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NFL GridIron Gab Daily Digest

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Cardinals Coach Ken Whisenhunt Ready to Go QB Shopping in Free Agency

Posted: 15 Jul 2011 07:34 PM PDT

The Cardinals are going back to the drawing board when it comes to replacing Kurt Warner. The Derek Anderson era was thankfully a short one and if the Cardinals are fashioning plans to compete again in the NFC West, they're probably not going to do it with Max Hall or John Skelton, quarterbacks who were rookies a year ago. So that leaves the club in limbo during the lockout as it contemplates potential moves once the labor battle is resolved.

Ken Whisenhunt knows his team depends on it and he has an array of skill position players the Cardinals can win with if they find a passer. The Cardinals have been mentioned as a team that could trade for Kevin Kolb and have also been linked to veteran quarterbacks like Marc Bulger and Matt Hasselbeck, free-agent options. "I don't know if anxious is the right word," Whisenhunt said on XTRA 910 in Phoenix, according to

"I'm excited to do that, to get the opportunity. I feel confident that when we get the opportunity to do that we're gonna have success and we're gonna be excited about that just because I think we present a good opportunity for a quarterback. With our receivers and some of the things that we do. The one thing as a coach you want to have your team. You want to know what your team looks like, you want to know what challenges you face with that specific team going in and we're not there yet. We have a number of areas that we would like to address. We'd like to be aggressive and improve our football team and that's what we're going to do. You would certainly like for that to be happening right now because you're just excited about wanting to get started and wanting to get everyone up to speed."

Packers: NFL Lockout Deal Coming In 24 Hours?

Posted: 15 Jul 2011 01:34 PM PDT

Legendary senior writer jclombardi reports NFL labor deal is economically done.

Economics portion of a new CBA are done: On Thursday night,’s Mike Freeman reported that the NFL’s labor situation was close to an end and that the NFL and players’ efforts at getting a new CBA in place were at the “half-yard line.”  On Friday, the information relating to the lockout’s been flowing in at at a breakneck pace that’s so optimistic it would make a scientology recruiter blush. Two bigger pieces of news stand out. Primarily, there’s a report from the NFL Network’s Albert Breer, who notes that “the economics of a deal are done.” That’s something that echoes what Freeman’s been hearing, and is particularly awesome to hear. If the money’s figured out, everything else will fall into place.  Breer does note that there are “plenty of other hoops” for the respective sides to jump through, including retiree benefits, “player safety, worker’s compensation and injury guarantees, and also litigation entanglements.”  Lest anyone think differently, those are indeed potential dealbreakers, especially if the “litigation entanglements” involve “how to solve future litigation issues” and “what to do with the current lawsuit hanging out there.” But his report on, in addition to being a nice place to hear a report that a deal is done on the NFL labor situation, is laced with optimism. Additionally, Adam Schefter of ESPN reports that a new CBA “will be 7 to 10 years.” Though that’s a reasonably broad spectrum,  it was widely assumed that eight years was the floor with 12 years as the ceiling, it’s still fantastic news that the progress made by the owners and players hasn’t necessitated a shortening of the CBA to five years, simply for the sake of knocking a deal out.

Vikings RB Peterson Says There Will Be No Hard Feelings After the Lockout

Posted: 15 Jul 2011 01:31 PM PDT

Adrian Peterson is developing a unique resume in the NFL that revolves around, of all things, slavery.

First, upon taking the NFL by storm his rookie season, Peterson starred in this badass Nike commercial featuring the song List Of Demands by Saul Williams.  The song has a second title, Reparations, and while the song and album are both favorites in the Warwas household, there is no doubt that it is infused with racial sentiments.  The inclusion of the song in this ad was the first real mainstream exposure Saul Williams' music had ever really gotten.

Then, seemingly out of nowhere, Peterson made the comments that were heard around the world.

"It's modern-day slavery, you know?" Peterson told Yahoo! Sports shortly after the NFL locked out their players.  "People kind of laugh at that, but there are people working at regular jobs who get treated the same way, too. With all the money … the owners are trying to get a different percentage, and bring in more money. I understand that; these are business-minded people. Of course this is what they are going to want to do. I understand that; it's how they got to where they are now. But as players, we have to stand our ground and say, 'Hey — without us, there's no football.'"

Peterson's comments were a poor choice but, even the reporter that wrote story says this, there is the chance that the words made more sense in their original context and setting.  Regardless, those comments have been hanging over the labor dispute and are likely to always be included in Peterson's ever-growing legacy as one of the NFL's greatest.

Peterson had not immediately publically acknowledged the criticism he received for making those comments and later appeared in a commercial for the DNA Foundation, founded by Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore, which aims to make the American public aware of truly real modern day slavery and human trafficking.

Asked at Wednesday's ESPY's if he harbored any hard feelings towards the NFL owners Peterson gave a much more respectable answer.

"Not at all, it's business as usual," he said. "You never get what you want, but you can get close to it. So I'm sure that's what it's going to end up being."

Peterson acknowledged that some players, like James Harrison of the Steelers, are angry about this whole hellish lockout.  This time around, however, Peterson chose his words much more wisely and made one of the more reasonable comments we have seen all lockout long.

"To each his own," Peterson said when asked about controversial comments made by Harrison. "But it's business. These owners, they are in their position because they worked hard, they made good decisions. So of course they are going to try to get the best deal for themselves. So it's business."

Peterson may now be saying all of the right things, but I still have little doubt that those comments he originally made are going to linger over him for a long, long time.

After all, controversial comments always create more headlines than the even-handed ones.

City of Los Angeles Slows Down Football Stadium Deal

Posted: 15 Jul 2011 12:20 PM PDT

Los Angeles officials have put the brakes on a plan to build a National Football League stadium in the city amid concerns over taxpayer dollars according to Hannah Karp of the Wall Street Journal.

Anschutz Entertainment Group is proposing to build a $1 billion stadium for a potential NFL team in downtown Los Angeles in a deal that would ask the city to issue nearly $300 million in bonds.

The chairwoman of the city council’s stadium committee had hoped the council would agree on the general principles of the deal and a rough financial contract by late July after her group met twice more privately.

Last week, however, another member of the five-person stadium committee instead called for an open and televised meeting with AEG at the end of the month for the entire city council. On Tuesday, the council’s president agreed to schedule that discussion for July 29 and promised that members wouldn’t be asked to vote that day.

AEG threatened last month to rescind its proposal for the stadium if the city couldn’t approve it before the council’s summer recess in August.

Steelers Pro Bowl LB James Harrison Says Sorry for Comments Towards Goodell, Others

Posted: 15 Jul 2011 11:13 AM PDT

After making critical comments about NFL Commissioner Roger Goddell, Texans linebacker Brian Cushing, and several teammates in an interview in the August issue of Men’s Journal magazine, Steelers Pro Bowl linebacker James Harrison has issued an apology.

Via Josina Anderson of FOX31 Sports in Denver:

“I'll start by offering my apologies for some of the words that I said during the four days in May that Men's Journal was invited to my house to discuss what the NFL has recently been portraying as their attempts at 'player safety' rules and regulations, and to cover my everyday workout routine.

“I did make comments about my teammates when I was talking about the emotional Super Bowl loss, but the handful of words that were used and heavily publicized yesterday were pulled out of a long conversation and the context was lost. Obviously, I would never say that it was all Ben's or Rashard's fault that we lost the Super Bowl. That would be ridiculous. Both Ben and Rashard are great players and great teammates. Clearly the entire team bears responsibility for the loss, me included. It was a team effort and a team loss. My teammates know me well, and hopefully understand the things I said were not meant to accuse them of the loss. We all have discussed several things that went wrong in the Super Bowl since that day. What I do apologize for and take full responsibility for is for speaking in such a candid manner to someone outside the team.

Click HERE to read the rest

Free Agent OL Tyson Clabo Wants to Stay in Atlanta

Posted: 15 Jul 2011 09:10 AM PDT

Coming off the first Pro Bowl of his career, right tackle Tyson Clabo is looking forward to testing the free agent market, but hopes to remain with the Falcons, D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.

“I'm excited,” Clabo said. “It's something that I felt that I'd earned last year and didn't get. So the prospect of actually getting there is exciting. But, I don't really know if I will get there because, hopefully, Atlanta will do what they need to do to keep me. Obviously, I want to be in Atlanta. But the thing about that, only time will tell.”

Undrafted out of Wake Forest in 2004, the 6-foot-7, 332-pound Clabo had stints with the Denver Broncos, New York Giants, and San Diego Chargers before joining the Falcons practice squad in 2005. Clabo became a full-time starter in the 2006 season, and has started 61 straight regular and postseason games, primarily at right tackle.

Denied a chance to test free agency last offseason, playing the 2010 season under a one-year, “First Round” restricted free agent tender worth $2.521 million in base salary. Top right tackles can expect to receive between $6 million and $7 million per season on long-term contracts, which means Clabo could sign a contract worth over $30 million over the next five seasons.

Ledbetter adds that the Chicago Bears, Denver Broncos, and Seattle Seahawks are expected to bid on Clabo. Jason La Canfora of the NFL Network also named the Seahawks as a potential bidder on Clabo, but after using first-round picks in back-to-back years on offensive tackles Russell Okung and James Carpenter, Seattle may view Clabo as a guard.

With the hiring of former Oakland Raiders head coach Tom Cable as assistant head coach/offensive line, the Seahawks have been rumored to be going after free agent guard Robert Gallery once free agency opens up. Clabo and Gallery (6-foot-7, 325 pounds) are similar in size and disposition, and Clabo started 10 games at guard on a Cable-coached Falcons offensive line in 2006.

Economics Of a New NFL Labor Deal are Basically Done

Posted: 15 Jul 2011 09:06 AM PDT

The economics of a deal between the National Football League and NFL Players Association is essentially done, Albert Breer of the NFL Network reports.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported on Thursday night that an agreement was reached on a rookie wage scale, with his colleague John Clayton reporting that the salary cap is expected to be set at $120 million for the 2011 season.

Multiple reports have the revenue split coming in at between 46.5 percent and 48 percent.

Issues still needing resolution include the Legacy Fund for retiree benefits, player safety issues, worker’s compensation, injury guarantees, and litigation issues pertaining to the Brady v NFL case and the television contract damages case will need to be settled.

That damages case, which U.S. District Judge David Doty ruled that the owners illegally created a $4.3 billion lockout fund and could award $2 billion to the players at any time, may have played a role in the progress the talks made on Thursday.

Jim Trotter of Sports Illustrated reports that, on Thursday, the players told owners about the existence of their own secret lockout insurance fund, one that would provide each player with $200,000 if there was no football in 2011.

The players and owners will also need to vote to approve any agreement, and are scheduled to meet with U.S. Magistrate Judge Arthur Boylan on Tuesday in Minneapolis. The owners have a meeting scheduled for Thursday in Atlanta.

“I know our fans are frustrated and want to get it done,” NFLPA Executive Director DeMaurice Smith said on Friday morning. “We’ll get everything to the players when the time is right.”

49′ers LB Manny Lawson a Possible Free Agent Fit in Seattle?

Posted: 15 Jul 2011 08:55 AM PDT

Until the lockout ends there's nothing fresh to report except lockout details, and well, free agency speculation.

Recent reports on the lockout have a tentative date of July 21st (who cares?), it's probably not going to be the exact date, but the fact there is an actual target date is a good thing. Digging deeper into reports numerous sources say the only thing holding things up is the rookie pay scale, and after that the tiresome legalese of tying the lose ends together.

When things come together, free agency will reportedly begin a week after, and the period of time before that will be used for "right of first refusal" on free agents; the two sides have not agreed on a number of allowable "ROFR's".

So far, the most prominent names the Seahawks have been linked to include Jonathan Joseph, Nnamdi Asomaugha, Robert Gallery, and Tarvaris Jackson.

Matt Barrows has added another name to the list and a player the Seahawks know well as he duly notes in his article:

"The Seahawks might land him. Former 49ers general manager Scot McCloughan has sway in Seattle's front office and Lawson has been training in Arizona with 49er-turned-Seahawk Michael Robinson."

I'm not convinced the last part has enough sway, but Barrows makes an excellent point about Scout McCloughan. In fact I am very surprised the Seahawks have not been linked to defensive tackle Aubrayo Franklin as well. It's a toss up if Mebane leaves and he's arguably the best replacement Seattle could reel in, some may argue he represents an upgrade as well.

Lawson seems like an intriguing pass rushing option. Not elite and won't cost a lucrative free agent contract and based on his past he seems to be a nice fit as a situational rusher. Pete Carroll did a nice job getting production from cast offs Raheem Brock and Chris Clemons and arguably has the best depth at linebacker in the league.

Unless Carroll is ready to flat out demote the disappointing Aaron Curry I wouldn't expect Lawson to be brought in as a starter. One thing about his philosophy is competition. If he's added it may be a tactic to not just add depth, but put a charge into an underwhelming linebacking unit that certainly has the potential to be considered one of the best three starting units in the league.

As I keep noting, the Seahawks have to spend roughly $37 million, and they may have an additional $8-15 million if they just want to go insane.

Who cares if the lockout delayed free agency, who cares if everyone hated on their draft? The Seahawks are poised to add multuple in-their-prime impact players this off-season in what may historically become the city of Seattle's best free agency class ever.

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