barber’s agent Mark Lepselter apparently had to be included in the interview as well, which makes for some interesting confrontations with Francesa. In the interview, Barber and his agent revealed that they apparently already know where he’ll be playing football once the lockout is lifted, although they wouldn’t offer any hints as to where exactly that might be. Seriously, this interview is worth a listen if you like comedy or awkwardness, because Francesa grills Barber about his tenure at NBC and his perception in New York, where he went from hero to [...]
We are finally getting good news on the labor front, and details are starting to emerge about what a new CBA could like it. Get ready for a hectic time in fantasy football, as free agency could be just a few weeks away.
Free agency on the horizon? … The owners’ expected extended stay in Chicago ended up lasting only one day, but just about all the news coming out of their meetings was positive. Mark Maske of the Washington Post reports that the dissenting opinions in the room were not very significant, with only a handful speaking out against the progress that’s been made in labor talks. He believes there is a push to get a deal done around July 4. Negotiations with the players are scheduled to resume today in the Boston area.
Obviously, this is all good news, but perhaps the biggest story of the day was a report from ESPN’s Chris Mortensen that provides an overview of what the new CBA could look like:
About 48% of revenue to the players
A rookie wage scale
No mandated 18-game schedule
The potential for a 16-game Thursday night schedule
With the owners and team representatives meeting in Chicago for updates on the labor negotiations, we inch closer to training camp and news starts to pick up. Without OTAs and mini-camps, some of the good nuggets we are used to getting just aren’t there, so when coaches or players speak on workouts or plans for the season, we’re listening with great interest.
The QB competition might be open in Denver, but we know who has the best NECKBEARD.
Fox says Bronco QB competition will be wide-open … between Kyle Orton, Tim Tebow, and yes, even Brady Quinn. Fox, who was hired by the Broncos back in January just two weeks after completing his tenure in Carolina, has said all along that the starting job would be decided in a competition, which he believes is a healthy part of the game. Fox said the team has “multiple plans in place, just waiting for the race to start” in relation to roster moves and practice schedules. What Fox didn’t and couldn’t address, were the trade rumors surrounding Orton, who is apparently favored by Fox and executive VP John Elway, although that doesn’t mean the team is against trading him at the right price. [...]
We consider ourselves lucky when there are actually headlines to digest from the weekend in the NFL, and although there is no deal on the horizon just yet, the little bits of news leaking out suggest that teams are getting ready for their abbreviated off-season programs. We can only hope.
Dolphins changing their tune on Henne… Well, they kind of have to considering the lockout, but the Dolphins have gone from “well, Maybe Chad Henne will start” to “yes, he has a good chance to start,” as head coach Tony Sparano insinuated this week. Sparano fed the Miami Herald the usual PR spin regarding his QB, suggesting that his numbers match up well enough with top QBs (they don’t), but he also indicated that Henne must cut down on the dumb turnovers, the throws where he’s trying to make an impossible play happen. Sparano also wants better accuracy down the field – Henne completed just 25% of his 40 passes of 20 yards or more, and his big arm isn’t going to go to much use if all his deep throws are incomplete. Perhaps raw but speedy rookie receiver Edmond Gates will help matters, if Henne actually starts. Anyway, we hope [...]
The big news Friday morning is that some owners are apparently resisting movements on the labor front, but that should not surprise anyway. Instead, we focus on the happiness of a Jacksonville tight end and the running game in New York.
Lewis looking for more … Jaguar TE Marcedes Lewis emerged as one of the league’s most complete players at the position in 2010, and he was also a very viable fantasy option because of his knack for getting into the endzone. After his strong season, the Jaguars opted to put the franchise tag on Lewis – a move he is not pleased with. Of course, we have no idea if a franchise tag will mean anything until the labor mess is resolved, but Lewis said he wants a long-term deal to stay in Jacksonville and feels he’s put in the work necessary over the last five years to warrant more than just a one-year tag. Lewis caught 58 passes for 700 yards and 10 TDs last season, and the numbers certainly jumped out considering he had a total of 7 TDs in his first four seasons. All the numbers were career bests, and he ranked 7th among TEs with an [...]