Tag:Will Brinson
Posted on: July 25, 2011 11:50 pm
Edited on: July 26, 2011 12:09 am
 

Alex Smith's return to 49ers 'set in stone'

Posted by Will Brinson

The NFL is pretty full of uncertainty these days. Unless you're Alex Smith, erstwhile starting quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers.

Because if you're Smith, now that the lockout's over, everything else is pretty much cream cheese. Or "set in stone," if you're not a big fan of Bobby Finstock motivational quotes.

"I'm not going to wait for anything," Smith said about signing with the 49ers, per Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com. "I'm excited for this to start ... waiting for that opportunity.

"I'm sure it'll be pretty quick. I'm sure it'll move fast. It's pretty well set in stone, I think."

Smith declined to discuss whether or not any (hypothetical) contract with the 49ers would have a (hypothetical) option for a second year -- surely both sides would prefer that.

Smith would get a little more safety and if Jim Harbaugh can resurrect his career that quickly, the team won't get torched by having to give him a huge contract.

Worst case? It doesn't work out for either party and we're all left wondering "Who's the quarterback?" by midseason anyway.

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Posted on: July 25, 2011 9:53 pm
Edited on: July 26, 2011 12:09 am
 

Monday features flurry of rookie (non) signings

Posted by Will Brinson

Monday night -- theoretically a calm night based on the timeline we heard about earlier in the day -- got pretty spicy pretty quickly as rookies came into play a little sooner than expected.

NFL Senior VP of Public Relations Greg Aiello confirmed to CBSSports.com that teams can use Monday night to talk and negotiate -- but not sign -- with drafted and undrafted free agents. (Yes, that means that Mrs. Brinson is going to hate the as-yet-created Undrafted Free Agent Tracker as much as she dislikes Brett Favre.)

Of course, "talking with" and "actually signing" don't have to be entirely mutually exclusive. For instance, a number of big-name undrafted free agents tweeted on Monday night that they were already locked in with certain teams.

"I'm a Saint twitter! New Orleans here I come!!!!!!!" Clemson safety DeAndre McDaniel tweeted.

Kendric Burney out of UNC tweeted that he's "staying home" and gave a shoutout to "Panther nation." (You can make the connection right?)

A number of other high-profile-but-undrafted players were immediately linked with teams.

Mark Herzlich had reportedly signed with the Ravens, but then tweeted that he has "not signed with anyone yet and is still making [his] decision. Weslye Saunders, a tight end out of South Carolina who once seemed like a lock for the first round, is reportedly heading to Pittsburgh.

None of these "non-signings" are "official," of course. But that's what suddenly made a would-be relaxing -- relative to the day's activities anyway -- evening on Monday night turn into a torrent of tweets related to (and from) various UDFA's who found their way onto rosters.

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Posted on: July 25, 2011 5:34 pm
Edited on: July 26, 2011 12:10 am
 

Ravens cut McGahee, Mason, Heap, Gregg?

Posted by Will Brinson

There's a new CBA in town and that means that teams need to get up to the cap floor and also get below the new salary cap. The first victim of this movement? Willis McGahee of the Ravens, apparently.

Or formerly of the Ravens -- Adam Schefter of ESPN reported on Monday afternoon that the Ravens have already informed McGahee that they plan on releasing him.

Of course, they can't actually do so until Thursday, July 28 at 4:00 p.m. ET. (I know this because I've been reading up on the league calendar!)

That the Ravens would dump McGahee was wholly expected -- he was due $6 million in 2011, and no one expected them to pay that much for a backup running back.

The good news for McGahee is that there's ample teams in the market for free-agent running backs, and he shouldn't go too long without some kind of employment.

UPDATED (5:49 P.M. ET): McGahee, it turns out, isn't the only unfortunate soul who will be cut Thursday. You can add Ravens NT Kelly Gregg to the list as well, though as Carroll County Times reporter Aaron Wilson reports, there's a chance Gregg could return to the team at a reduced salary.

The 34-year-old Gregg had two years left on his contract at $3.5 million per year.

UPDATE (7:10 P.M. ET): The Ravens are in full-on roster-slash mode apparently: according to reports from Aaron Wilson of the National Football Post and Jamison Henley of the Baltimore Sun, the team has also informed Derrick Mason and Todd Heap that they'll be cut.

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Posted on: July 25, 2011 4:59 pm
Edited on: July 26, 2011 12:11 am
 

Key NFL dates for 2011

Posted by Will Brinson

Earlier today, Josh Katzowitz published part of a letter that CBSSports.com obtained regarding the NFL's schedule. The NFL has made the 2011 NFL schedule "officially official" now. And we've got it below for your consumption. Note that at 10:00 a.m. ET on Tuesday, July 26, teams can begin trading. Also remember that much of this is subject to the ratification of the CBA and the NFLPA recertifying, which will take place before August 4.




July 26
At 10 a.m., New York time, club facilities open. Players may report for physicals and voluntary strength and conditioning.

At 10 a.m., New York time, Trading begins for 2011 League Year.

Rosters expanded to 90-man limit.

At 10 a.m., New York time, clubs may negotiate with and sign their own drafted rookies and any undrafted rookie. Clubs may have such players report to the club’s facilities for physical examinations prior to signing.

All 2011 Contracts signed on or after July 26 shall be binding upon the player and the club when signed, but shall not become effective unless a CBA is ratified by the NFLPA (Aug. 4)

At 10 a.m., New York time, Clubs may negotiate with, but not sign, or extend offer sheets to, their own UFAs, RFAs, exclusive rights players and franchise players and other clubs’ UFAs, RFAs, non-exclusive franchise players and free agents.

July 26-27
A Club may require a player to report for a mandatory physical examination in order for the player to qualify for any bonus in a preexisting contract if the “measuring date” for such a bonus has been changed pursuant to CBA Article 11 (Transition Rules for the 2011 league year).

July 27
Camp opens for 10 clubs whose first preseason game is on Aug. 11: (ARZ, BLT, DAL, DEN, JAX, NE, OAK, PHI, SD, SEA)

July 28
Camp opens for 10 clubs whose first preseason game is on Aug. 12: (ATL, CIN, DET, KC, MIA, NO, PIT, SF, TB, WAS)

At 4:01 p.m., New York time, waivers begin for the 2011 league year

July 29
Camp opens for 10 clubs whose first preseason game is on Aug. 13 (BUF, CAR, CHI, CLV, GB, IND, MIN, NYG, STL, TEN)

At 6 p.m. ET, clubs may sign, or extend offer sheets to, all eligible players, in addition to drafted and undrafted rookies. Clubs may have such players report to the club’s facilities for physical examinations prior to signing. Eligible players may visit or try out at any club facility.

Veteran players who sign on or after 6 p.m. ET on July 29 shall be required to report to, and remain with, their clubs, except that, prior to the start of the 2011 league year on Aug. 4, such players may not participate in on-field activities, workouts, weight training or other physical activities, but shall be required to attend meetings, classroom instruction and any other non-physical activities scheduled during the club’s preseason training camp.

The restrictions set forth above shall not apply to drafted or undrafted rookies who are under contract, regardless of the date upon which such players signed their contracts. If any such player is injured as the result of participating in training camp activities, the terms of the player’s contract shall cover such injury whether or not the CBA is ratified.

If a preexisting contract contains a “measuring date” related to Salary and/or the exercise or non-exercise of any club option, which measuring date: (A) was expressed as a calendar date that fell between March 11, 2011 and July 25, 2011 or (B) was expressed solely as being related to a certain number of days from the start of the 2011 league year, such measuring date shall be deemed amended to be 4 p.m. ET on July 29, 2011, provided the player has undergone any physical examination required by the club on July 26 or 27. If the player fails or refuses to undergo such physical, as directed by the club, the measuring date shall be extended by one day for each day the player fails to report for the physical.

July 31
Camp opens for two clubs whose first preseason game is on Aug. 15 (NYJ, HST)
NFL Labor

AUGUST

Aug. 4
First day of 2011 league year at 4:01 p.m. ET.

Top 51 begins at 4:01 p.m. ET

All clubs must be within the salary cap at 4:01 p.m. ET

All 2011 contracts signed on or after July 26 become effective at 4:01 p.m. ET, assuming NFLPA has ratified the CBA

Aug. 9
Deadline for players under contract to report to their clubs to earn an accrued season for free agency

Aug. 11-15
First preseason weekend

Aug. 12
Deadline: if a drafted rookie has not signed by Aug. 12, he cannot be traded during his initial league year and may sign only with the drafting club until the day of the Draft in the next league year

Aug. 13-17
Each club has until five days prior to its second preseason game to provide any tendered but unsigned exclusive rights player or restricted free agent with written notice of the club’s intent to place the player on the exempt list if the player fails to report at least the day before the club’s second preseason game.

Aug.  18-22
Second preseason weekend

Aug. 20
Deadline for signing of offer sheets by restricted free agents

Deadline for June 1 tender to unrestricted free agents. If the player has not signed a player contract with a club by Sept. 3, he may negotiate or sign from Sept. 3 until the Tuesday following the 10th week of the regular season, at 4 p.m. ET, only with his prior club

Aug. 24
Deadline for old club to exercise right of first refusal to restricted free agents

Aug.  25
Deadline for June 1 tender to restricted free agents who have received a qualifying offer for a right of rirst refusal only. The prior club shall be the only club with which the player may negotiate or sign during the period from Aug. 25 until the Tuesday following the 10th week of the regular season.

Aug. 25-28
Third preseason weekend

Aug.  30
Possible roster reduction from 90 players to 75

SEPTEMBER

Sept.  1-2
Fourth preseason weekend

Sept.  3
Signing period ends for unrestricted free agents who received the June 1 tender.

Roster reduction to 53 players

Sept.  5
Deadline for June 15 tender to restricted free agents. If player’s qualifying offer is greater than 110 percent the player’s prior year’s Paragraph 5 salary (with all other terms of his prior year contract carried forward unchanged), the club may withdraw the qualifying offer on Sept. 5 and retain its exclusive negotiating rights to the player, so long as the club immediately tenders the player a one-year contract of at least 110 percent of his prior year’s Paragraph 5 salary, with all the terms of his prior year’s contract carried forward unchanged.

Sept.  8-12
First regular-season weekend

Sept.  18-19
Second Regular Season weekend

Sept.  20
Deadline at 4 p.m. ET for any club that designated a franchise player to sign such player to a multi-year contract or extension. After this date, the player may sign only a one-year contract with his prior club for the 2011 season, and such contract may not be extended until after the club’s last regular-season game.

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Posted on: July 25, 2011 4:12 pm
 

NFL: London game 'moves forward as planned'

Posted by Will Brinson



Amid the champagne-popping of the settlement between the NFL and the NFLPA, there are still some issues to be concerned about. Like the good football fans of London, who were nervously eyeing the August 1 deadline to get a new deal in place (otherwise the game would be canceled).

So we checked on it for them, and NFL spokesperson Brian McCarthy told CBSSports.com that the London game, featuring the Chicago Bears and Tampa Buccaneers, "moves forward as planned."

That's not tremendously surprising, because it seemed like a logical move for the NFL, given the timing of the deal that got done, the revenue that it brings in and the global growth of the game that the game offers.

But because the timing of the deadline for the game to take place and the possibility that a deal might not be "done" done until August 4, there was still some uncertainty surrounding the London game.

But just like with the rest of the 2011 NFL season, that's no longer a concern.

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Posted on: July 25, 2011 3:58 pm
 

Bus Cook: Brett Favre is 'retired, period'

Posted by Will Brinson

For whatever unholy reason, even the amazing news of a brand-new CBA can't go through without the rumors of Brett Favre possibly returning to the NFL.

Thankfully, Bus Cook is here to let us know that Favre's not coming back. We think. Probably. Period? Yes, period.

"Brett Favre retired in January," Cook told the Clarion Ledger. "He has not talked to any teams, including Carolina Panthers, Philadelphia Eagles, the Arizona Cardinals and the Seattle Seahawks. He has not talked to anyone about playing football.

"He's retired, period."

So, there you have it: Brett Favre is not walking through that door.

Of course, this is the NFL and this is Brett Favre we're talking about. Which means that until he is actually no longer on the field and there is actually football taking place, there will be rumors about him playing somewhere.

Most of these rumors -- the Panthers and Eagles for example -- don't make any sense whatsoever, primarily because of Favre's age and the drama he brings.

On the other hand, if the catch-22 to getting football back is wading through Favre rumors, well, it's still worth it.

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Posted on: July 25, 2011 2:00 pm
Edited on: July 26, 2011 12:08 am
 

NFLPA votes to unanimously approve CBA

Posted by Will Brinson



The 32 NFLPA reps voted unanimously to approve the CBA on Monday afternoon, according to NFLPA spokesman George Atallah.

NFL Labor

That's right. The NFL is back.

"It's been a long time coming, and football is back -- that's the great news for everybody," Roger Goodell said at a press conference in front of the NFLPA offices. "I want to thank [DeMaurice Smith] and all of the players for their leadership and securing the long-term future of the game. Having a 10-year agreement is extraordinarily great for our game and most importantly our fans."

There are still a few steps before the deal is "officially" official, of course. This includes recertification as well as the approvement of the settlement. But for all intents and purposes were are ready to roll with the 2011 NFL season.

"This is a long time coming," Jerry Richardson said. "I would like to say what a pleasure it's been to work with the players in this negotiation."

Patriots owner Bob Kraft offered perhaps the best perspective on the entire situation, however.

"On behalf of both sides, I'd like to apologize to the fans," Kraft said, before complimenting the deal and the two sides for their work.

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Posted on: July 25, 2011 1:30 pm
Edited on: July 25, 2011 1:37 pm
 

Jets give back lost employee wages from lockout

Posted by Will Brinson

During the lockout, the Jets (along with a number of other teams) came under a lot of scrutiny for their decision to cut salaries, furlough employees and generally pinch pennies.

So it's fantastic to hear that Jets owner Woody Johnson has already told his employees that all the money they lost during the lockout will be immediately repaid.

Per Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News, all team employees who had their wages cut -- including coaches -- will be fully reimbursed for the amount of money docked.

In a sign of just how serious Johnson is with repairing goodwill, the employees were apparently paid before they left the meeting.

"When you leave this meeting, the money will be in your accounts," Johnson told the employees, per Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk.

So that's cool. Also cool? The entire Jets staff got a "fiery, training camp-type speech" from Rex Ryan. (Or, at least about 150 of them, according to Rich Cimini of ESPN.)

No word on whether they all immediately went out and got a &$*%$^* snack afterward, though.

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