Jul 7, 2011
We have typically tried to avoid the news coming out of labor talks in recent weeks, but there is no denying Thursday is a big day when it comes to taking the next (and hopefully final) step in getting a deal done.
Players, owners to rejoin talks … on Thursday in New York. After two days in which the lawyers from both sides met to get some details of a possible agreement hammered out, the focus now shifts back to the NFL Commissioner, Roger Goodell, and head of NFLPA, DeMaurice Smith, as well as the players and owners who will meet for the first time since last Friday in Minneapolis. It was reported that steps were taken this week to get a deal done, but the largest issue, the revenue split, has apparently not been fully ironed out. One of the parts of that revenue split are the benefits for retired players, and the group representing them has filed a lawsuit to halt negotiations because they feel the active players are not doing a proper job representing them. Judge Arthur Boylan is scheduled to begin a vacation Saturday, which appeared to be a reason to get something done quickly considering how well he’s handled the negotiations, but the more pressing deadline revolves around getting a deal done in time to prevent missing any time in the preseason, as it would cost hundred of millions of dollars. The Bears and Rams are scheduled to meet in the Hall of Fame Game on August 7th and Chicago is supposed to open training camp on July 22, so if the report that a deal would take 10-14 days to be put into a formal document means that the two sides need to act fast to keep the league calendar unchanged. As always, if you want to follow along with the progress of the negotiations, we suggest you follow our national writers Twitter feed or at least NFL Network’s Albert Breer, who has been traveling the country reporting from the sites of the talks.
- Jaguar RB Maurice Jones-Drew reassured the team’s fans (and more importantly, fantasy owners) that his injured knee wouldn’t slow him down and that he wants to carry the load in 2011 despite the presence of solid backup, Rashad Jennings. OC Dirk Koetter confirmed that, although he did say the team will be careful with MJD in the preseason.
- The Redskins and DE Cullen Jenkins reportedly have mutual interest, which could fill a hole for Washington in 2011. Jenkins just completed his seventh season in Green Bay with 7 sacks in 11 games, but will become an unrestricted free agent once the lockout is lifted.
John Hansen will be chatting tonight starting at 9pm Eastern, so be sure to head here to get involved in the discussion.