Thursday brought us a long, tense day of labor negotiations, and now an absolutely crucial time continues in New York today. Elsewhere, a decision in Tennessee leaves the league with one less capable veteran quarterback.
Collins retires … If you take a look at the numbers – 3,439 completions (9th); 6,193 attempts (9th); and 40,441 yards (11th) – the average fan probably wouldn’t guess they belong to Kerry Collins. After a somewhat underrated 16-year career, the 38-year-old Collins opted to retire Thursday, thus ending speculation that he’d re-sign in Tennessee and hold the starting QB job while rookie Jake Locker tries to adjust to the pro game.
As a fellow product of Penn State, I salute Kerry Collins for an undefeated 1994 season.
Collins had an up-and-down career, beginning when he was the 5th overall pick out of Penn State in the 1995 draft and the first ever pick of the expansion Carolina Panthers. He proceeded to lead the team to the NFC Championship game in his second year and the team’s second year. But his career with the Panthers and then the Saints in the ‘90s was derailed by problems with alcohol before he went through rehab and resurrected his career [...]
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, [...]
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 [...]
We will be focusing on actual football stories until there is some legitimate news to talk about when it comes to the labor situation. Today we have injury updates on some major fantasy players and interesting news regarding two young QBs.
Peyton has neck surgery … and will be out six to eight weeks, according to Colts owner Jim Irsay. The procedure, Manning’s second on his neck since February of last year, was to remove park of a bulging disk. Manning had the surgery on Monday and was already home recovering on Tuesday. According to Manning, the discomfort started just recently and that this procedure was not related to the previous one. Manning anticipates a quick recovery, noting he began working out within two weeks of his first procedure last year. Irsay reiterated his hope to sign Manning to a long-term deal as soon as possible with the latest surgery having no effect on any possible contract. However, he did say Manning might have his throws limited in training camp with the team’s backups getting more work.
Did Peyton catch the injury bug from Tiger? We sure hope not.
Antonio Gates is healthy … according to Charger HC [...]
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 [...]
Hey, it is finally that day we have all been waiting for! Mediation is back! Woohoo! The NFL and decertified NFLPA will meet in front of Judge Arthur Boylan, and while any negotiating sessions could theoretically help lead to an agreement between the two sides, we will not hold our breath until there is a ruling from Judge David Doty in the lockout damages case and/or a ruling from the 8th Circuit on the enjoined lockout. But still, yay mediation!
Mediation resumes… Don’t get your hopes up. Only a couple days of talks are scheduled, and both sides are certainly fulfilling a court-ordered obligation to meet. Otherwise, they’d be waiting idly on court rulings, just like the rest of us. Any meeting might produce a sliver of hope if one side shows signs of caving, but we don’t see any way the sides don’t wait for a court ruling from the 8th Circuit to make any sort of moves. In the meantime, Patriot owner Robert Kraft, maybe the most moderate voice in this whole mess, offers some words of warning to both the owners and players. We believe the fans are already angry enough, but Kraft is right: if a deal [...]
It is possible, if not likely, that a major step in the Brady v. NFL case will be taken today. And oh yeah, Brandon Marshall got stabbed. So in summation, it is just a usual case of the Mondays in the Fantasy Guru Daily.
Judge Nelson’s decision could come on Monday… For more than two weeks, Judge Susan Nelson has sat on her decision whether to issue an injunction against the NFL’s lockout in the Brady v. NFL case. Now, sources close to the case believe that decision will come Monday. To summarize, an injunction (requested by the players) would block the NFL’s lockout as illegal and would force the owners to open the doors of the league. Of course, it’s not going to be that simple. Should Nelson rule in favor of the players, as most expect, it seems likely that she will grant a stay of the injunction, pending the NFL’s appeal to the 8th Circuit Appellate Court, meaning we’ll have to wait for a decision on the appeal to actually learn anything definitively. Should the players win this decision, the NFL will immediately ask Nelson to grant a stay, pending appeal. Should Nelson deny that request, the request [...]