The 2011 NFL Draft is set to take place in the Manhattan near Radio City Music Hall, but the NFL Players’ Association is considering boycotting the draft.

The goal of the alleged boycott would be to prevent the top draft prospects from attending. However, I doubt there will be any boycotting, and so does George Atallah, spokesman for the NFLPA. He tweeted that “the NFLPA is not asking anyone to ‘boycott’ anything, NFL Draft in particular. The NFL Draft is special. Players and their families will be in NYC. It just maybe different. We will provide details when we can”.

The NFLPA met with several top players’ agents before the Super Bowl, and, reportedly, the agents had great support for this boycott. Some of these top agents went as far as to suggest that some veteran players may be picketing in the Music Hall, assuming the lockout is still in effect by then.

Although there was significant support for a boycott, I cannot see it happening, as the benefits…don’t exist. Keeping the high draft picks away from the draft is childish. It would be kind of like a “if we can’t have them, you can’t either” situation. The only thing a boycott would do is create more bad blood between the league and the players’ association.

Advertisements

CBA Deal Expires

Posted: 03/12/2011 in Uncategorized

The old Collective Bargaining Agreement deal expired yesterday, Friday March 12th, 2011, at 11:59 pm.

The NFL Players Association (NFLPA) has decertified as a result of the expiration, meaning they no longer represent the players. Currently, the NFLPA cannot bargain for the players or fight league imposed punishments against the players such as fines or suspensions. One reason for decertifying is that, now, the legal proceedings may be supervised by the  U.S. District Court Judge David Doty in Minneapolis. Why does this help the players? Well, David Doty had previously ruled in the players’ side, including in one case just last week which denies the NFL from taking $4 billion if no football games are played in 2011-12 season.

The NFLPA decertified in order to allow the players to sue the NFL with an antitrust suit, which Tom Brady, Drew Brees, and Peyton Manning (among others) did on Friday. The league has officially locked out the players, and which is why the players went to court. This antitrust suit claimed that the NFL was guilty of conspiracy and activities that made the game less competitive. Manning’s and Brees’s lawyer, Tom Codon, wrote that a “‘lockout’ imposed by the NFL threatens to rob Mr. Brees and Mr. Manning, and all other NFL players, of an entire year, or more, of their brief playing careers, which cannot be recaptured”.

 

Tom Brady’s Ponytail

Posted: 03/09/2011 in Player News

What is that ugly thing on Tom Brady’s head? You guessed it. A ponytail. Well, a half ponytail, it kind of looks like he got attacked by some scissors, a bear, and a bad hair stylist.

The irony in this atrocious due, is that Brady is married to Brazil’s spokesmen for Pantene, Gisele Bundchen. Why she would let him out in public with this hair-raising haircut, I have no idea. Maybe she likes it? Maybe she’s punishing him for some reason?

Whatever the reason, we can take three things from this ugly haircut.

  1. Someone needs to fire Brady’s hair stylist.
  2. Ponytails are not to be tried by the inexperienced.
  3. If Gisele likes this, she must have been smacked in the head with a giselle.

Brian Westbrook said on Sunday that he talks with Eagles’ head coach Andy Reid weekly and that he would be open to rejoining the Eagles. Westbrook said, “We always talk, and I would love to be back in Philly. So we’ll see how things go. I think I can help out. I think they have a very good group of young guys on this team at every position, but I still think I can help this team win.”

Westbrook did have some productive seasons with Philly, but those years are long gone. In San Fran last year, Westbrook was on the depth chart behind Anthony Dixon. Who is that? Not someone that should come between a decent running back and the field, that’s for sure…

Personally, I believe that signing Westbrook would be as stupid for the Eagles as moving their offensive line coach to defensive coordinator. Oh, wait, they already did that. If the Eagles sign Westbrook, it would tell LeSean McCoy that the organization has no faith in him, which in turn might lead to McCoy signing with another team. If this were to happen, then once Westbrook retires, the Eagles are stuck with no running back. Westbrook might think it sounds great to sign with the Eagles, but if the Eagles’ coaches feel the same way, they should be looking for another job.

Mock Draft

Posted: 03/07/2011 in Predictions

Here is my prediction as to how the first round of the 2011 NFL draft will play out.

  1. Carolina Panthers: Cam Newton, QB, Auburn
  2. Denver Broncos: Marcell Careus, DT, Alabama
  3. Buffalo Bills: Blaine Gabbert, QB, Missouri
  4. Cincinnait Bengals: Jake Locker, QB, Washington
  5. Arizona Cardinals: Colin Kaepernick, QB, Nevada
  6. Cleveland Browns: Christian Ponder, QB, Florida State
  7. San Francisco 49ers: Patrick Peterson, CB, LSU
  8. Tennessee Titans: Ryan Mallet, QB, Arkansas
  9. Dallas Cowboys: Anthony Castanzo, OT, Boston College
  10. Washington Redskins: Von Miller, OLB, Texas A&M
  11. Houston Texans: Jimmy Smith, CB, Colorado
  12. Minnesota Vikings: Pat Devlin, QB, Delaware
  13. Detroit Lions: Tyron Smith, OT, USC
  14. St. Louis Rams: A.J. Green, WR, Georgia
  15. Miami Dolphins: Mark Ingram, RB, Alabama
  16. Jacksonville Jaguars: Da’Quan Bowers, DE, Clemson
  17. New England Patriots(from Oakland Raiders): Robert Quinn, DE, North Carolina
  18. San Diego Chargers: Akeem Ayers, OLB, UCLA
  19. New York Giants: Mike Pouncey, C, Florida
  20. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Prince Amukamara, CB, Nebraska
  21. Kansas City Chiefs: Julio Jones, WR, Alabama
  22. Indianapolis Colts: Gabe Carimi, OT, USC
  23. Philadelphia Eagles: Brandon Harris, CB, Miami
  24. New Orleans Saints: Aldon Smith, DE, Missouri
  25. Seattle Seahawks: Corey Liuget, DT, Illinois
  26. Baltimore Ravens: Aaron Williams, CB, Texas
  27. Atlanta Falcons: Jabaal Sheard, OLB, Pittsburgh
  28. New England Patriots: Danny Watkins, OT, Baylor
  29. Chicago Bears: Stephen Paea, DT, Oregon State
  30. New York Jets: Rahim Moore, FS, UCLA
  31. Pittsburgh Steelers: Ras-I Dowling, CB, Virginia
  32. Green Bay Packers: Ryan Kerrigan, DE, Purdue

Carnell Lake, a second-round draft pick of the Steelers, made four trips to the Pro Bowl while playing with the Pittsburgh from 1989 to 1998. Lake finished his career with 16 interceptions and 16 fumble recoveries, which is fourth in team history. He earned the National Football Foundation Hall of Fame Scholar Athlete Award in 1988 and he was inducted into the UCLA Athletics Hall of Fame in 2000.

Lake played safety and cornerback throughout those seasons, and next season (if there is one), Lake will be coaching the defensive backs of the Steelers. The Steelers’ pass defense has not lived up to its usual pedigree in recent years, and Pittsburgh is hoping that Carnell Lake will be able to fix that. In particular, the Steelers pass coverage has been unable to shut down Tom Brady and Bill Belichick. Last season, the Patriots high powered offense marched into Heinz Field and scored 39 points.

Troy Polomalu and Ryan Clark, the starting safeties, are certainly not the problem, so it must be the cornerbacks. Ike Taylor has been able to hold up against most of the receivers he has faced, but William Gay and Bryant McFadden have not. In my opinion, the Steelers should use one of their high round draft picks to snag a CB to improve this weakness. Drafting a good corner is hard enough, but the draft pick has to fit the Steelers’ scheme which is toughness and physicality. I know that drafting a pro-ready, physical, quality corner is much easier said than done, but with the league shifting to a pass-based game, it is definitely necessary in order for Sixburgh to climb the Stairway to Seven.

The financial aspects of hiring Lake as the defensive backs coach were not released. Although hiring Lake is definitely a step in the right direction, drafting another high-end corner is essential as well.

 

The current deadline for a new Collective Bargaining Agreement deal ends tonight, Thursday March 3rd 2011, at 11:59 pm. However, both the NFL and the NFL Players Association (NFLPA) said they are discussing pushing the deadline and essentially ‘stopping the clock’.

Essentially, both sides want more time to discuss a deal so the NFL proposed a deadline extension. The NFLPA is not quite satisfied with the league’s current offer to extend the deadline because the union says that the owners will not “ensure progress and not just a delay of game” said an NFL source.

A similar extension was put into place during the 2006 negotiations, and in that case, the extension allowed the negotiating parties to reach an agreement.

The players union is prepared, without a deal in place after Thursday, to decertify, meaning that the union would no longer represent the players.

This would greatly benefit the negotiations, and personally, I don’t know why it isn’t already in place. Both sides should have put this into effect a week ago, just as a precaution, that would have been greatly appreciated by every NFL fan everywhere. I don’t know about you, but I just want to see some football next year. Also, by not putting this into effect, the NFL and the NFLPA would be essentially freezing the players’ paychecks, which is never good.

To conclude, if this extension doesn’t happen, you may see Peyton Manning flipping burgers at a McDonalds near you.

UPDATE: The NFL and the NFLPA have agreed to extend the deadline for a new CBA deal 24 hours. Now the deal had to be done by Friday (tomorrow) at 11:59 pm. Personally, I think it should have extended the deadline at least a week, not just a day.  Although it is very beneficial that anything was done to extend the deadline.

Luckily for Peyton Manning, he won’t be flipping burgers for at least another 24 hours.

UPDATING THE UPDATE: After extending the deadline for a new CBA deal one day, both sides have now pushed it back another week, making the new deadline Friday, March 11th at 11:59 pm. Aside from my original criticism, the NFL and the NFLPA have both handled this very well. They extended the deadline a day, to give them enough time to postpone it another week.

CONCLUSION: In the first update, I said that the deadline should have been extended “at least a week, not just a day” and then, the deadline was extended a week. I think that means I should be a labor negotiator…does anybody have Roger Goodell’s phone number? I think I might be able to put a new CBA deal in place.