Tag:Josh Katzowitz
Posted on: July 26, 2011 6:23 pm
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McNabb could be headed to Minnesota

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

So, who wants to take a chance on Redskins QB Donovan McNabb, the guy who was beaten up and benched last year in Washington?

How ‘bout the team who just got finished employing Brett Favre? Yep, it’s the Vikings.

That’s according to CBSSports.com's Mike Freeman, who reports that the Vikings and Redskins have had "intense" conversations about possibly trading McNabb.

McNabb's destination
With rookie Christian Ponder and the inexperienced Joe Webb as the only legit starting QBs on the roster right now – you might have heard that the Seahawks will sign away Tarvaris Jackson from Minnesota – it stands to reason that the Vikings are in need of an experienced signal-caller to help with Ponder’s transition to the NFL.

But considering McNabb is due to make $12.5 million this season, the terms of McNabb’s contract would have to be restructured in order for the Vikings to accept the deal. Especially since, at one point last season, Washington coach Mike Shanahan thought Rex Grossman should be in the game to lead a last-minute drive instead of McNabb.

So, why do it? Well, as ESPN.com’s Kevin Seifert writes, the deal only makes sense if McNabb comes into Minnesota with the understanding that he’d be Ponder’s backup. Otherwise, Seifert writes, “if Ponder isn't ready in Week 1, you wonder if someone like Joe Webb or Tyler Thigpen couldn't hold down the fort until he is. Isn't that a smarter long-term move than trading for a declining player who can't start for a team that plans to have Rex Grossman and John Beck compete for the job this summer? The Vikings drafted Ponder to end their cycle of Band-Aid solutions at quarterback, not to extend it.”

Considering the Redskins gave up two draft picks to get McNabb from the Eagles before the 2010 season, McNabb’s decline in value is pretty startling.

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Posted on: July 26, 2011 5:30 pm
Edited on: July 26, 2011 5:50 pm
 

Looks like Bucs will keep Talib for now

TalibPosted by Josh Katzowitz

Buccaneers CB Aqib Talib has had his share of legal problems this offseason.

In late March, he was arrested on a felony charge of assault with a deadly weapon after allegedly firing gun shots at his sister’s boyfriend. Before he was indicted, he decided to place all the blame on his mom (perhaps you shouldn’t blame him; if convicted he’d face five to 20 years in prison).

Either way, it seemed like there was a good chance the Buccaneers would release him the first chance they got, especially considering this isn’t exactly Talib’s first time in trouble with the law.

Of course, Tampa Bay GM Mark Dominik let us in on a little secret today: Talib, for the time being, isn’t going anywhere. He told reporters today (via ESPN.com) that he expects Talib to report to training camp on time.

There are also reports that Talib will be on the roster for 2011. So, aside from an NFL suspension that’s almost surely coming, Talib should feel OK about everything. Unless, of course, a court of law finds him guilty.

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Posted on: July 25, 2011 9:22 pm
 

Could Braylon Edwards go to jail?

EdwardsPosted by Josh Katzowitz

Monday was a big day for Jets WR Braylon Edwards, because, as you might have heard, he – and about 1,900 other players – is employed by the NFL once again.

Now, he must turn his attention to Wednesday, because that is the day he might be going to jail.*

*This would definitely put a crimp in his free agency plans, don’t you think?

As the Newark Star Ledger writes, Edwards is due in Cleveland Municipal Court for a probation violation hearing, and he could face up to six months in prison.

The potential probation violation stems from his September DWI arrest (to which he pleaded guilty last week). Edwards was on probation in the first place after pleading no contest to an aggravated disorderly conduct charge in 2009. At the time, he received a 180-day suspended sentence, but now that he has a DWI conviction on his record, the court might make him serve the time.

“He's going to deal with whatever may come with that," Peter Frankel, Edwards’ attorney told the newspaper last week. "But with everything he's done over the past 18 months, the tremendous charitable contributions he's made ... I think that he's ready to put this behind him and move forward."

How the potential jail time affects his free agency position remains to be seen, but it’s safe to say that if he has to serve time, it’s going to reduce his leverage against anybody who’s interested in signing him.

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Posted on: July 25, 2011 7:46 pm
 

Beck shows up to 'Skins facility, can't get in

BeckPosted by Josh Katzowitz

John Beck, who WILL be competing for the Redskins starting QB spot this training camp, tried to get a quick jump on his competition by showing up at the team facility Monday soon after the NFL and NFLPA agreed to a new CBA.

Problem is: he can’t access the facility until Tuesday.

Beck moved back to Northern Virginia from San Diego nearly a fortnight ago to be in the right spot when the lockout ended (probably because he knows Rex Grossman also WILL be competing for the starting QB job), and after the presser with DeMaurice Smith and Roger Goodell began in Washington, Beck jumped into his car and headed for the facility.

But, via the Washington Post, he was denied entry. The guard told him he couldn’t come in until Tuesday morning. Even worse, the guard didn’t even recognize Beck.

“I’m OK with that,” Beck told the paper. “I haven’t done anything yet.”

The Redskins will open training camp Thursday, and some of Beck’s teammates told him they’d make it into town by Wednesday. Until then, Beck will be waiting (quite possibly in a sleeping bag in the facility parking lot).

“So glad to hear it’s over,” Beck said of the lockout. “It needed to be over.”

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Posted on: July 25, 2011 3:06 pm
Edited on: July 25, 2011 3:35 pm
 

Labor peace won by strength of resolve

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

How about this sight for those who were desperate for football to be over? NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith and NFL commissioner Roger Goodell standing shoulder to shoulder in front of the podium outside the NFLPA headquarters on Monday.

Smith said some nice things about Goodell, and Goodell was about to say some nice things about Smith. And after Smith introduced Goodell to the assembled media, the two shook hands and smiled. It was a beautiful sight.

Four months earlier, Goodell and Smith stood near each other in Washington and gave separate pressers, and we didn’t know when we’d have football again. But all that’s forgiven now (though not necessarily forgotten). We have football -- 10 years of labor peace -- and after a summer of misery, we finally have a payoff.

“Football is back, and that’s great news,” Goodell said. “Having a 10-year agreement is extraordinary. Everybody worked hard, everybody had a passion. This agreement is going to make our game better.”

And if you’ve paid attention at all in the past few months, you know those are sweet words. But it wasn’t an easy process. We got to watch how the sausage is made, and it was not a pleasant experience.

NFL Labor

All along, we heard people talk about how the relationship between former commissioner Paul Tagliabue and the late union leader Gene Upshaw made the game strong and, for the most part, kept the labor peace while they were in charge of their respective sides. We wondered about the relationship between Smith and Goodell and whether it was strong enough to hold. We wondered if Smith was in over his head. We wondered how unified the players really were. We wondered if the NFL owners were content to blow up the game just to show the players that they were the bosses.

Goodell and Smith wouldn’t let that happen, though. Their relationship apparently is strong enough to keep the two sides from spinning away from each other into lockout infinity.

“If we don’t have a good relationship, it hurts the game and the business of football,” Smith said. “I’m proud to say our relationship has grown. Even up until the last minute, it required us to come together and get the job done. That will be our relationship going forward.
J. Saturday embraced New England owner Robet Kraft (AP).
Said Goodell: “We have trust that we’re both in there to do the best we can for football. You can’t reach a 10-year deal without that. He’s a great leader for his players. He never lost his passion. We listen to one another, which is important. We have respect for our various consituents. The players, under his leadership, have done an extraordinary job.”

But the one who was embraced the most Monday was the man who’s suffering the terrible loss of his wife, Myra, to cancer. Patriots owner Robert Kraft -- one of the most well-respected owners in the game -- was engulfed by love. Not just from his owner colleagues and his commissioner, but by the other side as well.

“We couldn’t have done it without you,” Smith told him. “We took a day off on Friday to remember a great woman and a great family. I’m thankful for what she meant to the city of Boston and especially thankful for what you mean to the game of football.”

Colts C Jeff Saturday took it a step further. After paying a nice tribute to Myra Kraft, who allowed her husband to help save football even when she was dying, Saturday stepped away from mic and embraced Kraft in a big hug.

Smith and Goodell had shook hands and smiled for the cameras. But Saturday and Kraft showed their love for each other.

It was, simply put, a touching moment on an exciting day for a man who’s lost so much in the past week. And while fans and players can be excited that they’ve got back their game -- and while Smith and Goodell provided their own beautiful moment -- Kraft’s resiliency in finishing the bargain while he was experiencing so much pain provided the true inspiration of the day.

Even during one of the most trying times of his life, he was helping to restore the game you love. And everybody should be thankful for that.

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Posted on: July 25, 2011 1:21 pm
Edited on: July 25, 2011 5:02 pm
 

What happens in the next few days

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

UPDATE (5:00 p.m. ET): The 2011 NFL Calendar is officially official. So you should officially click that link and find out what's official.

CBSSports.com has obtained the letter sent to player-agents by the NFLPA that lays out the schedule for the next few days.

Tuesday, July 26 -- Team facilities will be open for voluntary training, conditioning and classroom instruction.

Teams can sign their drafted players, as well as undrafted free agents.

The trading of players can begin.

Teams can negotiate, but cannot sign or give offers sheets to their own UFAs, RFAs and franchise players.

Wednesday, July 27 -- Broncos, Cardinals, Cowboys, Chargers, Eagles, Jaguars, Patriots, Raiders, Ravens and Seahawks open training camp

Thursday, July 28 -- Beginning at 4 p.m. ET, teams can begin to waive or terminate players.

49ers, Bengals, Buccaneers, Chiefs, Dolphins, Falcons, Lions, Redskins, Saints and Steelers open training camp.

Friday, July 29 -- Unrestricted free agency begins July 29 at 6 p.m. and clubs can begin signing players -- their own or other teams’ players. No payment can be made to players until a CBA is signed.

Bears, Bills, Browns, Colts, Giants, Packers, Panthers, Rams, Titans and Vikings open training camp.

Saturday, July 30 -- Jets and Texans open training camp.

Thursday, Aug 4 -- The league year can begin no later than today.

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Category: NFL
Posted on: July 25, 2011 11:55 am
Edited on: July 26, 2011 10:15 am
 

NFL training camp reporting dates

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Here’s when each NFL team opens training camp.

Wednesday, July 27

Broncos, Cardinals, Cowboys, Chargers, Eagles, Jaguars, Patriots, Raiders, Ravens, Seahawks.

Thursday, July 28

49ers, Bengals, Buccaneers, Chiefs, Dolphins, Falcons, Lions, Redskins, Saints, Steelers.

Friday, July 29

Bears, Bills, Browns, Giants, Packers, Panthers, Rams, Titans.

Saturday, July 30

Jets, Texans.

Sunday, July 31

Colts, Vikings.

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Posted on: July 25, 2011 11:01 am
Edited on: July 25, 2011 11:44 am
 

The opt-out clause is dead (for sure)

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

UPDATED (11:39 a.m.): The NFL Network's Albert Breer that there is NO opt-out in the new CBA. That means labor peace for at least 10 years.

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Sports Illustrated’s Peter King has a couple of interesting points regarding labor negotiations in his Monday Morning Quarterback column.

1) The two sides were considering an opt-out clause late Sunday night and early this morning. While that option seemed to be dead Sunday -- not to mention at the owner’s meeting last week in Atlanta -- apparently that wasn’t the case. According to King, the opt-out would occur in the fifth year of the 10-year deal, and both sides would have to “hit specific deal-breakers” in order to utilize the clause.

If either side opts out, the final year of the CBA would be 2016, and the last event would be the 2017 NFL draft.

Whether the opt-out actually made it into the final version of the CBA, well, we’ll see.

2) Maybe the 18-game regular season schedule isn’t dead yet.

King writes that the league could cut the preseason schedule from four games to two in 2013 or later, and the players “would have the option to either play 16 regular-season games and two preseason games, or increase the regular season to 18 games per team.”

The problem for the players: they would lose money if they missed those two games. Of course, so would the owners.

You know, it’s funny. Once we think we know what’s going in the new CBA -- and what isn’t -- somebody reminds us that we don’t. Hopefully, all of our questions will be answered later today when the deal is complete.

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Category: NFL
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com