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 [...]
Not surprisingly, not a whole lot happened on Independence Day in the NFL world, but we hope you all had a fantastic holiday weekend. Without any big news, let us simply dive into some quick nuggets.
Negotiations resume today … This week is without question a crucial time in labor negotiations as we move close to unofficial deadlines for getting something done without missing any time. Talks are resuming today in New York, and the most interesting news is that Chris Mortensen reports Roger Goodell and DeMaurice Smith won’t be present together until Thursday. That means there will be two days of lawyers drawing up potential language before everyone else arrives Thursday. In related news, retired players believe they don’t have enough of a voice in negotiations, and they’ve filed a complaint in court.
Nnamdi Asomugha is quite good at football … OK, we knew that already. But NFL.com has a quick breakdown of how many times elite CBs were targeted in the last three seasons, and the free agent Asomugha was thrown at just 2.2 times per game, allowing 1.2 catches. Asomugha gave up just 13 catches in 2010.
What a healthy Da'Quan Bowers could do…
Bowers insists he’s healthy … No [...]
Is Michael Crabtree hurt or healthy? Is the lockout almost over or is there still a lot of work to be done? Is Carson Palmer finished in Cincinnati? We have a lot of questions with few concrete answers.
Crabtree says he’s fine … On Tuesday, the Sacramento Bee reported that 49er WR Michael Crabtree has been bothered by his left foot, which he had surgery on in 2009. Crabtree has sat out workouts for much of the Alex Smith-led sessions, but on Wednesday, he told reporters that everything was fine. And hey! Here’s Crabtree putting on shoes. Crabtree has caught some passes during workouts, and 49er OT Joe Staley stuck up for the receiver. Reporters have been allowed to watch only 30 minutes and haven’t seen Crabtree do much, but he’s insisted that he’s been active. So, if Crabtree is feeling even the slightest bit of discomfort, it probably isn’t a bad thing that he’s taking it easy during informal workouts. We really have no idea how significant the discomfort is though, and this is just one more story that makes us look forward to real football in September.
What $2 million looks like
Investigating the Cincinnati area real estate market … [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
While the NFL Draft begins tomorrow night and gives us a nice break from lockout talk, the whole event has been overshadowed by the endless labor battle that gets more confusing each day. For a few hours, we can actually talk football, but for now, we bring you more news on the labor front.
The most confusing day in NFL history … And on April 26, 2011, media members were forced to stand on street corners and count how many players chose to show up at “work,” only to not work out and leave 20 minutes later. Some players showed up at their team facilities, many didn’t, some were able to use equipment (the New York Giants), and others weren’t. What does it all mean? Great question.
We’re still waiting a ruling from Judge Susan Nelson on granting the owners a stay, which would allow the lockout to continue until the appeals process has played out over the next couple months. The NFLPA filed a motion in opposition, and it came in at 23 pages. Things are changing by the minute, but for now we’ll point you to ESPN’s detailed summary. Essentially, the players argue that a stay should be denied because [...]
The draft is quickly approaching, but most of the focus remains on the mediation discussions taking place in Minnesota. With the gag order in place, not a lot of information has come out from either side, but it won’t stop us from keeping a close eye on the situation with the hope that some good news will finally come.
Mediation to resume Tuesday … after the two sides met for 14 hours over last Thursday and Friday. With both sides being ordered to keep the details of their meetings quiet, the most we’ve gotten in terms of news is sources claiming that the break in mediation is related to the sensitivity of the talks, with one of the lead plaintiffs, Carl Eller, noting that the two sides are moving forward and were sent home on Friday with “homework” to think about over the three-day break. Another source said the two sides are “serious” when it comes to the negotiations and the possible ramifications if things were to break down again. In addition to their legal counsel, the league was represented by Commissioner Roger Goodell, Patriot owner Robert Kraft, Chief owner Clark Hunt, Panther owner Jerry Richardson, Steeler President Art Rooney II, [...]
The NFL and its players are back together in mediation today, meaning we are returning to days of endless speculation and hoping that everyone actually comes to their senses. Courtroom football is back, and we know everyone must be thrilled.
Mediation is back! … After two days of meeting with the NFL and the players separately, everyone will be back under one roof today, under the supervision of Judge Arthur Boylan in Minneapolis. We can only hope that mediation is more thrilling this time around after weeks of reporters standing outside in Washington with little to show for it back in March. Judge Susan Nelson has insisted that decision-makers are present at the mediation sessions, so big guns such as Roger Goodell, Patriots owner Robert Kraft, and Steelers owner Art Rooney are there today. We likely won’t be getting many details from the sessions with the vow of silence, but we’ll keep hoping that progress is made. As for what to expect, the National Football Post’s Andrew Brandt points out that, ideally, the two sides use mediation as a lifeline before Nelson comes down with an unfavorable ruling against one of them. Of course, mediation has gotten us nowhere before, so [...]
HAPPY COURT DAY! Ah, yes, the long countdown ends. After weeks of pointless bickering via Twitter, the NFL and its players will be meeting again today – this time in front of U.S. District Judge Susan Nelson in Minnesota.
Brady v. NFL commences … Three and a half weeks after endless mediation sessions got us nowhere, the battle between the NFL
Judge Smails has sentenced lockouts younger than this to the gas chamber. He didn't want to do it, but he felt he owed it to them.
and the players’ union trade association heads to court for a hearing on whether to grant a preliminary injunction that could prevent the lockout and force the league to operate as usual. Of course, we don’t know how Judge Nelson will rule, we don’t know when she will rule, and the granting of an injunction will result in an appeal by the league anyway. Still, even in the event of an appeal, she could order the lockout lifted while we wait. What could that mean? Well, free agency, trades, and all the usual fun that we enjoy in the off-season. Sure beats talking about the lockout. Another possibility is that Nelson could order the [...]