News and Notes from Around the NFL

So here is the latest on a NFL labor deal that I am hearing from an AFC management source who has given us nothing, but golden information over the years.  Essentially, the framework of a deal is in place.  The devil is in the details.  Now the various groups that handle all of the areas of a deal are working.  He told me last week and reiterated to me yesterday, “July 15, 2011, is the date I expect it done.  Give or take a day or two.  The Cowboys are going to start making their plans for camp so that tells you Jones (Dallas owner Jerry) would agree with me.”  This source and many others have maintained and we have told you for over a year that a deal will get done and no games will be lost.   No reason to doubt that now at all.

There seems to be some talk of another Brett Favre comeback.  That is balderdash and I can tell you flatly he isn’t even thinking about it.  That is media looking for something to talk about.

Tiki Barber is coming back.  The former RB wants to be a Buc bad to play again with his twin brother Ronde.  They are very close, but one Buc told me this past week, “I have to wonder if Ronde wants him in Tampa.  I’m just saying.”  By all accounts it looks like Tiki has a ticket to the steel men.  If he gets it, you can know that the Bucs didn’t go after Tiki because their star DB wasn’t all that excited about playing with his brother.

The Browns have kicked the tires, but senior members of the non-players part of the team tell me that “No thanks” is their view.  “We did our due diligence, but I would be stunned if he became a Brown.”  Considering who told me that, I would expect the former Buckeye to be in Cleveland any time soon, unless it is playing for another team.

One name that all of my scout buddies keep talking about this summer is Nebraska DT Jared Crick.  He has a tough standard with the job Suh did as a Husker and in his rookie season in the NFL, and every one of them is talking about him…just a thought to keep in your mind NFL draftnicks.

Is there a worse team to be a fan of right now than the Washington Redskins?  They have the best fans in the NFL and one of the most poorly run franchises (in my opinion) in the league.  What a mess.

One of the emotional leaders on the Jets and special teams captain Eric Smith (S) will be on Spartan Nation Radio on Friday.  Smith is heralded by his teammates, coach, and management for his hard work everyday.  They love his style, and while the head coach and some other players with more star power get the pub, this young man and proud Spartan is a glue on that team.  I had a member of Jet management tell me early last week, “You can’t put a price on a guy with such tremendous leadership and work ethic.  Eric doesn’t get nearly the praise that he deserves from our media.”  Make sure you check him out.

Retired players have real issues with the current group of stars.  That is why they are looking at legal remedies to get a seat at the table.  They could actually hurt a deal getting done, but that won’t be on the NFL owners, that will be on the players association essentially throwing them under the bus to get more money for the current group and make themselves look better.  I am told when the deal is done that there could be a real mutiny from players who thought they would get something “A lot sexier” than they got.

Spartan Plaxico Burress went to the rookie symposium and brought the house down.  One NFL team that needs a receiver told me, “Prior to that speech we wouldn’t have taken a look at Burress.  We would now.  He was emotional; he was mature, and spoke from his heart.  He did a lot to help himself.”  This person was not there, but somehow had direct knowledge of the speech and Burress’s demeanor while at the symposium.

I have had a lot of you email me about the NFL’s Top 100 players list.  There were for sure some guys who were higher than I would have put them.  I think they had great careers and got more love than maybe they deserve if this was truly a top ranking of last year only.  That said, those lists are hard to produce and it was the players voting, so I liked it.

I would have had Peyton over Brady at 1-2 and only because Brady has had better players around him over his career.  Peyton every season runs into gapping holes at places where he just needs bodies.

I had a discussion last night with a current NFL player.  The discussion eventually came around to the Casey Anthony trial.  He was disgusted that she was acquitted, but added an interesting take.  “So she kills a kid and people act like she is a Hollywood diva.  Vick killed dogs and we all know that was wrong, but I bet you she ain’t gonna get the hate like him because she cute.  Now that is wrong.”  I agree on his premise, but I don’t think she is cute…just a monster that will still get justice, just not in this life.  Like my new saying goes, Karma is a Casey Anthony.  You can figure that one out.