I will be honest: the lockout jaded me. I was never particularly concerned about losing the 2011 season, or even a few games, but I did not go actively searching for mock drafts to whet my appetite for fantasy. What was the point? Everything would change anyway. Instead, I focused my attention on everything that’s gone up on this site over the last few weeks, namely the player profiles, and several things that have yet to come.
But – and I knew this would happen – draft season has descended upon us quickly. I like to draft as late as possible every year, but I’m sure I’ll be doing at least one draft within the next week. We don’t even have time to digest free agency before we have to assign values to the players that moved on. Hell, soon after I started throwing this post together, the Lions signed Jerome Harrison and Mike Bell to replace the injured Mikel Leshoure. No sooner did we bump up Jahvid Best’s value than we had to speculate on what the arrival of Harrison, in particular, means.
Of course, the mid rounds always have uncertainty. Even in a normal, non-lockout year, we’re either going to [...]
If you were lucky enough to avoid what happened in the labor fiasco on Thursday, congratulations. Yesterday was essentially a microcosm of the hideous standoff that has plagued us, and all NFL fans, since March. But when the dust settles from it, are we actually closer than ever before to labor peace? Will the locked doors of the NFL finally open this weekend? It is possible.
Owners send ratified proposal to players, but… At about 7 p.m. Eastern time on Thursday, the whooping and hollering could be heard from a meeting room in the Westin Atlanta. The NFL owners had passed a new CBA, 31-0 (with Al Davis abstaining, of course), paving the way for the four-month-old lockout to end. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell held a press conference celebrating the new “agreement,” and all of us on the periphery were left to believe the NFL players’ approval to be a fait accompli. The lockout was over! Only one problem: the players insist there was no agreement, and were taken by surprise by the fact that they were expected to vote on a proposal they hadn’t seen. And an 8 p.m. conference call with NFLPA director DeMaurice Smith and the 32 NFL [...]
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 [...]
There is no labor deal yet. We think there will be one soon. The two sides are meeting again today. Yesterday probably could have been better, but it could have been worse. That is all we will mention about this situation.
Randy Moss not happy with the way 2010 went down… WR Randy Moss’ agent, Joel Segal, was doing his job this week and is talking up his client, who had the worst year of his roller-coaster career in 2010. “He is determined, motivated and quite frankly has a huge chip on his shoulder,” Segal said. Of course, we’d think representatives from the Vikings and Titans would disagree from the start, as Moss made just a handful of catches after being traded to Minnesota early in the 2010 season. Segal, then, has his work cut out for him to secure Moss a job once the open market is, well… opened. In his 30s, Moss is probably going to want to play with a contender, but is any contender going to be willing to take the risk that he’s a total dud like last year? The Jets would seem like a solid fit if they don’t re-sign Braylon Edwards, and we figure [...]
When plotting out this upcoming week, I knew I would be writing the Guru Daily today. I vowed to stay away from the labor situation, because the media (including us) has overreacted to every up and down, thanks to a dearth of anything else to report on. But we start Monday with some optimism, including a potential calendar for the start of the 2011 league year.
Deal is potentially on the horizon… Yeah, we’ve been hearing this week is huge for a while so it shouldn’t come as a total surprise, but there is apparently real optimism around the NFL that a framework CBA could be in place and voted on by the time the owners meet in Atlanta on July 21, as reported by ESPN. What’s funny is that it appears the rookie wage scale, essentially a slotting system to prevent deals like JaMarcus Russell’s from ever happening again, has become the major point of contention between the two sides. In short, the owners want longer and cheaper deals for rookies, while the players are willing to go cheaper so long as the young players can get free agency a year sooner (four-year deals as opposed to five). On one [...]
The NFL and NFLPA lawyers got back to work on Tuesday, hammering out the legal mumbo jumbo that would be a part of any final CBA deal. The two sides met for nearly eight hours, so while they cannot tackle the revenue split issue without the owners and the players present in negotiating sessions, they can get done some of the more tedious legwork, allowing a verbal/handshake agreement to turn into a signed, sealed, and delivered CBA more quickly than we might expect once that agreement is reached. They’ll continue that work today, and we continue to wait…
Legal teams go back to work on the new CBA… As mentioned above, the lawyers on both sides of the debate are hammering out the little details while we wait for the owners and players to rejoin talks on Thursday, presumably to try to wrap up the revenue split issue, and in turn the final CBA. Once again, different sources have different ideas on exactly how “close” or “not close” the two sides are to reaching a deal. But the one agreement all sources seem to have is that there is a deal to be made and it’s certainly possible that deal is [...]
Over the last four months, we have become junior experts on labor law, simply by having a horse in this NFL lockout race (that horse is called “actual football”). And if there is one certain thing we have learned about labor law, it’s that there are two stages of deals: “done” and “not done.” Despite growing optimism over the last few weeks, the NFL still resides in that latter category, and until all the major parties finally put their John Hancocks on a finished product, there’s still a chance things can go awry. But we’ve also learned that ebbs and flows happen: positives can happen on bad days and negatives can happen on good days. So despite what we would call a “bad day” in labor negotiations yesterday, some interesting stuff went down.
Crazy day in lockout talks… Yes, we felt it too. At about 6 p.m. Central (the talks are taking place in Minnesota), when the NFL and NFLPA had already been meeting for nine hours, reports started to leak to the media that the talks had suffered a major setback, concerning the owners asking [...]
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 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 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 [...]