Wednesday is yet another big day in labor talks as things heat up with players and owners once again in New York, and we also head to Denver, San Francisco, and Washington for some football talk.
Is a John Fox-DeAngelo Williams reunion on the horizon in Denver?
Fox wants a running back … One of the biggest offensive shifts in the league could come in Denver, where the wide-open passing attack of Josh McDaniels will give way to John Fox’s multi-RB approach. OC Mike McCoy is a holdover from the previous staff, but he has experience under Fox and will call the plays. Although the Broncos drafted Knowshon Moreno with the 12th overall pick just two years ago, Fox’s #1 priority is to bring in a free agent RB with Moreno potentially moving into more of a third-down role. It’s a move we agree with, because Moreno isn’t really equipped to be the centerpiece of an offense. He can put up decent production, but he’s limited with a lack of fluidity as a runner. Among the free agent RBs, the obvious name is DeAngelo Williams, who had a lot of success with Fox in Carolina, rushing for 1000 yards in back-to-back [...]
Even though labor negotiations appear to be in the final stages, players are not taking anything for granted and have continued workouts. It might be fun to discuss the rumors of player movement, but our only real source of concrete information comes from the practices being held at high schools and colleges across the country featuring your favorite NFL players (and a bunch of guys you’ve never heard of).
While that magazine cover may be over two years old, the foot in that boot remains an issue for Crabtree.
Good news, bad news at Camp Alex II … Alex Smith, who despite being unsigned, is running his second set of workouts for the 49ers this week. Rookie QB Colin Kaepernick decided to skip the NFLPA rookie symposium in favor of these workouts after being unable to do much work on the field during the last set while recovering from surgery he had early last month. Kaepernick admitted he needed to get his timing down, but felt good. Starting LT Joe Staley doesn’t think Kaepernick comes across as a rookie and his play in practice has already excited the team. Now, the bad news. WR Michael Crabtree, who missed time at [...]
As we wait for more positive news on the labor front, the weekend brought injury news for a couple of big-name players, including the possible end of a career.
Is T.O.'s career over? Next question.
The end of the T.O. era? … We already knew that we probably wouldn’t be seeing Terrell Owens in a Bengal jersey again in 2011, leaving us with another offseason of uncertainty for the 37-year-old WR. Well, now we don’t know if T.O. will even play again at all. ESPN reports that Owens tore his ACL and underwent knee surgery. This follows a previously undisclosed injury and a torn meniscus that cut his 2010 season short in Week Fourteen. ESPN’s report indicates that Owens won’t be ready to play until November at the earliest, meaning a team would have to take a chance on him late down the stretch. He showed he could still play last year despite losing a step, as he had a huge stretch toward the middle of the season and finished with 72/983/9. He’s played for four teams in seven years (three teams in the last three years) after spending his first eight seasons in San Francisco, and now he’ll need a [...]
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 [...]
Mediation is over once again, so we go back into a period of downtime in Lockout Watch: 2011. We can now spend the next month debating what delicious food was consumed at the important people lunch summit in Minneapolis.
Who picked up the check? … SOMEONE GET THEM SOME WATER. The two sides worked long and hard, with grueling, endless mediation sessions dragging through weeks upon weeks. Oh. Wait. Judge Arthur Boylan ended mediation after two days. Two. Days. So here we are again, left waiting and waiting, likely until the June 3 8th Circuit Court of Appeals hearing, which will probably result in an appeal win by the NFL after two of three judges ruled for the permanent stay on Monday. Well, we could get a ruling from Judge David Doty on damages awarded to the players in the TV case, but that’ll end up back in the 8th Circuit Court anyway.
After two days of mediation in Minneapolis, we have almost no idea about how much progress was made. We know that the league complied with Boylan’s request and came up with an “offer” – an offer that consisted of a couple pages of bulleted points. Retired player and plaintiff [...]
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 [...]
There has been no ruling yet on the NFL request for a stay of the injunction against the lockout. I am running out of ways to say that every day. Until there is one or the appeal is heard in early June, we’ll continue to have some minor stories on the Daily!
The Cardinal QB Situation
Normally, by this time of year, we’d have at least some guess at who will be starting Week One for all 32 teams. Obviously, the lockout has stripped us of that security this year for a good handful of teams. None of these teams are more puzzling than the Arizona Cardinals, who were brutal at the position last year and didn’t spend a draft pick on a QB this year. That’s led to all kinds of speculation, and at least four big names have been linked to the Cardinals over the past few weeks.
First, rumors started that the Cardinals had “an agreement” in place with free agent veteran Marc Bulger, one that would be consummated as soon as personnel moves are allowed. But that was reported before the draft, and would have suggested one of two things: either the Cardinals were going to draft a QB [...]
We will have much more in-depth analysis of what the NFL Draft means for fantasy in coming days – in fact, the Post-Draft Stock Watch is already up – but as we did for the 1st round Friday, we bring you a quick round-up here of what happened on Days Two of Three of the draft as we wait for a pivotal ruling from the Eighth Circuit Court in St. Louis.
Mallett’s fall headlines Day Two … While both QBs Andy Dalton (#35 to Cincinnati) and Colin Kaepernick (#36 to San Francisco) went off the board earlier, the big news of Friday’s portion of the NFL was the fall of the polarizing Ryan Mallett. Mallett, who is the best pure passer in the draft, has had his character called into question, and he dropped all the way to the 74th pick overall in the 3rd round, where he landed with the Patriots. Obviously, the Patriots aren’t in immediate need of a starting QB, but it’s a good spot for Mallett to land because he’ll get to adjust to the NFL under the guidance of Bill Belichick and Tom Brady. If maturity is a problem, there’s no better place for him to [...]
We are in lockout purgatory right now with no answer from Judge Susan Nelson yet, but we could get some answers soon with a key development expected to be announced.
"It's outrageous, egregious, preposterous." – Jackie Chiles on the NFL lockout
More mediation on the way … If you’re a fan of football – which we assume, given that you’re reading this sentence – it seems that you should like Judge Susan Nelson. Although she hasn’t ruled on lifting the lockout yet, signs last Wednesday appeared to be pointing in that direction. Now, ESPN reports that Nelson will impose mediation on the NFL and the players early this week. The main question still to be answered is the location of mediation. The NFL wants more of George Cohen in Washington, and we all know where that got us last time: weeks of staring at Twitter and reporters standing on street corners for nothing. Meanwhile, the players want mediation under the court in Minnesota. At this point, anything done under the court’s supervision is probably a good thing, speaking only in terms of having football in 2011. For most fans, the only concern is having football, so we’re all for Judge Nelson [...]
Greetings everyone. The Fantasy Guru Daily is back for the week. And although we are now entering Super Bowl week, the other 30 teams in the NFL have been active as well. Here is a roundup from some of the top news of the past weekend.
Eagles plan to franchise Vick… This should come as no surprise, but it is nice to have some confirmation on it anyway. With Michael Vick approaching free agency, Philadelphia plans to put the franchise tag on its star QB so it can then listen to trade
The Eagles plan to extend their window on a contract for QB Michael Vick by placing the franchise tag on him.
offers for Kevin Kolb (who can’t be moved until a new CBA is in place), in whom many teams could have interest. But even if the Eagles don’t plan to trade Kolb, it makes sense to place the franchise tag on Vick; he had a fantastic season, but he’s injury prone and started to revert back to some of his troubling old tendencies from his Atlanta days. The Eagles likely want to see more development from him before committing a long-term extension.
Flacco angry about Zorn firing… We’ve heard a [...]