Denver Broncos News: Horse Tracks - 3/13/11

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Ellis furious over union's actions - The Denver Post
If the owners wind up with a deal they don't like, the fear is the costs will be passed on to the fans. Perhaps ticket prices will go up. Perhaps the league will figure out how to comprehensively charge fans a fee for each game they watch on television. "That's a theory that may make sense on paper, but the fans will dictate what they're going to pay for and not pay for," Ellis said. "We have not raised our ticket prices in the general admission for the last three years. And the reason is we know what the fans' reaction would have been to that, having experienced true disappointment the last three years."

Lockout just tops Broncos' lost season - The Denver Post
Broncos defensive lineman Kevin Vickerson is not allowed in the team building, but he can cash the $1 million worth of signing-bonus checks he will receive for re-upping with the team prior to the work stoppage. No other player will be paid until the new league year officially opens. Vickerson's teammates should give him a new nickname during the lockout: Bankroll.

Broncos are willing to open their books | ProFootballTalk
We still don’t know why any of this would make an owner “angry,” apart from the fact that some really rich people are very accustomed to getting their way, and they get “angry” on those rare occasions when they don’t. Both sides are attempting to use their full legal rights to get the best deal possible. The league thinks a better deal happens via collective bargaining. The players think a better deal happens via litigation. It would be nice if someone on either side of this fight would simply be honest about that reality, and not complain about it.

NFL NEWS

Roger Goodell, Jeff Pash follow through on vow to slash salary to $1 | ProFootballTalk
The Associated Press reports that Goodell, who makes about $10 million a year, and Pash, who makes about $5 million, are both going down to $1 until the lockout is over. But Goodell and Pash are far from the only ones: Everyone who works at the league office in New York, at NFL Films, at NFL Network and at NFL.com is getting a 12 percent pay cut. Those folks make a lot less than $5 million a year.

NFLPA lawyer was a Judge Doty law clerk | ProFootballTalk
One of the most intriguing facts regarding the team of lawyers representing the players in their antitrust lawsuit filed in federal court in Minnesota is that the first name on the stack — Barbara P. Berens — previously served as a law clerk to Judge David Doty.

Titans not bringing back Randy Moss | National Football Post
Although Moss didn't make waves in the Titans' locker room following his messy divorces from the New England Patriots and the Minnesota Vikings last season, he was unproductive. In eight games and four starts with the Titans, the former All-Pro only caught eight passes for 60 yards.

NFL DRAFT

29 teams attend rare Saturday Pro Day at Arizona - CBSSports.com
Proving the intrigue developing around an underrated senior class of prospects from the University of Arizona, 29 NFL teams were represented at the Wildcats' Pro Day, Saturday. Typically, Pro Days are reserved for the normal work week, but with the buzz being created by Brooks Reed and his fellow pass rushers, Ricky Elmore and De'Aundre Reed, who were each also invited to the Combine.

Colin McCarthy NFL Draft Scouting Report - Mocking The Draft
Final Word: McCarthy is a good athlete and plays with toughness and good instincts. He reads and reacts to running plays very fast then sheds the block and makes the tackle. He seems to be an ideal fit for teams running a 4-3 defense. He can play the middle linebacker or even on occassion the outside linebacker positions. When he is free to roam behind the 4 down lineman in a 4-3 scheme he will be at his best and make plays from sideline to sideline. He could play the middle linebacker position in a 3-4 defense, but I think he would struggle there because he has problems disengaging from offensive lineman and also fighting through traffic. He reminds me a lot of ex football star, Dan Morgan, who also played at Miami. McCarthy had a great Senior Bowl, showing off his athleticism and flexibility to play multiple positions. Overall, McCarthy more than likely will be a 2nd round steal for an NFL team on draft day and will be very consistently productive linebacker who does not make a lot of mistakes and is always around the ball. Teams he would fit well with are the Broncos, Lions, Giants, Panthers, Jaguars, and Titans.

Martez Wilson NFL Draft Scouting Report - Mocking The Draft
Final word: Wilson's combine performance put him on the map for some evaluators. However, his play on the field is what speaks volumes about this playmaking ability. He shows good explosiveness and instincts that have him as a fringe 1st round prospect. Wilson has the versatility to play any linebacker position and the potential to develop into a rush 3-4 linebacker. His versatility and athleticism will make him an attractive prospect come April. The one criticism I have with Wilson's game is that he gives inconsistent effort. At times, he appeared hesitant and unwilling to chase down the play.

Ryan Kerrigan: 'The more you can do, the more valuable you are' | National Football Post
Purdue defensive end Ryan Kerrigan has been cross-training at defensive end and outside linebacker with NFL teams displaying interest in him at both positions. At his campus Pro Day workout Friday, Kerrigan did positional drills and stood on his workout numbers from the NFL scouting combine.

NFL.com news: Defensive players lead the way on list of top 32 prospects
1. Marcell Dareus*, DT, Alabama This is my favorite player in the country this year. He has tremendous foot speed for a player his size. He can play the nose, the three-technique and showed he can play the five-technique. From my perspective, I don't think he can possibly get past Denver at No. 2.

NFL LOCKOUT

Mike Brown: “All the union cared about was the money” | ProFootballTalk
Brown’s words won’t help matters, but we’ll leave things on a note that’s worth keeping in mind for frustrated fans. “I’ve been through ups and downs in labor negotiations in the NFL and there is one thing similar in all of them,” Brown said. “They do come to an end and you get back together and you go out and play football. This one will be no different.”

The NFLPA* statement on issues preventing a new CBA | ProFootballTalk
In response to the NFL’s summary of its final proposal to the union last night, the NFLPA* posted their own summary on NFLLockout.com of why the NFL’s offer was unacceptable. The end of negotiations has caused both sides to increase their transparency to fans. Or at least their separate versions of transparency.

NFL labor negotiation situation shouldn't be a surprise - Don Banks - SI.com
Blah, blah, blah. We know none of that is really true. Both sides in this league-versus-players stand-off only did what they wanted to do and what they were willing to do. Nothing more. The rest is just spin and trying to keep the upper hand in the public relations battle. And the blame game is beyond tiresome at this point.

Cold, Hard Football Facts.com: Labor Pains: Trolls struggle with potential death of NFL season
As you know, the collective bargaining agreement ran out and the players' union decertified late Friday. This move puts the entire 2011 season in jeopardy. We're coping they best way we know how: with loads of booze and violent moodswings as we try to wrap our brains around the potential devastation.

After Impasse, What's Next? - NYTimes.com
That doesn't mean Friday's collapse of mediated talks is unimportant. The impasse could be tremendously disruptive, leaving hundreds of free agents in limbo, draft picks unsigned, team personnel on furloughs or worse, and coaches taking pay cuts.

NFL Labor Chronology - NYTimes.com
A chronology of developments in NFL labor negotiations leading to the collapse of talks on Friday:

Players Have Plenty to Say, in Short Bursts - NYTimes.com
The tone of other Twitter messages from players around the league were similar: the labor situation is serious, but there are other matters to think about, from world events to college basketball.

ProFootballWeekly.com - League sends letter to players with lockout rules
The NFL sent letters to all players announcing the lockout and outlining the rules that will be in place as long as there is a work stoppage. In addition to telling players they will not receive any compensation from their team, the league explained the use of team facilities during a lockout:

N.F.L. Shutdown Pushes Fight Into the Courtroom - NYTimes.com
The planning for the legal battles ahead was under way Saturday — the N.F.L. added the high-profile lawyers David Boies and Paul Clement to the legal team that will fight the players’ antitrust suit. But the league’s competition committee, which sets the playing rules for the game, was meeting, a reminder that eventually, perhaps even on schedule, there will be football again.

Decertification: snatching defeat from victory? | National Football Post
If this were nine days ago, the original expiration date of the CBA, no one would have been shocked if this were the outcome. But after two extensions and reported progress, which included both sides showing a reluctance to use their respective weapons of decertification and lockout, every knowledgeable observer seemed to be predicting an eventual settlement, even if one could not be worked out by the second extended deadline Friday

Chiefs issue statement regarding lockout | ProFootballTalk
As Rosenthal pointed out earlier today, every team has employed a different approach when it comes to commenting on the lockout. Some have said nothing at all. Others have issued statements through their owners. Others have sent letters to the paying customers. The Chiefs have issued a general statement, not attributed to any specific person or office within the organization.

Pete Kendall says owners’ statements are “completely false” | ProFootballTalk
“I’m incredibly disappointed,” Pete Kendall tells Tom Curran of CSNNE.com. “It’s completely false. The outcome we have today is outcome the owners sought starting in 2007 when they hired Bob Batterman. Owners started talking publicly about a lockout in 2008 and evidence in the ["lockout insurance" case] made it clear owners planned to do a lockout in 2011. No other conclusion can be drawn.

League claims decertification came too early to avoid “sham” defense | ProFootballTalk
“The union only pretended to decertify in 1990,” NFL outside counsel Gregg Levy said in a statement provided to PFT. “As history has confirmed, that purported decertification was a sham. In an effort to protect its ability to repeat the fraud a second time, the union tried in the White settlement to limit the NFL’s ability to challenge in an antitrust court any future attempt by the union to pull off a similar sham. But that limitation could have applied only if the purported decertification occurred after expiration of the Stipulation and Settlement Agreement. The union was in such a rush to get to court that it did not wait until SSA expiration. The league is therefore free to show that this ‘decertification’ is also a sham.”

Players seek “preliminary injunction” to stop lockout while lawsuit proceeds | ProFootballTalk
We’ve obtained a copy of the “motion for preliminary injunction” filed on behalf of Tom Brady and the other named plaintiffs. The motion asks that the lockout be prevented while the litigation proceeds. Though no hearing date has been set, motions of this nature tend to move fairly quickly. A hearing could be set for the coming week, and a decision could be issued in time for free agency to begin by Friday.

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