So who's going to be the Vikings quarterback next season?
Yeah, I read that, too, but he's got to be hanging them up for reals by now, right?
That Favre rumor has already been shot down, so I don't know why people keep bringing it back up. It was one guy in Philly who threw that out with no source as "an idea." Like Favre is going to come back to be a backup.
As for what happens next, Florio says Drew Brees has sent an email to Saints players saying the new plan is thus:
1. Full free agency would start at noon Eastern on Tuesday. There would be no initial "sign your own guys and draft picks period," just a general free for all for teams to sign draftees, sign undrafted rookies, cut veterans, rework veteran contracts, and sign all eligible free agents.
2. Signed players would report to their teams on Thursday with training camps starting on Friday.
It's going to be crazy crazy crazy. On the one hand there are something like 400+ veteran free agents out there. On the other hand I wonder if some teams are going to be left standing when the musical chairs get pulled. There are probably going to be some crazy contract offers because some teams absolutely have to get good players ASAP in some important positions, notably at QB for several teams.
Last edited by Sarkus; 07-24-2011 at 10:27 PM.
Man, how are they going to sign those first round picks? Those deals usually take several weeks, at least.
There is slotting for the top picks, but after that it ends up being about a total "rookie pool" that each team has. There's also some limits on what can be spent on undrafted rookies which will limit the size of bonuses they can get for signing.
Basically, the new system makes holdouts pointless and there are new rules that make the penalties for doing so even more paniful.
According to Florio this is the official timeline of events being considered by the players, which means its presumably the official timeline the league and players came up with:
What strikes me is that the players who are going to be cut are kind of screwed. After all, they won't be entering the free agency pool until very late in the process. Meaning that teams that might have been interested in them will likely have raced to sign someone else. For example, what happens to Vince Young or McNabb if nobody wants to trade for them?Today, the NFL will publish a Free Agency List.
On Tuesday, team facilities will open for voluntary training, conditioning, and classroom instruction.
On Tuesday, trades can begin.
At 10:00 a.m. ET on Tuesday, teams may sign drafted rookies, undrafted rookies, and negotiate with (but not sign) their own unrestricted free agents, restricted free agents, exclusive-rights players, and franchise players.
Also, beginning at 10:00 a.m. ET on Tuesday, teams may negotiate with, but not sign or give offer sheets to, other team’s unrestricted free agents, restricted free agents, and franchise players.
At 4:01 p.m. ET on Thursday, teams may waive or terminate player contracts.
At 6:00 p.m. ET on Friday, teams may renegotiate existing player contracts.
Also at 6:00 p.m. ET on Friday, teams sign their own unrestricted free agents, restricted free agents, exclusive-rights free agents, and franchise players.
Also at 6:00 p.m. ET on Friday, teams may sign unrestricted free agents from other teams, restricted free agents from other teams, and franchise players from other teams.
No payment of any kind can be made to any player until the CBA has been ratified by the players.
The 2011 league year will begin no later than August 4. When the 2011 league year begins, teams must be under the salary cap. (Specifically, their highest 51 cap numbers must fit under the cap.)
By the way, ITS OVER according to most sources. The players executive committee has approved the new CBA proposal and recommended its approval by the players.
Lockout officially over!
Okay, so for those of us who have been following this casually, but not obsessively, what has changed? It looks like the longer season didn't make it, the rookie cap is in.... and I'm not sure what else shook out of it all.
Anyone got a good wrap up?
Peter King does!
http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/201...bor/index.htmlTerm. Barring an opt-out ("It's just an insurance policy,'' Houston co-player-rep Eric Winston told me), this deal runs through the 2021 NFL Draft. Brett Favre will be completing his 30th season then. He'll be only 52.
Medical benefits. Men who play in a game in any season of this deal will be eligible to stay in the NFL medical plan for life. Currently, retired players have five years of post-career health care. Just saw Eddie George, looking like an Adonis, at the Super Bowl last February, and he said his medical benefits just ran out a couple of months earlier. "Now's not the time I need 'em,'' he told me. Born too early.
Guaranteed contracts for injury. This went over everyone's heads all weekend. Let's say a player signs a three-year, $6-million contract with a $2-million bonus and salaries of $1.1 million, $1.3 million and $1.6 million. And say he gets a career-ending injury in game five of the first season. He keeps his bonus. He keeps his first-year salary. That's normal. Now he'd get to keep $1 million of his year-two salary and $500,000 of year three. In the old days, he'd have been able to keep the bonus and year-one salary, a total of $3.1 million. Now he'd be able to pocket $4.6 million because of the maximum of $1.5 million in injury-protection money.
Restricted free agency this year. Weird. The NFL hasn't finalized the timing for it yet, but there are a slew of restricted free agents, valuable ones like Roman Harper and Antonio Cromartie, who could have up to two weeks from the time camps start to choose a new team or go back to an existing one.
"Did anyone in the negotiations think how absolutely crazy this could be?'' one coach told me Saturday. "Suppose you're counting on a guy who's restricted to come back, and a week or so into free agency he gets blown out of the water with some offer, and we've already lost the chance to get anyone good to replace him -- and we're three weeks away from playing a game that counts. Whoever made some of these rules ... I mean, we could be recruiting free agents while we're trying to put together installation periods for the playbook in training camp.''
Under the plan being considered by the league last Thursday, the restricted signings could take place until Aug. 12. Signing at the last minute would give players less than a month before they played their first real game with a new team.
Padded practices. Teams can have 14 per regular season, including only three in the last six weeks of the season. Grumbling leaguewide has begun over the sissification of the NFL; coaches won't be able to toughen up soft teams anymore.
"Not sure this is a very big deal,'' Winston of the Texans said. "We had the leading rusher in the league last year [Arian Foster] and I bet we only had 17 padded practices all season.''
TV money. Starting next year, players get 55 percent of network dough. That'll take a big jump in 2014, when the TV deals should increase 50 to 70 percent per network.
Football intelligence. "We'll be cramming two months of an offseason program into seven days,'' one coach told me Saturday. "If you're not making major changes on offense or defense, and you're in a division with lots of change, that should mean a couple of wins for you.''
Look at the AFC North. Cleveland's rebuilt from the ground up. Cincinnati's installing a brand-new offense. Pittsburgh and Baltimore (though the Ravens have a new defensive coordinator, Chuck Pagano) are relatively unchanged. Just what this division needs: more to divide the haves from the have-nots.
One coach with an established program told me, "I just wish this went another week. We'll be ready, and maybe a few of the teams we play, especially early, won't be.''
What the owners won. Not having to pay the $320 million in benefits they didn't pay last year in exchange for the players getting an uncapped year; franchise and transition tags; no judicial oversight in major-league disputes between players and owners, a major sticking point from the last CBA; the ability to keep 60 percent of all club-generated revenue.
What the players won. The continuation of the 16-game schedule; five weeks less or the rigidly organized offseason programs; $1 billion in additional benefits for retirees -- an important point from day one for De Smith; a true salary floor, with teams having to spend 99 percent of the cap in years one and two of the deal and 95 percent thereafter.
The game as we know it. Most in the football establishment, like this well-respected GM, don't like the changes that have players on the field less. "We complain about tackling all the time,'' he said. "How are we gonna teach tackling without practicing tackling enough? I will not be surprised if you see the smashmouth game disappear.''
I heard it all this weekend -- that the game will turn into the college spread offense, that lack of fundamental work will make the game sloppy, that new coaches who used tough training camps to toughen their teams won't be able to do that anymore. Maybe. But the smartest football coaches in the world -- all of whom will be playing by the same set of restrictive rules -- will learn to adapt.
The opt-outs. As I said earlier, I doubt either side will want to opt out. But it's unfortunate the opt-outs for both sides apparently will be included, because it creates uncertainty about the future of the game as early as 2015, when the networks will be in the second year of their new contracts. For the sake of the game's health, it would have been better to have no opt-outs and have this deal run for certain through the spring of 2021. Uncertainty in business is bad, and it was bad for this league this offseason.
But at the end of the day, the players demanded the opt-out because too many of them have zero trust for the owners. I mean, zero. It's been interesting to talk to a few of them over the weekend, off the record, in what should be a very happy time for them and realize how little they trust the men who employ them. Sad, really.
Overall, this is a good opportunity for a relatively new cadre of owners -- Clark Hunt, Dean Spanos, John Mara -- to build up trust with the players.
One more note on this: Several from the players' side singled out Patriots owner Bob Kraft for his role in getting momentum going when there was very little last spring. As one of the key members of the players' side told me: "He told us, 'I'm not going to hope either side makes a bad deal, because then our relationship suffers, and then the whole business suffers. And my family's going to own this team for years and years. We want to see it healthy for both sides.' That registered with us. He's a real deal-maker.''
I think the biggest changes are going to result from the rookie wage scale (which really impacts the first rounders) and shorter initial contracts. Teams will approach the first round differently knowing they won't have to committ so much. But the four years plus a "starter" option for a fifth for drafted players will change things, as will the three year contracts for undrafted rookies.
As an incredibly short summary, this was a money grab by the owners. They felt they were giving too much money to the players and instigated a lockout to wring money out of the players share.
The players gave up the money, but got major concessions across the board to do so - reduced practices, a HUGE leap up in salary floor, increased benefits, etc..
In other words a deal neither side is perfectly happy with, but we get football back.
And if the players can play longer, then they get more money too. Also the question of whether or not the league will expand to 18 games can't be revisited until 2013 at the earliest. The NFL is using some new equipment this year which is supposed to cut down in injuries without hampering play. I'm sure they want to see how that goes before expanding the season.
The players also got a drastic reduction in the number of times per week they can practice in pads. I heard them talking about it on ESPN Radio last night and it almost sounded like a joke. Its probably a good idea, but it just seems wrong somehow.
The practice thing may well be a good idea, but it's a bizarre thing to be in an agreement like that. If it really helps prevent injuries, you'd think coaches would already be doing it. And yes, I realize that tradition overwhelms sense for a lot of coaches and that no player wants to get injured because his coach is a stubborn old-school moron, but still.
Last edited by robsam; 07-26-2011 at 11:32 AM. Reason: Matt not Mark!
One thing I came across last night that is interesting is that any veterans signed or resigned can't officially begin practicing until their contracts are finalized, which won't happen until the new league year begins. And right now that isn't expected to happen until mid-next week. So while those guys can show up and start studying play books, it will slow down the normal progress of training camp.
So far all we're seeing out there are teams indicating intent to release on veterans. Bigger names include Willis McGahee, Todd Heap, Derrick Mason, Correll Buckhalter, Tully Banta-Cain, Nick Barnett, and Marion Barber. So more free agents for your team to choose from.
The best part about the lockout is that it limited the amount of stupid things the Redskins could do. Don't look too closely at Marion Barber and Derrick Mason, Dan! Look away!
Actually, Derrick Mason would be an improvement. Let's get Joey Galloway again! Talk Rod Smith out of retirement! We're gonna party like it's 1999!
The good news in Seattle is that, at least according to John Clayton, the Seahawks have nearly $50m to spend to meet the new cap rules and that makes them second only to the Bucs in that regard.
The bad news is the early rumors are that the team isn't going to try and resign Hasselbeck anymore (heading for the Titans) or resign their best DT, Brandon Mebane. So who are they going to spend that money on?
The Bengals say they are going to force Palmer to retire instead of trading him. I'm sure he'd love to play in Seattle but that doesn't look as if it's going to happen. I really think Marvin Lewis gave him no support on the sideline while allowing Ochocinco and Owens to just chew him out on nearly every play. I'd leave too if I were Palmer, what a crappy situation.
To be honest I'd rather not see Palmer in Seattle. There are plenty of indications that his arm has never fully recovered from the playoff injury back in 2005. He's not what he could have been.
Edit: Roy Williams cut by the Cowboys, so another wide receiver out there. About the only major free agent rumored to be attached to the Seahawks is Sidney Rice, which wouldn't be a surprise given the current managements interest in a speed receiver the last few years. Of course you need someone to throw the ball to your wide receivers, and the rumored Whitehurst/Tavaris Jackson options don't seem like a good fit.
Last edited by Sarkus; 07-26-2011 at 11:40 AM.