Happy Friday, Broncos fans! Chris Mortensen
continues to report that a player vote may take place today, is now saying a vote today is unlikely (ed. 11:30AM ET) and that the items still in question are the absence of an opt-out clause and the requirement of recertification as a condition to end the lockout. For some reason, there are also differing opinions on the procedure for recertification, as the owners are suggesting the players do so electronically, while the NFLPA reportedly wants the players to each sign cards once they return to their respective team HQs. To reiterate, the items that Roger Goodell and Jeff Pash said last night would not be changing, specifically player conduct policy, have already been discussed but cannot be collectively bargained or agreed to until the union is recertified and the ratified agreement is submitted to Judge Nelson.
Perhaps Pash and Goodell couldn't publicly state that those items had already been agreed upon, else the NFLPA be seen as operating as a union? Otherwise, the owner's proposal only allows for three days of collective bargaining on benefits, discipline and safety, and if the two sides were to not agree on changes by then, the players would be stuck with the previous terms for another 10 years - obviously that would be unacceptable to them.
According to the owner's proposal, facilities would open tomorrow morning and teams would be able to negotiate with their own free agents and draft choices and restructure existing contracts. Then at 2PM tomorrow, teams could begin to negotiate (but not sign) other team's veteran free agents and undrafted rookies. Sunday at 2PM teams would be able to sign undrafted rookies, and on Wednesday at 2PM the league year would commence and free agency would open in earnest, with teams required to be under the salary cap and rosters expanded to a 90-man limit. In other words, this could be a wild weekend...
The NFL last night canceled the HOF game between the Bears and Rams.
Andrew Brandt breaks down the key terms of the proposal, including a rise in rookie minimums to $375K and $450K for second-year players. Plus, there is some sort of holdout prevention in the deal with fewer escalators and incentives, meaning the Broncos shouldn't get stuck paying Von Miller much more than the rookie scale allows for.
A good summary of last night's developments from Mike Florio, who thinks a deal will get done but the owners screwed up by placing public pressure on the players. (added 9:42AM ET)
John Clayton calls last night's owners presser a power play with the Doty case still an unresolved issue.
Kiszla doesn't think Brian Dawkins should even be paid $3 million (half of his current salary) to stick around in 2011. Plus, he paints Dawkins' contract as an error on Josh McDaniels' part. Meanwhile, Klis claims that Rahim Moore has a "decent chance" to start at free safety.
Finally, Legwold also thinks the Broncos may find less demand for Kyle Orton than they'd hoped. Personally, I'd (still) be happy with a third-rounder in return for him, and I'd take less if it means more room under the cap and locker room peace, not that I'd blame Kyle for being unhappy sticking around as Tim Tebow's backup.
Mike Rice shares a transcription of Brian Xanders speaking to Logan and Krieger about free agency; nothing we haven't heard/read before.
Bucky Brooks thinks the Cards, Seahawks and Vikings should all consider trading for Kyle Orton, while he doesn't expect the Bengals to do so.
Here's a podcast of Joe Mays speaking to Vic & Gary.
Ryan Harris was asked on The Ticket if he'd be interested in reuniting with Shanny in Washington; of course, he responded in the affirmative.
The Jets hired longtime Colts OC Tom Moore and veteran OL coach Jim McNally as consultants who will work from home.
Unfortunately for us, it seems the Chargers will have Vincent Jackson for one more season.
The Chiefs apparently used to let their ticket takers and parking attendants watch the games for free from inside Arrowhead after their jobs were done; not so anymore.
Gil Brandt lists his top 20 undrafted free agents with some analysis on each of them.
Khaled Elsayed's highest-graded inside and middle LBs.
Aiming to reduce football-related concussions, the Ivy League is reducing the number of full-contact practices its schools can hold.
Wow, the Joe Morgan Memorial is now fraught with difficult decisions, as AA is now asking whether Skip Bayless or Colin Cowherd is a more painful listen.
Christmas Ape of KSK is itching to get back to questioning Jay Cutler's toughness even though he thinks sports are really pointless.
Oh, BTW...ESPN no longer has journalistic integrity, in case you for some reason thought they did...
KSK's latest Sex/Fantasy Football mailbag.
With three major sports locked out/about to be locked out, it's apparently time for EA Sports to open some new revenue streams.