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 [...]
You know we have a good day at the Fantasy Guru Daily when there is no more Kenny Britt news to update. Way to go, Kenny. There is also a labor news update, and some headlines from an old friend.
Labor talks continue in Maryland… The NFL and NFLPA continued their series of confidential meetings, this time in an undisclosed Maryland suburb outside of Washington, DC. And with the meetings, there was more signs of real, tangible progress in the talks, leading to hope that a new CBA could be agreed upon, if not ratified, within the next couple weeks. Obviously, the talks have progressed to a point where we’re more positive about a possible resolution than we have been at any point throughout this three-month lockout, but it appears as if people close to the discussions want fans and reporters to tone down the excitement. Remember, most of those who have knowledge of the proceedings have placed on or around July 4 as a reasonable expectation for a new deal, and that means we still have three to four weeks of discussions that could break down. In other words, while Tuesday was the “yay! Football” day, it appears as if [...]
You know, there comes a point during a lengthy lockout when we hope there is now news from the player front, because when there is, it is typically bad. And when we are posting about the same guy in two of our last three blogs, well… yeah.
Britt arrested. Again… According to several reports, Titan WR Kenny Britt was expected in Nashville this week to begin working out with his teammates. Instead, he’s gotten himself in trouble with the law. Britt was arrested on Wednesday, charged with two counts of resisting arrest, just one day after pleading guilty to a misdemeanor offense for eluding an officer stemming from an April incident. In this business, we don’t like to get too much into a player’s personal life, because when push comes to shove talent will ultimately win out. But Britt – who didn’t have a criminal record when 2011 began – now has had two incidents in two months, and you can be certain that commissioner Roger Goodell is keeping tabs. Goodell has explicitly stated that malfeasant behavior during the lockout will be punished once a deal is reached. Britt already had a tough time with injuries last year, and he’ll be [...]
Plaxico Burress is officially out of prison and the courtship can begin once the NFL and NFLPA get themselves out of chains, but another Giant has been in the news a little bit recently.
Giants expected to bring back Jacobs… This isn’t much of a surprise, considering the Giants figured out an ideal way to balance their backfield last season, but the club is expected to pay RB Brandon Jacobs his big bonus and bring him back into the fold in 2011. GM Jerry Reese told ESPN Radio in New York that he expects the team to pay the $4.65 million to keep him in town, although he said this while admonishing Jacobs for his comments on Burress, more specifically about how Jacobs believes Burress could in fact be back in a Giants uniform in 2011. “[Jacobs is] just talking,” Reese said. “Brandon likes to talk, sometimes he talks just to talk. Us here, in the Giants, in our building, we let some of that talk go off our back like a duck and we don’t worry about it too much.” Were Jacobs to come back, the Giants would almost certainly make it a priority to re-sign Ahmad Bradshaw as well, [...]
We promised ourselves we would stay away from the NFL labor situation in the FG Daily, mostly because there was no real news to report and we would end up just saying the same thing over and over again. Well, that kind of changed today, so we figure it’s worth mentioning, and it comes when there’s little else to talk about, as well…
Apparently, they actually looked at each other this week.
NFL, NFLPA participate in “secret” meeting… In perhaps the biggest labor negotiation news since March, representatives from the NFL and NFLPA, including Roger Goodell and DeMaurice Smith, met face-to-face in Chicago on Tuesday and Wednesday, and it certainly wasn’t just for a slice of deep-dish pizza (although we can’t confirm whether or not there was pizza present). The significance of this meeting is obvious: this was an unplanned, non-court-ordered session of labor talks, that was so secretive even several NFL owners did not know about it, and there were NO LAWYERS (outside of Smith) present. And the news of the meeting began to leak out slowly last night, when the subtle form of transport used by Jerry Jones (a private plane with the Cowboys logo on the tail) was [...]
Hey! We have a holiday weekend edition of the Guru Daily here, and the big news surrounds a guy who apparently does not want to take a holiday. We think you already might have a guess about who it is…
Favre is throwing again… Should this be a surprise to anyone? Remember, we delivered this exclusive conversation between Brett Favre and rookie Cam Newton just a few weeks ago, and now the reports have already started that Favre is throwing. Well, OK, it is baseballs. But still, nothing like some Favre news to spice up a Friday morning! Right? Right?
This is not Brett Favre, but this is what he would look like as a Milwaukee Brewer relief pitcher.
Kolb working out with Eagles… Perhaps there’s been no player more adversely affected by the lockout than Eagle QB Kevin Kolb, who is simply assumed to be traded as soon as a deal is struck or the lockout is lifted. In a normal offseason, Kolb might have found a new home nearly three months ago, but he’s still wallowing in limbo right now, so he has no choice but to get into shape throwing to the likes of Jeremy Maclin and [...]
Blah blah lockout blah blah blah blah blah. Blah blah appeal blah blah court. That should cover the big happenings, so now we can go ahead and give you another Fantasy Guru Daily.
NFL cancels Rookie Symposium… The first event casualty of the lockout isn’t going to get fans too upset, maybe because most of them don’t even know what it is. And honestly, it probably won’t get the rookies too upset either. The annual symposium, at which the rookies are taught about the history of the game and warned about the risks of being a wealthy young male and celebrity, has been axed thanks to the lockout. The symposium was scheduled to kick off June 26 in Canton, and it would have been required attendance for any rookie. Now, those rookies are left without this guidance, but more importantly still have not been taught about their new jobs from their coaches. That being said, as NFL business analyst Andrew Brandt commented on Twitter, the symposium is “well-intentioned” but it’s hard to imagine any player getting truly bent out of shape about losing a glorified lecture retreat to the lockout. As we’ve said for a while now, once actual games and [...]
The relationship between Jim Harbaugh and 49er QB Alex Smith is an interesting one. First and foremost, Smith is not even really a 49er. In a normal year, he’d be a free agent right now. But thanks to the lockout, Smith is operating as if he’s the 49er starter – and he might be come Week One, even though the Niners drafted Colin Kaepernick.
Alex Smith hosting 49er camps… This has been a strange off-season, and the relationship of Smith and new coach Jim Harbaugh is probably one of the strangest. Clearly, if Harbaugh had his druthers, as a former NFL QB he’d have handpicked the 49ers starting QB in 2011 by now. He did indeed draft rookie Colin Kaepernick, but Kaepernick is raw and is unlikely to be ready without the benefit of OTAs. So Smith, who does not have a contract with the 49ers, is actually running 49er off-season camps himself. He still has his playbook from Harbaugh and he has openly said he wants to return, and he’s putting himself in a good position to be the guy when the 49ers open the season. Once the lockout ends, Harbaugh will have a choice of Smith, Kaepernick, or another [...]