News and Notes from Around the NFL

Unless the NFL labor talks are hit with a catastrophe that neither side sees coming next week in the column we will no longer be talking about a lock out. Sources on both sides have told me today, that as I reported last week, the framework is already done and now they are handling the minutia.  I have said since before the lockout occurred there was no way that games are lost and the sources I had have been 100% correct.

One part of the new labor deal that has already been agreed to is that the amount of off season OTA, mini camps, and the other assorted things that keep players in and around the building are going to be SIGNIFICANTLY reduced.  I support that.

So with yet another arrest this past weekend, PacMan Jones now has real issues.  One player told me this afternoon, “Can Roger (Goodell) just boot his A** now.  I am sick of him making us (players) look like s***.”  Well said.

At NO OTHER time in NFL history will the brains and talents of the front offices show then like this year.  Look for about a two week free agency window and the teams with the most brainpower, who do their due diligence and homework will shine.  I know of three particular teams who have that mental and talent advantage in management who are salivating this season.

There is going to be a rookie scale.  The NFLPA says that if there is one, then let the players have free agency after four years.  Make that a max length deal.  That is a no brainer to me.  If the owners want a rookie cap (and they should), then make the deals shorter for some of the top picks (four years) and make them free agents.  Then the burden is on both the player and team.  I think the NFLPA has been more than fair and is in the right there.

I can’t wait to see the fall out at the NFLPA when this deal gets done and during the months following.  The leadership (D. Smith) has a lot of interesting pit falls to navigate.

Both sides are telling me that an 18 game schedule is going to be hard to get agreed upon in the next week.  In fact, both say they don’t see it.  Interestingly enough, both sides say it is a when issue and not an if issue.

The Eagles aren’t breaking any rules, but there is no doubt they covet Plaxico Burress.  The question is whether or not there will be a bidding war with other teams?  If they try to low ball the former Spartan they could get burned.  If they try to sit back and let him look around and try to get him at the last minute they could lose out to him signing somewhere else.  This will be a very interesting chess match.

I told you last week about Tiki Barber and not to expect him in Tampa with his brother even though it was getting a lot of play nationally.  I have now been told from someone inside the Bucs that the chance of it happening now is at 0%.  “That door would not open from our end.”

Once Donovan McNabb is let go by the Skins they are in trouble. Not because he is the greatest QB in the world, but because he is one of the best guys and the way the Skins have handled him in Washington has angered a lot of players around the league who universally see McNabb as one of the good guys.

When the 2012 season opens here are three names THAT WILL BE on the sidelines coaching.  Cowher, Gruden and Fisher.  Bank it!