The NFL lockout hit another dubious distinction this week: 4 months and counting.
In a typical offseason, mid-July means free agency, OTAs, and counting down the days until training camp.
Peyton Manning joins Tom Brady and Drew Brees in releasing a statement urging an end to the lockout. (Courtesy Chris Staley)
This isnâ€™t a typical offseason, thanks to the longest work stoppage in league history. Â Instead, weâ€™re left to pass the time reading about the latest lockout squabbles, rumors that a done deal is imminent, and the likelihood of preseason â€“ maybe even regular season â€“ cancellations.
Sense of urgency?Â Havenâ€™t we already passed that?
Earlier today, a trio of NFL gunslinging stars, Tom Brady, Drew Brees, and Peyton Manning, went on the record to say itâ€™s time to end the lockout.
Depending on how you look at it, this is either the latest plea or merely just another PR move.
Their joint statement, released by the NFLPA and posted on NFL.com, read:
“We believe the overall proposal made by the players is fair for both sides and it is time to get this deal done.Â This is the time of year we as players turn our attention to the game on the field. We hope the owners feel the same way.”
I see your statement, and I raise you one statement, courtesy the NFL:
“We share the view that now is the time to reach an agreement so we can all get back to football and a full 2011 season. We are working hard with the players’ negotiating team every day to complete an agreement as soon as possible.”
I long for the day our days arenâ€™t consumed by statements, but I digressâ€¦
Brady, Brees, and Manning are three of the 10 plaintiffs named in an antitrust suit against the NFL. Broncos rookie Von Miller is also a plaintiff in the pending case.
ESPN reports insiders believe an agreement could be reached and ratified at next weekâ€™s leagues meetings in Atlanta.Â Negotiations between the owners and players continue as Judge Arthur Boylan, whoâ€™s mediating discussions, is on vacation this week.
Brandon Lloydâ€™s lockout humor
This just in: Brandon Lloyd is cool. (Courtesy Jeffrey Beall)
Appearing today on Denverâ€™s CBS4, Broncos wide receiver Brandon Lloyd updated viewers on his relaxing offseason goings-on:
â€œFor the last four years Iâ€™ve been trying to find ways not to have to practice in the spring time. So not to have it has been great.Â Itâ€™s nice to have it in mind that youâ€™re going to go into camp fresh.â€
Lloyd is joking, of course.Â Like us, heâ€™s ready to see this lockout go the way of the dinosaur.
The Pro Bowl receiver is spending his offseason working in sales for a Commerce City company that supplies metals for the aerospace industry.Â Lloyd told The Denver Post last month heâ€™s a â€œstruggling musicianâ€ and â€œan organic rap dudeâ€ who writes and records songs.
For the record, â€˜organic rap dude,â€™ is among the best lines Iâ€™ve read in months.
More praise for Miller
ESPN AFC West blogger Bill Williamson named rookie linebacker Von Miller as one of his budding stars in the division.Â Williamson called Miller â€œsmart, extremely fast, and athletically giftedâ€ and reminiscent of former Kansas City Chiefs legend Derrick Thomas.
To see which other players Williamson names on his list, go here.
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