Denver Broncos News: Horse Tracks - 3/12/11

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Three Reasons Why Labor Strife Will Hurt the Broncos More Than Most
In fact, no team might be more hurt by the destruction of business as usual in the offseason than the Broncos, for multiple reasons.

Broncos Draft History: Defensive Backs
As we wrap up our week's preview of the defensive backs available in the 2011 NFL Draft, let's take a look back at who the Broncos have drafted at the position.

NFL Labor 101: What decertification means as shutodown looms | All Things Broncos — Denver Broncos news, stats, analysis — Denver Post
"My guess is we’ll have a new collective bargaining agreement some time in September. You might lose the preseason and a couple of games but they’ll get it done. They won’t lose the whole season like hockey did in 2004-05. I think the NBA might lose its season, but there’s just too much money out there for the NFL to throw away a season.’’

Broncos star Elvis Dumervil's agent dies - The Denver Post
"All I know is Gary believed in me when I was a fourth-round draft pick and nobody else did," Dumervil said. "And he stuck with me for four years before he had a chance to work a new contract for me."

Lesser lights often shine at college pro days - The Denver Post
If you can't be king, sometimes it's good to be the guy next to the king. So it goes on pro days on campuses throughout the country during the NFL draft workout season. And if a player can't be a top prospect in a draft, it can be highly beneficial to be at the same school as one. Just like high-school recruiting, when college coaches often discover one player while looking at another one, the same is true for NFL scouts.

Q&A: Labor issues will prevent draft-weekend trades - The Denver Post
If there is no new collective bargaining agreement by draft day, does that then preclude any John Elway-to-the-Broncos or Phillip Rivers/Eli Manning type deals during the draft this year? No draft-then-trade deals like we've seen sometimes in the past?

NFL NEWS

Football Study Hall - For Advanced College Football Statistics
Analyzing College Football Statistics

Inside the playbook: Brady vs. the Bears' Cover 2 | National Football Post
Today: Four Verticals vs. Cover 2 The Four Vertical route scheme is designed to attack the top of the defense. It can be run vs. Cover 3, Cover 4, Cover 6 (Quarter, Quarter, Half) and as one of the top concepts to defeat Cover 2 (or Tampa 2). Put the pressure on the secondary to play their technique and responsibilities.

Brian Dawkins Talks About NFL Concussion Reality | Philly Sports Daily
Some of the men responsible for shaping the new CBA have a sense of the gravity of the moment. Dawkins, for one, believes it is the responsibility of the current regime to ensure the well-being of both former and future players alike. "This is a fraternity and everyone involved should want to make sure our brothers are taken care of," he said, adding that the goal is to eventually provide lifetime coverage to veterans.

NFL DRAFT

Scout.com: Andrew Luck's very smart decision
Nine weeks ago, when quarterback Andrew Luck announced he was passing on the NFL draft and remaining at Stanford, it was viewed by most fans as a head-scratcher – a likely No. 1 overall pick leaving millions of dollars on the table so he could continue, gulp, attending classes. Today, Luck’s decision looks like sheer genius. What happened between then and now? Something called a lockout, or at least the possibility of one should the NFL and players association dig their heels further into the ground in search of a collective bargaining agreement.

ProFootballWeekly.com - Draft Dose: Kickers and punters
Most of the time kickers and punters are an afterthought in the NFL draft, relegated to the second day of the draft and the later rounds. However, every once in a while a team will spend a high draft pick on a specialist, in an effort to shore up their special teams for years to come. Here, in the 14th installment of the Draft Dose series, is a look at how that strategy has paid off:

Notre Dame TE Rudolph healed, working out April 7 - CBSSports.com
Rudolph, NFLDraftScout.com's No. 37th rated player overall , has the physical skills to translate well to the NFL. At 6-6, 259 pounds, the Irish junior has the bulk scouts are looking for in a traditional tight end and Hansen cites sources close to Rudolph who expect him to run in the "neighborhood" of the 4.6s at the workout. The Pro Day workout will be critical to Rudolph's final NFL grade. He wasn't able to work out at the Combine.

Dropping Like They're Cold - CBSSports.com
1. Clemson DE Da'Quan Bowers If new Denver Broncos head coach John Fox is convinced by General Manager Brian Xanders, VP/Football Operations John Elway, or team doctors that Bowers is not the next Julius Peppers, then Bowers could be this year's version of Derrick Morgan. Like Bowers, Morgan was the ACC Defensive Players of the Year in his junior season but fell to Tennessee with the 16th overall pick in the draft because he lacks great explosiveness as a pass rusher. Bowers was already hearing that talk before his knee injury forced him to put off working out until his private pro day April 1st. A strong campus workout could help Bowers stay in the top ten, but enough teams could have concerns about his knee that he may fall to Minnesota at #12 or Jacksonville at #16 (again, mirroring Morgan's fall).

Dalton throws well at TCU pro day - CBSSports.com
TCU’s rise to national prominence hasn’t been done through smoke and mirrors. Coach Gary Patterson has accumulated a steady stream of NFL-caliber talent, including four players ranked among NFLDraftScout.com’s top 200 prospects for the 2011 draft At the top of the list is Marcus Cannon, the sixth-ranked offensive tackle projected to be a second-round pick. He stood by his workout numbers from the scouting combine last month, but quarterback Andy Dalton put on a strong showing at the Horned Frogs’ pro day held in front of representatives from 26 NFL teams after an uneven performance in Indianapolis.

 

NFL LOCKOUT

Full access to financial statements at core of NFL labor issues - Peter King - SI.com
But that wasn't good enough for the players. And from their standpoint, who could blame them? The NFL was asking for more money to be exempted from revenue-sharing while the league was in a time of unparalleled success. If the NFLPA was going to give owners any more revenue credits, the union felt strongly that the league had to show its hand. Show how much teams were spending (and wasting, perhaps). Over the past few days, I've had union officials (more than one) give me examples of how money is wasted by teams, and how some expenses that clubs claim as football expense should be personal expenses. And at the end of the day, the union simply didn't trust that teams' financial records weren't riddled with such wasteful spending.

It's time for the fans to go on strike | National Football Post
There’s a reason why the 1994-1995 MLB strike and the 2004-2005 NHL lockout are rarely mentioned in comparison to what is currently taking place in our nation’s capital. It’s because everyone knows that the NFL has such a ridiculously tight grip on its audience that any form of a work stoppage won’t be enough to keep the fans away once professional football decides to return to business. Which is why the time has come for the fans to rise up and let their voices be heard.

Will the NFL agent biz turn wild wild west? | National Football Post
One big fear that most agents have is that the competition will aggressively start poaching each others' clients because there is no disciplinary oversight in place. Poaching happens all the time but the usual suspects may put their game into overdrive. Agents now have a window to act without consequence or watchful eye of a union. It will be interesting to see what rouge activity unfolds.

David Cornwell proposes a new player compensation model | ProFootballTalk
The current dispute over the NFL owners’ demand for additional credit for their investment in the business exposes the difficult issues that flow from the partnership between NFL players and NFL owners. Like any other business, NFL players are employees. Unlike every other business, NFL players are also partners, whose commitment, professionalism, and talent has a direct impact on NFL owners’ bottom line. The most compelling evidence of NFL players’ unique impact on the business is the extent to which player conduct away from the workplace is regulated by the NFL. The concept of NFL players as partners is also embedded in the NFL’s expectation that players contribute to owners’ investment in the growth of the game.

Antitrust lawsuit alleges that NFL has waived "sham" defense to decertification | ProFootballTalk
Paragraph 45 of the civil complaint explains that, when settling the Reggie White antitrust lawsuit in 1993, the league "insisted on the right to terminate the [agreement] if the players did not reform a union within thirty days." To get that provision, the NFL agrees that, "if a majority of players decided to end their collective bargaining representation upon or after the [agreement's] expiration," the NFL would waive the right to argue, among other things, that the decertification was "a sham or otherwise ineffective."

Von Miller’s presence in antitrust suit focuses on rookie salary cap | ProFootballTalk
The 58-page antitrust lawsuit filed by various players against the NFL (we’re up to page 36) includes former Texas A&M linebacker Von Miller as a plaintiff. His presence has prompted some to speculate that the lawsuit is aimed at scuttling the draft. It’s not, at least not yet. The CBA contemplates a 2011 draft, even if the CBA will be expired when the 2011 draft commences. Miller’s presence in the action allows an attack on any type of rookie salary cap, either via a rookie wage scale or the "entering player pool" used in past years under the labor deal. The lawsuit alleges that the CBA makes no provision for the use of the entering player pool in 2011, and the lawsuit contends that any restriction on the pay received by incoming rookies constitutes an antritrust violation.

Business matter became personal for union - NFL - Yahoo! Sports
Standing on the corner of 21st and K Street, the NFL Players Association’s executive director made a brief, forceful statement that delivered one final dare to the league’s owners: Agree to open your books within the quarter hour, or prepare for a battle royale. Given that Smith surely understood there was almost no chance of the owners accepting those terms, his pronouncement was quickly portrayed as a public relations move designed to cast the union as the side which made the last offer before talks broke down and decertification ensued. And while there may have been an element of truth in that thinking, most observers missed the point.

NFL Players Association decertifies, takes labor dispute to court - Michael McCann - SI.com
Whether the NFL or NFLPA win before Judge Doty regarding the legality of the NFL's lockout, his decision would be subject to review by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit and potentially (though unlikely) the United States Supreme Court. If the 8th Circuit reverses in favor of the NFL, the players would then return to the decertification route and there would be no football and no negotiations. If the 8th Circuit reverses in favor of the NFLPA, the owners cannot execute a lockout and the players obtain leverage in negotiating a new CBA and probably don't decertify. The loser in this could petition the U.S. Supreme Court for writ of certiorari. The Supreme Court rejects approximately 98 or 99% of writs, with accepted ones usually involving splits in authority among federal circuits (not applicable here) or other novel questions of law (possibly applicable here).

NFL intiates lockout; first stoppage since 1987 - NFL - Sporting News
There will be a draft in April, but players selected won't be able to sign contracts -- and the team can't trade players, only picks. It's doubtful they will even be allowed to participate in public relations events at team headquarters that normally ballyhoo their selections.

NFL lockout is now in effect; pro football enters first work stoppage since 1987
It is not clear when a judge will act on the injunction request, but a union official said it probably would not be for three or four weeks.

Lockout official, ‘Brady v. NFL’ suit is filed - Shutdown Corner - NFL Blog - Yahoo! Sports
Now, the onus is on the players — for they are a group of players with their union dissolved — to bring legal remedy to the situation by filing an antitrust suit in the Minneapolis court of Judge David Doty, claiming that the owners have engaged in anti-competitive acts by imposing a common draft, franchise tags, and other player allotment practices. This they have done, in a lawsuit named 'Brady v. NFL' that actually names several plaintiffs in addition to New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady(notes). Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning(notes), New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees(notes), and potential top-five draft pick Von Miller from Texas A & M are among the names represented in a suit that will most likely be heard by Doty early next week.

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