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 [...]
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 [...]
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, [...]
We are finally getting good news on the labor front, and details are starting to emerge about what a new CBA could like it. Get ready for a hectic time in fantasy football, as free agency could be just a few weeks away.
Free agency on the horizon? … The owners’ expected extended stay in Chicago ended up lasting only one day, but just about all the news coming out of their meetings was positive. Mark Maske of the Washington Post reports that the dissenting opinions in the room were not very significant, with only a handful speaking out against the progress that’s been made in labor talks. He believes there is a push to get a deal done around July 4. Negotiations with the players are scheduled to resume today in the Boston area.
Obviously, this is all good news, but perhaps the biggest story of the day was a report from ESPN’s Chris Mortensen that provides an overview of what the new CBA could look like:
About 48% of revenue to the players
A rookie wage scale
No mandated 18-game schedule
The potential for a 16-game Thursday night schedule
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]