Archive for March, 2011

NFL LABOR UPDATE

Thursday, March 3rd, 2011

FLORHAM PARK, NJ — NFL LABOR UPDATE: The clock struck midnight and the NFL and the players’ union have yet to agree on a new collective bargaining agreement. The new league year is supposed to be amongst us, yet in the 13th hour the owners have put together a significant proposal that may “stop the clock” on negotiations of a new CBA and stop the potential of a work stoppage. The owners are currently awaiting a response from the DeMaurice Smith and the union, who want clarification on certain details before agreeing to extend negotiations. The deadline was for 1 p.m. EST on Thursday, however Sports Illustrated’s Jim Trotter has reported that the owners and the union are discussing extending negotiations by “a week or two”.

The on-going negotiations have garnered the attention of fans all over the country, mostly for how far off both sides are from agreement. Perhaps the biggest fan of the NFL, President Barrack Obama, spoke today on the possibility of an NFL lock-out in 2011. According to the Associated Press, Obama “expects” and “hopes” that the two sides will settle the labor dispute.He also said that he will not get involved in the negotiations.

The president insisted that the two parties should be able to work out a deal. “You’ve got owners, most of whom are worth close to a billion dollars. You’ve got players who are making millions of dollars,” Obama reportedly said. “People are having to cut back, compromise and worry about making mortgage [payments]. The two parties should be able to work it out without the President of the United States interfering.”

Reading between the lines, maybe what President Obama is saying is “get a deal done before I have to step in.” With a lockout looming after the NFL and the NFL Player’s Association still can’t agree on a new collective bargaining agreement. Michael McCann of SI.com eloquently breaks down the potential happenings of an NFL lockout.

Jets tender 9 restricted free agents

Thursday, March 3rd, 2011

FLORHAM PARK, NJ — Less than six hours remain until the current NFL collective bargaining expires and the new league year commences — without a salary cap for the first time since 1993. As talks between the NFL owners and the players’ union continue to be at a stalemate, Jets general manager Mike Tannenbaum has been preparing for the worst while hoping for the best.

WR Santonio Holmes quickly became a Jets fan favorite. An impending free agent in 2011, Holmes received 1st & 3rd round tenders should he decide to play elsewhere. (JetsInsider.com Photo).

“Our mindset is to carry on and be prepared and go from there,” Tannenbaum told reporters at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis last week. “There’s uncertainty, but the only thing we can control is preparation, and we feel good that we’ll be ready.”

And in preparation for an uncapped off-season and with the state of the regular season still in limbo, Tannenbaum placed tenders on nine of his impending free agents — all with at least four years of NFL service. Placing tenders on players who are not necessarily restricted free agents is just one of the consequences of the uncertainty regarding the current labor uncertainty. This is just a cautious move by Tannenbaum to insure the protection of his team.

(*Placing tenders on impending free agents can be related to taking out insurance on your possessions. Player is free to accept offers from other teams, while original team retains the right to match said offer and keep player. If original team chooses not to pursue player, the original team will receive the compensatory draft picks the player was previously labeled from the new team.)

WR Santonio Holmes and CB Antonio Cromartie received the highest tenders (1st and 3rd round), while KR/WR/ATH Brad Smith was labeled a second round tender. Four players received original round tenders: QB Kellen Clemens (third), S Eric Smith (third), CB Drew Coleman (sixth, and PK Nick Folk (sixth).

Undrafted free agents S James Ihedigbo and OL Robert Turner were given right-of-first-refusal tenders, which do not receive draft pick compensation. If these players were to get offers from other teams, the Jets have the right to refuse to match another team’s offer.

If the unrestricted free agency level reverts back to four years, as opposed to the current six years of service, and a new CBA is reached, these moves will be considered null in void. But as the dark cloud of uncertainty continues to loom heavily over the NFL, teams have to look out for the best interest of their team.