Jul 19, 2011
Is today going to be the last day we have a Fantasy Guru Daily without a labor deal imminent or an agreement in principle reached? We sure hope so. As the players and owners come down the home stretch in labor talks, we are preparing for the free-agency period, which could start as soon as Monday. What does this all mean?
CBA talks take another big step… Nearly nine hours of meeting on Monday brought the NFL and the decertified NFLPA even closer to a settlement in the Brady v. NFL case when NFLPA head DeMaurice Smith followed through on a promise to get increased benefits for retired players. While Smith is still looking for $320 million in lost benefits because of the uncapped 2010 NFL season, he did manage to lock up nearly $1 billion in improvements to the benefits program over the course of the next CBA, which is expected to last up to 10 years. The hope is that every big issue will be resolved by Wednesday morning, so the NFLPA can vote on approving a settlement via email or conference call with the 32 NFL team representatives, a vote that will likely also include the decision to recertify as a union. Then, it would be up to the owners to ratify the agreement on Thursday, paving the way for the NFL preseason and regular season to go off unhitched. Should the agreement go through without plight, expect teams to have three days to re-sign their own free agents, beginning Monday, July 25, while the open market (and all hell) breaks loose on July 28. Hey, after months of bickering, overreacting, and wondering if football was even going to be played this season, NFL fans certainly deserve a crazy week of player movement. If it actually goes off as planned, it’ll be a lot of fun.
Mankins, Jackson want compensation for settlement… Of course, just because it appears the two sides are closing in on a global settlement to the Brady v. NFL case doesn’t mean some parties aren’t still scrambling for every last cent. Two plaintiffs in the case, Patriot G Logan Mankins and Charger WR Vincent Jackson, are still unhappy that they’ve been designated franchise players by their respective franchises. So, in order to settle, they’re asking for the ability to forgo the franchise tag and become UFAs, or $10 million. While most NFL insiders do not believe the efforts of two players will be near enough to derail a settlement for 1900 of them, it’s still more proof that this thing is not done until it’s done. Expect the names of Mankins and Jackson to come up a lot over these next few days, even if their efforts won’t slow progress at all.
Kolb rumors heating up, Rodgers-Cromartie involved?… Once the lockout ends and teams are able to make trades, it’s been anticipated for months that Philadelphia QB Kevin Kolb will be among the first players to go. And since the Kolb rumors started flying, we’ve kept coming back to Arizona as his likely landing spot. And the player we’ve always landed on as compensation for Kolb, even going back a few months? CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie. It makes sense for both teams; Arizona gets the QB it’s been looking for (remember, coach Ken Whisenhunt said the Cards will be aggressive if they believe the right guy is out there), and the Eagles can grab a talented CB to put opposite the elite Asante Samuel, a spot they struggled with immensely last season. Now, we’d expect the Eagles to try to make a power play here – if the Cardinals have interest in Kolb and are willing to trade a starter for him, it’s evident they view him as their QB of the future, someone to pair with Larry Fitzgerald for about a decade. But in DRC, the Cardinals have an extremely gifted player who struggled last season in a big way. What’s more, the Eagles can use free agent Marc Bulger’s apparent lack of interest in Arizona against the Cardinals. The Eagles can certainly point these circumstances out and attempt to get a draft pick out of the Cardinals in a addition to DRC. But either way, we view this as a positive move for both teams, one during which neither GM will hang up the phone until they’re really done talking.
In more player news…
- In what is certainly an attempt to gain leverage with the Giants, impending FA RB Ahmad Bradshaw will consider the Dolphins, who will be looking for a back once free agency opens.
- Panther RB Jonathan Stewart wants his buddy DeAngelo Williams back in Carolina. We don’t see it happening.
- Packer WR Donald Driver says he’s healthy after recovering from an ankle injury suffered in the Super Bowl.
- Colt DE Jerry Hughes, quickly emerging as a bust (can one “emerge” as a bust?), was arrested in Texas on public intoxication charges.
- Joe Dolan