I was watching NFL Live for the first time in a few weeks. Â (Basically, I only watch it live when Trey Wingo is hosting but I digress.)
Trey Wingo, Tim Hasselbeck and Mike Golic were discussing the end of the 130 day lockout.
As I watched I couldn’t help but think, “Will the beginning of the end signal the start of a different type of Â ’out,’ sheer chaos, or both?”
Items still left to be ironed out in the negotiations before we can even get to that are:
- Settlement of the anti-trust law suit Brady et al vs. NFL
- Settlement of the “lockout insurance” case in Judge Doty’s court
- $320M in lost player benefits from an uncapped 2010
- Off season player safety concerns
- Re-formation of the NFL Players Union
As the main plaintiffs in the anti-trust law suit, Peyton Manning, Drew Brees, Logan Mankins, and Vincent Jackson made their settlement terms known.
- Peyton Manning and Drew Brees want exemptions from the franchise tag for the rest of their careers. Â Both QB’s were slapped with the tag back in February.
- Logan Mankins and Vincent JacksonÂ want to become UFA’s (unrestricted free agents) or receive $10M. Â Both Mankins and Jackson were hold outs in 2010 over contract disputes.
But surprise! Â Just as we’ve seen one too many times throughout this lockout, the Fab Four reverse course and ultimately withdrew their demandsÂ late last night.
After some debate over possible special relief for at least some of the 10 player-plaintiffs, it was determined it would be too cumbersome to try and work out individual deals,â€ Borges writes.Â â€œSince the bulk of plaintiffs were well-placed NFL veterans, the best way to go, it was decided, was to stick simply with the larger deal negotiated between the NFLPA and the leagueâ€™s owners.
Who’s bright idea was it to try and squeeze every last drop out of this law suit anyway? Â It’s got the stench of Kessler written all over it. Â And Mike Florio agrees.
From the league’s and owners’ standpoint they didn’t “lose” money since the preseason will most likely start on time. Â Games will not be missed and therefore no tangible loss of revenue.
But from the coaches and teams perspective it’s not quite so rosy. Â As the lockout dragged on for what amounts to the entire off season, lost were weeks of OTA’s, mini-camps and most importantly time for a proper free agency period.
NFL officials have said the lockout, which began March 12, will be lifted only when there is an official, signed collective bargaining agreement. If both sides approve the deal this week, free agency could begin by early next week. Teams likely will be given a three-day window to try to re-sign their own free agents before those players are allowed to sign elsewhere.
The teams may want to re-sign their own players but who’s to say that player doesn’t want to test the market? Â Especially if he thinks he can get a better offer elsewhere.
These free agents have been robbed of precious time. Â Because of that they will hold out to see what’s out there. Â Agent Drew Rosenhaus on Mike and Mike in the Morning:
In the last eight years I have not had a single client miss one day of training camp. Â That will be impossible this year.
That will not go over very well. Â Fans didn’t agonize through 5 months of the lockout only to see the players hold up football again.
Dates and Numbers
Wednesday, July 20 – Players are expected to re-certify as a union and vote on the new CBA.
Monday, July 25 – 72-hour window for each team to re-sign their own free agents.
Thursday, July 28 – Possible start of free agency and training camps.
5 months of free agency condensed to 2 weeks.
90-man rosters that need to be filled for training camps.
500 unsigned players from last years roster.
Drew Rosenhaus again:
This will be the most active 2 week period in the history of the NFL regarding transactions.
Teams will over pay to quickly get their man. Â Agents will underbid to secure a roster spot for their client.
In one word, mayhem.
As we look ahead
Tim Hasselbeck brought up a great point on NFL Live. Â The idea of getting camps and free agency started is all good and dandy but have we thought about the actualÂ logistics?
Before anyone can put on the pads and get on the practice field a laundry list of things need to happen first. Â For one,Â organizations that have laid off front office staff have to bring them back so the league year can get going. Â Second,Â free agency transactions (signings, cuts, etc.) all have to be approved by the league. Â Third, players actually have to arrive at team facilities on time. Â Fourth, players have to pass entrance physicals and previously injured players need to be re-examined and medically cleared.
Today is now Wednesday, July 20, 2011 = 131st day of the lockout.
- Opening of the first scheduled training camp is 3 days away.
- The CBA deadline for CHI @ TB London game is 12 days away.
- Hall of Fame game is 18 days away.
- Week 1 of the preseason is 22 days away.
- 2011 season kickoff game (NO @ GB) is 50 days away.