The big news Friday morning is that some owners are apparently resisting movements on the labor front, but that should not surprise anyway. Instead, we focus on the happiness of a Jacksonville tight end and the running game in New York.
Lewis looking for more … Jaguar TE Marcedes Lewis emerged as one of the league’s most complete players at the position in 2010, and he was also a very viable fantasy option because of his knack for getting into the endzone. After his strong season, the Jaguars opted to put the franchise tag on Lewis – a move he is not pleased with. Of course, we have no idea if a franchise tag will mean anything until the labor mess is resolved, but Lewis said he wants a long-term deal to stay in Jacksonville and feels he’s put in the work necessary over the last five years to warrant more than just a one-year tag. Lewis caught 58 passes for 700 yards and 10 TDs last season, and the numbers certainly jumped out considering he had a total of 7 TDs in his first four seasons. All the numbers were career bests, and he ranked 7th among TEs with an [...]
Another weekend has come and gone, and unfortunately, the lockout did not get raptured. We are still here, and so is the lockout, but we are getting closer to the June 3 day in court in St. Louis.
[Insert clichés about competition here] … You’ve got to play them one day at a time. I’m just happy to be here; hope I can help the ball club. I just want to give it my best shot, and the good Lord willing, things will work out.
Perhaps Jaguar QB David Garrard is the new Crash Davis, as he brought out the clichés – and acknowledged it – when discussing his upcoming quarterback battle with rookie 1st-round pick Ebby Calvin “Nuke” LaLoosh …. or, uh, Blaine Gabbert.
Said Garrard, according to The Florida Times-Union: “My thing is the best man will play. The cream will rise to the top. All those different sayings. That’s true, you want the best person out there on the field to give the team the best chance. That’s what I believe. If it’s not me, then it’s just not me. If Blaine comes in and he is above and beyond just better than me, then best of luck to him. [...]
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 [...]
Thursday might have been the biggest off-season day in the NFL in a long time. The NFL and NFLPA agreed to a 24-hour extension on the volatile CBA talks, and we are now in a more positive position in regards to the potential of a relatively unaffected off-season than we have been in a long time. That didn’t stop teams from making moves before Thursday’s perceived CBA expiration. Now, it’s Groundhog Day. If the two sides agree to a longer extension, many believe a new CBA before the draft is inevitable. Amazing how things change on deadline.
About the CBA extension… We could give you a ton of links here, but there was a really good primer from Yahoo’s Mike Silver on what this whole thing means and how we got to this unlikely point. Essentially, reports are that the players have already agreed to a 10-day extension suggested by federal mediator George Cohen, and the ball is in the owners’ court. The owners are widely expected to accept the offer, and a new CBA could be right behind. As always, we implore you to follow ESPN’s Andrew Brandt (@adbrandt) on the issue. He’s worked on both sides of the table, [...]