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NFL GridIron Gab Daily Digest

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Packers: Owners & Lockout, Free Agency & QB Rodgers Workout

Posted: 19 Jun 2011 02:47 PM PDT

Legendary senior writer jclombardi highlights Packers headlines.



Resistance from owners mount: An internal battle is percolating at some of the highest NFL circles in which some owners are resisting the labor deal they’ve been trying to negotiate with the players, according to multiple sources. A handful of NFL owners believes the parameters of the deal being discussed don’t adequately address the original issues the league wanted corrected from the 2006 collective bargaining agreement, according to sources.

Packers unrestricted free agents’ prospects are mixed: Teams are working from the assumption that the new CBA will return eligibility for unrestricted free agency to four years service, the same as it was from 1993 through 2009. That's not guaranteed but is the most likely outcome of the pending CBA talks. Less certain is how the CBA will handle restricted free agency. In past years, teams had a late-February deadline to tender offers to restricted free agents (i.e., players with three years of service whose contracts had run out), and then the restricted market was open from the start of the league year in early March until the week before the draft. If another team signed a player to an offer sheet, his original team had a week to decide whether to match. Facing the compressed signing period, it's unclear whether the owners and players will agree to cancel restricted free agency for this year only, or offer it in abbreviated form. They could shorten the restricted signing period to a few days or a week, and give teams only one day to match an offer a player signs with another club. No matter the rules, teams will have to be ready for fast decisions and lightning negotiations on restricted and unrestricted free agents alike. They've had an extended offseason to plan, so they at least can go in with well-thought priorities. But they still will be deciding important personnel matters over few days.



Bears QB Jay Cutler Looking Great During Rehab

Posted: 19 Jun 2011 12:26 PM PDT

Vaughn McClure of the Chicago Tribune reports Bears quarterback Jay Cutler continues to gather his offensive teammates at an undisclosed high school field for weekly workouts — typically Tuesdays and Thursdays — during the lockout. Receiver Rashied Davis and running back Kahlil Bell have participated in those workouts.

“Jay looks fine, man,” Bell said. “The last couple of times I went, we did throwing stuff and I couldn’t even tell he had an injury. “A lot of people made a lot about what happened, but I think he’s going to be all right. I know he’s going to be all right. He looks fantastic.” Davis agreed. “Jay looks healthy,” Davis said. “Both he and Caleb (Hanie) look great. And everybody’s healthy.”

The Five All-Time Worst Uniforms In NFL History

Posted: 19 Jun 2011 12:10 PM PDT

Back in the day (in this case before 1990), pro football uniform designers had a major challenge facing them.  That challenge was making a football jersey that was both reflective of the team in question and pleasing to the eyes.  It seems that they failed miserably on both counts.  Having said that, here are the 5 worst uniforms in NFL history (these choices do not necessarily reflect the views of NFL GRIDIRON GAB):

1 – Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1976-96): In 1988, Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Vinny Testaverde threw 35 interceptions.  The Bucs' front office was horrified that the young quarterback they had just a year earlier selected with the first pick in the NFL draft was having so much trouble distinguishing his own receivers from the opposing secondary that they tried something drastic: They switched jersey colors.  Rather than wearing orange at home and white on the road, Tampa Bay switched to wearing white in every game, thinking that would make it easier for Testaverde to find his receivers downfield.  That was the right move, but not because it would make Testaverde a better quarterback. It was the right move because those orange jerseys are hideous.

2 – Denver Broncos (1960-61): The story has it that, for the Broncos' inaugural season, general manager Dean Griffing purchased what were considered "compromise" uniforms, light colored jerseys and drab brown pants along with socks with vertical stripes that could be worn at both home and away games. Reputed to be extremely frugal (cheap is more like it), Griffing reportedly bought these used uniforms from a defunct organization in Tucson, Arizona.

Research indicates differing accounts as to the exact origin of the uniforms. Some sources have indicated that the uniforms were purchased from a defunct college bowl organization (Cooper Bowl College All-Star Game), while coach Jack Faulkner has suggested that the uniforms came from an Arizona semi-pro organization “the Rattlers” with whom Griffing had been previously employed. With a team that looked like that, it's a wonder the American Football League lived long enough to merge with the NFL.

3 – Buffalo Bills, (2005-2010): Simply put the loudest clash of red, blue and whatever colors came to mind in the NFL.  Perhaps they gazed lovingly at the duds of the CFL teams to the north or they saw the success that met the Patriots and the Broncos soon after they donned their new ugly suits. I'm not sure.  Thank goodness, the team finally saw the light and are in the process of putting these unis to rest, and will have new uniforms in 2011.

4 – Green Bay Packers, 1937: When the NFL wore throwback uniforms league-wide to celebrate its 75th anniversary, Brett Favre put on the Packers' 1937 duds. Ophthalmologists were overrun with emergency calls as fans everywhere gouged out their eyes.  I can see why.  I mean, imagine this: a solid yellow helmet, minus logos and stripes.  Add to this a dark green shirt with yellow numbers and Grey Poupon-colored pants.  T-Shirts Plus should be envious.

5 – Everything in the Pro Bowl: A Packers helmet on top of a blue-and-white NFC jersey, a Raiders helmet on top of a red-and-white AFC jersey, every combination looks horrid.  The uniform manufacturers should be arrested – for impersonating uniform manufacturers.

An honorable mention should be mentioned here; this uniform is from the NFL's 75th Anniversary.  It is:

1 – 1925 Chicago Bears. Nice combo here.  Helmets with no logo and jersey tops with blue and orange stripes (I call this the Tank Johnson collection).  Coincidence?

Chiefs Ready to Part Ways with Five-Time Pro Bowl Guard Brian Waters?

Posted: 19 Jun 2011 11:48 AM PDT

Pro Football Weekly reports that the Chiefs may decide that it’s time to part ways with guard Brian Waters, a guy that has been a mainstay with the Chiefs and has earned five Pro Bowl appearances.

For the past decade, OLG Brian Waters has been a premier player for the Chiefs, earning five Pro Bowl appearances while being a leader both on and off the field. However, he might be nearing the end of his Kansas City career. According to Pro Football Weekly’s team sources, Chiefs management is very high on reserve OG Jon Asamoah, a third-round pick a year ago. GM Scott Pioli comes from New England, which was known for getting rid of veterans with big salaries and replacing them with younger players. That scenario might play out soon with Waters.

What the Osi Umenyoria Situation Means for Other Giants Free Agents

Posted: 19 Jun 2011 11:33 AM PDT

As you all have red the past week, Osi Umenyoria has created quite the stink this week with his affidavit that's being filed next month.  To read more about Umenyoria basically calling Giants GM Jerry Reese a liar, click HERE. Detailed below will be a dissection of the Osi situation, and what it also means for other Giant players who will likely be free agent's whenever there's a new CBA (if) there is one.

Osi Umenyoria

It's quite obvious Osi Umenyoria want's a new deal. He's wanted one pretty much since the moment he signed the deal, realizing he just "underpaid" himself, as Dwight Freeney signed a 6-year $72 million dollar contract, which included $30 million in guarantees. He claims that Reese promised him they'd redo his deal, and he's probably telling the truth because it's under oath as of next month. Umenyoria, who received half — $15 million in guarantees — has a base salary of $3.125 million this upcoming season. Will the Giants redo his deal? If not, what happens? Does Osi pull a Shockey and get his way out of NY? So many questions, but no answers. However, because of this 'Giant' cloud, other players the Giants have might be cashing in on this.

Click HERE to read the rest

Redskins GM Allen Says Inking QB McNabb Wasn’t a Mistake

Posted: 19 Jun 2011 11:29 AM PDT

Despite the disaster with Redskins QBs last year, Washington GM Bruce Allen told CSN Washington that if he had it to do over again, he would still make the trade with the Eagles to get Donovan McNabb. "We would make the move again with Donovan," Allen said.

"The 6-10 record wasn't what we had dreamed of for the season." But Allen also doesn't blame McNabb for the subpar record. And he says the outside world doesn't really know what went on inside the locker room. "When you're inside the locker room, you have all the facts," Allen said. "You know the affections and feelings we have for Donovan as a person and player. We'll let people speculate and create rumors. Hopefully they go off the wrong tracks and that will give us an advantage when we start playing."

And as far as that little tiff between McNabb and offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan? "I think they jelled very well at times," Allen said. "It was the first year for everybody with the Washington Redskins, and it takes some time to learn the other person's desires."

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