The NFL's labor talks recommenced today in Minnesota and are scheduled to last four days, in what would be the longest negotiating session to date. These meetings are reportedly being conducted solely by Roger Goodell, DeMaurice Smith and their respective legal teams, without the presence of players and owners. The two sides are reportedly focusing now on the potential rookie wage scale and how to ensure that the money previously spent on draft choices would be reallocated to the benefit of veteran players. Meanwhile, Chris Mortensen is reporting that the players and owners involved in the previous talks may rejoin these sessions later in the week, and that player reps would participate in a conference call today to be updated on the negotiations.
Happy Tuesday, friends. I’m encouraged by the latest progress that’s been reported on the NFL’s labor negotiations, and I decided that I would re-engage on the topic today, for the first time in awhile. A particular reported topic in the impending deal has actually inspired me to break my recent silence.
It’s been reported in a lot of places that a salary cap will likely return, and also that the distance between the salary floor (which has always existed since 1993), and the salary cap will diminish. That’s interesting, and it’s a victory for the players, by virtue of guaranteeing that more money will be injected into the overall operating environment. In 2009, the salary cap was $128 million, and the floor was 87.6% of that number, or $112.1 million. If the 2011 cap number is about the same, which is likely, but the floor is 93%, that’s theoretically an extra $224 million that has to be spent league-wide on player salaries. (I say theoretically, because the reality is that many teams are way over the floor annually, and the increase doesn’t affect their spending.)
Even if that $224 million is more like $75 million, which is likely, we’re actually dealing with something there called a cap number. Many of you know what that means, but for those who don’t, a cap number is an artificial measure of salary expense within a given period, which is generally comprised of a base salary, a prorated portion of a signing bonus, and incentive payments which are earned, or deemed likely to be earned. That sounded complicated to read, I know, so an illustration is in order.
Good Morning, Broncos fans! Mike Klis looks at the veteran running backs expected to be available in free agency, and thankfully doesn't list DeAngelo Williams as the best fit for Denver. Much more sensibly, Klis thinks Oakland's Michael Bush would be an ideal fit, and Bush certainly does more closely resemble the "Fox likes bigger RBs" meme, as the 27-year old has six inches and over thirty pounds on Williams. More importantly, Bush is likely to command much less in the way of guaranteed money.
Puzzingly, Klis is sticking with the "Denver needs to sign a pass-catching TE" line of thought even after the Broncos added Julius Thomas and Virgil Green via the draft to the incumbent group of Richard Quinn, Dan Gronkowski and Daniel Coats. Unless keeping five TEs on the roster is an option (how could it be?) it's quite hard to believe the Broncos would want to give another TE any amount of guaranteed money. Figure that Coats is a very likely cut, and three or four of the remaining players would make the final roster.
Joe Mays comes from a city that knows a little bit about middle linebackers.
Joseph Lamont Mays was born on July 6, 1985 in Chicago to Renice Mays and Charles Williams, the city that brought the NFL Dick Butkus, Mike Singletary and Brian Urlacher. Joe attended the Hyde Park Career Academy in Chicago where he began to play football his junior year. Although he’d grown up wanting to be Michael Jordan, it didn’t take him long to realize that he just didn’t have the body type for the NBA game. When asked why he made the move from basketball to football at that time, Mays replied,
I'd say the fact that you could hit somebody and not get in trouble for it -- just letting out some frustration. At that time, I had a little bit of frustration with everything that was going on in my life. Once I got to football, I kind of embraced it and enjoyed it. Then I started to love it and wanted to continue to do it.
Good Morning, Broncos fans! Among their latest Whispers, PFW reiterates that Mario Haggan is likely to be playing end (of course, we did hear it from LB caoch Richard Smith, so we already know it's fact) and says the Dolphins will also be interested in signing DeAngelo Williams. I don't know about you, but I really don't like the idea of Denver getting into any sort of bidding war over a 28-year-old running back. Granted, he's only carried the ball 841 times in the NFL (plus 118 receptions), but the lack of carries has been due to injuries, and his body did also endure 969 carries in college (plus 70 receptions). He's missed 16 games over the past two seasons; is that the kind of player you want to see the Broncos giving an eight-figure guarantee to?
Good Morning, Broncos fans! Mike Freeman writes that after having spoken with several players and league officials over the past couple days, he expects a new CBA will be reached sometime in early- or mid-July. Freeman thinks all of the recent progress was sparked by the owners' desire to salvage their preseason revenue, and he says parties from both sides have been much more optimistic about a new deal off the record than on.
Meanwhile, LB Ben Leber, who's a named plaintiff in the Brady suit and a free agent, says he expects a new CBA will be agreed upon in time for a full season to be played.
These days, tattoos are so common that not getting one almost makes you en vogue.
What once was the pride of pre-colonial Filipino warriors is now a few hours of work on the lower back of a half-buzzed sorority girl who happens to be feeling a little dangerous.
I guess it all depends on the color of that butterfly, girlfriend.
I've personally avoided the tribal armband. Instead, I've considered getting a teardrop for every Raiders fan I've verbally smoked over the years. But the human face can only handle so much crying; there are a lot of Raiders fans out there, unfortunately.
Good Morning, Broncos fans! Leigh Steinberg considers the many ways the lockout will end up affecting teams this season, starting with the disadvantage teams like Denver will have as a new coaching staff races to familiarize itself with the players. Steinberg writes that veteran free agents will have plenty of catching up to do in learning new systems and getting acquainted with teammates, while both drafted and undrafted rookies will be at a serious competitive advantage. Due to the lack of offseason conditioning, Steinberg foresees an increase in serious injuries during training camp and a higher severity of injuries.
Along the same line of thinking, Jason Cole writes that teams expect to lean more on veteran players than ever before.
Forget yards, catches, YPA, QB ratings, tackles and interceptions. Just like every other team sport, football comes down to scoring points, and there's no quicker way of doing so than by getting the ball into the end zone. Since the team's inception in 1960, there have been 48 players who scored at least 10 touchdowns while members of the Broncos. Why 10? Obviously, 10 touchdowns over the span of a career spent with a team isn't much, but frankly I like to give you challenging quizzes that
help you kill more of your Friday workday actually take more than a few minutes. Anyway, as always last names are good enough and answers do not need to be submitted in order, and I've allowed for a few misspellings that I can think of. Feel free to discuss answers and your scores in the comments, and good luck!
Click here for Sporcle quiz:
Can you name the Players with 10 or more touchdowns as Broncos?
Happy Friday, Broncos fans! ESPN's trio of Mortensen, Schefter and Clayton are reporting that as part of the labor talks, the two sides are considering measures to help teams retain their own players in what will be an abbreviated free agency period. One option is to give each team a right of first refusal on up to three free agents (only this year), allowing them to match contract offers from other franchises. Another idea under consideration is to open a brief window for teams to negotiate exclusively with their own players before free agency truly begins.