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NFL GridIron Gab Daily Digest

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Packers: NFL Owners Meeting & Lockout Progress Hope

Posted: 21 Jun 2011 05:19 AM PDT

Legendary senior writer jclombardi looks at NFL owners meeting, lockout & progress hope.

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NFL Owners meeting: The NFL will stage a crucial owners meeting near Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport on Tuesday, with the lockout now well into its fourth month. Accordingly, a number of league executives, owners and members of the NFL’s legal team arrived for prep work on Monday afternoon. The league’s labor committee had a late afternoon meeting that lasted for two hours, with Tuesday’s general session set to kick off at 10 a.m. The meeting was originally scheduled as a one-day session, but clubs were advised last week to be prepared for the proceedings to spill into Wednesday. No formal votes are scheduled for the meetings, with the labor committee and Goodell having completed three sets of clandestine negotiations with the players. ”We’re giving the clubs a briefing on the status of the labor discussions,” Pash told NFL Network. “And we’ll allow them to ask any questions, give them a legal update on the status of the various court actions, and just make sure they fully understand everything that’s happened over the last month and make sure they’re fully informed as we proceed through the end of this month and into July.



Titans WR Britt Puts Out a Threat to Retire Due to Anger at Roger Goodell

Posted: 21 Jun 2011 12:20 AM PDT

Pro Football Talk reports that Titans WR Kenny Britt, who just can’t seem to stay out of trouble these days, is talking about walking away and retiring from football because he’s made at Commissioner Roger Goodell. Another bizarre story about a goof that just needs to shut up and stay out of trouble.

Just when we thought we might actually go a few days without any Kenny Britt headlines, the volatile Tennessee Titans receiver has caused a stir in the social media world, with a post on Facebook saying he would retire from the NFL over anger at Commissioner Roger Goodell, another post recanting that statement, and then yet another post saying his Facebook page was hacked.

Brendan Prunty of the Newark Star-Ledger, who covered Britt at Rutgers, spread the word on Twitter of Britt's bizarre posts. (Prunty told PFT via e-mail that Britt does update his own Facebook page regularly.) Britt's first Facebook post was short and to the point: "Retiring from the NFL. F*** You Goddell." Presumably, that would be a reaction to Britt's perception that his multiple arrests would lead to a suspension under the league's personal-conduct policy, although preemptively retiring due to an assumption that he's going to be suspended would be rather odd.

Pittsburgh With Legit Interest In Bringing Back WR Plaxico Burress

Posted: 20 Jun 2011 07:36 PM PDT

First it was Tiki Barber, and now Plaxico Burress.

It seems that if your a veteran without a team, the Steelers have interest in you. That’s at least according to Peter King, who Monday wrote that the Steelers for sure have interest in Barber, adding him to a backfield with Rashard Mendehall and Issac Redmen.

Now another rumor about a veteran player looking for work has popped up, and again, the Steelers are involved. Gerry Dulac of the Post-Gazette tweeted that the Steelers may have interest in one of their former players, that being wide out Plaxico Burress.

Here’s the tweet from Dulac:

#Steelers coaches are interested in Burress but depends on price. They would release randle el to make room.

The current coaching staff has no history with Burress, or what a pain he could sometimes he could be when he played with the Steelers. It wasn’t until after he bolted in free agency that the Steelers finally got over the hump, winning Super Bowl XL, and then three years later winning Super Bowl XLIII.

Of course in that time Burress was a champion himself, helping the New York Giants upset the at the time undefeated New England Patriots 17-14 in Super Bowl XLII in Glendale, Arizona.

So is the interest real? In 2004, his last year with the Steelers and the first for Ben Roethlisberger, Burress caught 35 passes for 698 yards and 5 touchdowns. In four years with the Giants, he had two seasons where he went over the 1,000 yard mark.

Here’s another bet, just like with Barber, that in the end the Steelers pass on getting the wide out back.

Ravens QB Flacco Fires Back at Steelers LB Woodley’s Comments

Posted: 20 Jun 2011 04:36 PM PDT

Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco was told by a friend about Steelers linebacker LaMarr Woodley's comment that Flacco and the Ravens wouldn't win a Super Bowl "in this lifetime."

"[Woodley] obviously doesn't know what he's talking about," Flacco told Keith Mills and Pete Gilbert on WBAL Saturday by way of

"At some level I don't care [what Woodley says] because what does that really mean? But there is another level where it does kind of piss you off a little bit."

The young signal-caller understands that the Steelers have ended the Ravens' playoff runs in two of the last three years, but Flacco is also encouraged by the fact his team has advanced to the playoffs three seasons running.

Now, it's just a matter of getting over the Pittsburgh hurdle, and Flacco is confident his team will do it. "We just need to come up a little bigger than we have while playing those guys a couple of times," said Flacco. "I mean, come on. What does he think? That they're going to do it every year? … I think we are going to have a lot more years in Baltimore where we're going to have a good chance [to win it all], but we realize we have a really good chance right now and we just want to go ahead and win it."

"Believe me, when I hear that kind of stuff, it definitely sparks a little something in me."

Dolphins Not Interested in Terrelle Pryor; at Least as a QB

Posted: 20 Jun 2011 03:31 PM PDT

The Dolphins are one of those teams that could use an upgrade at the quarterback position. Both General Manager Jeff Ireland and coach Tony Sparano have repeatedly stated their desire this offseason to bring in a quarterback who could challenge Chad Henne for the starting job.

But could the Dolphins be interested in former Ohio State QB Terrelle Pryor? Not likely. At least not as a quarterback.

According to Andrew Carter of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, Ireland said recently at the Dolphins’ annual “Fins Weekend” that the team had begun evaluations of “an Ohio State player” in advance of the NFL’s supplemental draft, which is on hold indefinitely because of the NFL lockout. But Ireland also made clear that he’d like to add a quarterback who has experience.

“You need someone that’s got some savvy to him, for sure,” Ireland said of what he’s looking for in a quarterback. “Even someone that can come in and pick it up pretty quickly. But I can’t get into descriptive terms about what I’m looking at — you’d pinpoint the guys I’m looking at.

“But yeah, you need someone savvy and experienced, for sure.”

Those are descriptors that don’t necessarily fit Pryor, who was forced to leave Ohio State amid a scandal that ultimately cost former Buckeyes coach Jim Tressel his job. The off-the-field issues notwithstanding, Pryor has created little buzz as an elite NFL quarterback prospect.

NFL Owners to Start Meetings Tuesday in Chicago

Posted: 20 Jun 2011 02:22 PM PDT

NFL owners will meet in Chicago Tuesday, and perhaps into Wednesday, to discuss the status of negotiations with the players for a new collective bargaining agreement. NFL teams were advised last week to be prepared an extra day.

NFL owners and players have met over the the past three weeks and reportedly there is enough optimism to believe that progress is being made toward a new CBA.

There were reports that there are a few owners who may not be satisfied with the deal that might be presented at the owners meetings. Of course, it would only take nine owners to strike down any proposal that might be presented.

Former Bengals QB Boomer Esiason Rips on His Old Team

Posted: 20 Jun 2011 01:13 PM PDT

In the wake of the Bengals ranking last among all professional sports franchises by ESPN, it didn’t come as a surprise to former Bengals quarterback Boomer Esiason. "Don't you think we'd all be surprised if they weren't ranked last?” Esiason told the Cincinnat Enquirer. "It's never going to change. There is no expectation the team is going to win. There never has been. I can't sugarcoat it.”

So, what’s the one constant for the Bengals over the years as they repeatedly struggle to compete on a consistent basis and nose-dived to 4-12 last season? Owner Mike Brown. "You can have all the money in the world,” Esiason said. “You can sock it away in a mattress. But the reason you're in (the NFL) is because you're competitive. You want to win. The family has never experienced that.”

Vikings Players Speak Highly of Adding Plaxico Burress

Posted: 20 Jun 2011 12:02 PM PDT

Nearly two weeks since Access Vikings beat writer Judd Zulgad proclaimed, with little meat or evidence presented in the article, that the Vikings "won't be pursuing" receiver Plaxico Burress, there has been a bunch of talk about the Vikings potentially adding Plaxico Burress.

I'm not suggesting Judd isn't correct, but it is interesting that both Percy Harvin and Adrian Peterson have expressed interest in seeing Burress joining the offense after two years away from the NFL.

"Of course, I would love him to be a part of my team," Peterson said Tuesday. "He's a guy before he left the game for two years, he was one of the top receivers in the league. … I'm sure (Burress is) going to come out, he's going to be on fire and he'll be ready to contribute to whichever team picks him up."

"I think he's one of the best receivers to play the game," Harvin said, "so I would love to have him and get the opportunity to learn from him as I did [Randy] Moss and some of the other veterans I've played with."

This isn't the first time Harvin has been connected to Burress, and in March a good majority of readers here at Vikings Gab thought he would be a good addition to the Vikings roster as long as he came at a discounted rate.

In 2008, Burress was having a disappointing season (even before shooting himself in the leg) and it has been since 2007 since he has had 1,000 yards receiving. Given the relative lack of success the Vikings have seen in their recent past with guys like Randy Moss and Javon Walker, I would be surprised if Zulgad doesn't end up being correct in his prediction, and the Vikings avoid bringing in a 33 year-old distraction.

SI’s King Revisits the Tiki Barber to the Steelers Talk

Posted: 20 Jun 2011 11:00 AM PDT

It’s been awhile since the whole “Tiki Barber to the Steelers” chatter has been heard, but today Peter King of Sports Illustrated threw out there that Barber would be a perfect fit in 2011 for the black and gold.

The Steelers have a head coach the Barber family knows well — Mike Tomlin is close to twin Ronde Barber after coaching him in Tampa from 2001 to 2005 and also knows Tiki. Tomlin wouldn't be afraid of the sideshow Tiki Barber might create, nor would he be shy about pulling the plug if the 36-year-old back couldn't beat out the likes of Mewelde Moore.

The Steelers have a core of veteran stars; Tiki Barber would fit right in. The Steelers have a good back, Rashard Mendenhall, but no back-of-the-future type who Barber would be robbing playing time from. And one NFL source tells me Barber really wants a shot to play in Pittsburgh. I'm also told that wherever he goes, Barber won't be content to be a mopup guy or insurance policy; he wants to play a lot. We'll see where he ends up this summer, if and when football happens, but Pittsburgh's my guess.

Bottom line, Barber on the Steelers, or any team for the most part, would be a distraction. He recently told HBO that the one reason he was coming back was becuase he’s depressed. That’s what happens when you bad mouth your former team and players, tell everyone that listens your going to be TV star and fail, and then cheat on your wife and destroy your family.

Barber is a problem child, and I wouldn’t want him on the Steelers roster in 2011 or any year for that matter.

National Scouting Rates Ohio St. QB Pryor As A Late-Round Pick

Posted: 20 Jun 2011 10:51 AM PDT

Former Ohio State star quarterback Terrelle Pryor isn’t held in high regard by National, the largest scouting organization service for NFL teams. The multi-dimensional Big Ten standout received a grade of 5.1 from National, ranking him as sixth-round to seventh-round material heading into what would have been his senior year, according to an NFL source with access to the grades.

Pryor opted to leave school amid major NCAA scrutiny for him and the Buckeyes program that led to coach Jim Tressel’s resignation. National annually grades over 1,400 draft eligible college seniors, providing information to nearly two dozen NFL clubs for a fee of over $100,000 to compile the data. NFL Network draft expert Mike Mayock recently forecasted Pryor as a middle-round selection in the NFL supplemental draft and as a Wildcat possibility. “I would set the over/under line on the fourth round,” Mayock said.

“He can be a package quarterback Year 1 while you develop his skills set,” Mayock said. “Is he raw? Absolutely. Does he have a lot to work on? Yes, he does. That doesn’t even get into all the intangibles off the field.”

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