Deal or no deal? That's the big question in the NFL labor settlement talks as we round into that part of the week where this thing was supposed to get done. Needless to say it's not; the lockout is still in place.
2011 NFL lockout -- NFLPA vote held up; Reps give DeMaurice Smith OK to finish deal
NFL Players Association player representatives gave DeMaurice Smith and the executive committee a vote of confidence to finish the remaining deal points, a source told ESPN's Chris Mortensen. Originally, it was thought that players might vote yesterday. That didn't happen as player reps reportedly needed more time to review the deal, understandable given that it will govern their business for the next decade. Owners will vote today in Atlanta at their meeting.
It won't take that long. Pitts, who was at the NFLPA meeting in Washington yesterday is just expressing that on behalf of players looking to squeeze a little more out of the settlement. A delay of two weeks would put the first week of the preseason at risk, which is the whole point, to hold owners hostage with the threat of missing a week of preseason cash. In addition to the Jackson and Mankins demand, players are said to be seeking $320 million in lost benefits from the uncapped year. At this point, after all the concessions owners have made, players will take a huge PR hit if they press this issue too much longer. Fans want football.
One potential hurdle is that Vincent Jackson and Logan Mankins, two of the named plaintiffs, want $10 million. All of the names plaintiffs have dropped the demand to become free agents, but these two are asking for the payout as compensation for the loss of free agency last year.
Mike Freeman at CBS notes that Jackson and Mankins' lawyers are the ones asking for the $10 million payment. He expects them to drop the demand after pressure building in the media today...you think.
Q&A with Deacon Jones
A really good interview with Rams great, the "Secretary of Defense." Jones talks about the team moving from LA and potentially returning to LA. He also talks about the lockout and the current situation for NFL players.
Preseason scouting notes on the senior wide receiver from Arizona. Criner is a potential first-round pick...big bodied and solid character. He doesn't have the overall package like some of the others in the 2012 draft.
NFL lockout: Top UDFA running backs
With the NFL lockout coming to an end soon, undrafted players from the 2011 NFL Draft will finally be able to sign with teams. It should be a frenzy. I'm excited. Here's another list of running backs for your perusal.