This might be the slowest week of the July doldrums. Not just for NFL fans, but it seems like everywhere you go things are sleepy. It's like going to France when the whole country is on vacation. Waiting for the St. Louis Rams and the NFL to get back to work...here's a few links for you.
The Process Continues
Andrew Brandt offers a rundown of where things are in the NFL settlement talks...close, but not that close. How to deal with first-round picks, i.e. pay and a four- or five-year contract, remains a sticking point. Most interesting is that players seem to have ceded judicial oversight of the next agreement.
John Mackey Was Defined by Greatness and Illness
John Mackey, who died Wednesday, did not realize his own fate or the lasting effect he had on the N.F.L. community. Here's a great profile on Mackey from the NYTimes.
Dove's 2012 NFL Draft Rankings: Guard/Center
The interior offensive line has been one everyone's mind this year, but the priority won't be going away any by the time the 2012 NFL draft rolls around next April. A few names to know.
Scouting the Big Ten: Illinois, Indiana & Iowa
The Big Ten might be a team's source for one-stop shopping in the 2012 NFL Draft when it come to defensive tackles. Besides the big names like Jared Crick from Nebraska or Jerel Worthy from Michigan State, Illinois has Akeem Spence and Iowa has Mike Daniels, two potentially second- or third-round prospects.
Rick Drummond of Pro Football Focus links to breakdowns of the top NFL free agents for each position. Naturally, it's with a statistical eye on all of the players.