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Thursday, January 13, 2011
CBA chatter: Why players may not get cut

By Paul Kuharsky
ESPN.com

While Vince Young is likely to be released, the likelihood of a lockout when the league calendar flips from March 3rd to March 4th makes me think there will be fewer veterans cut than usual.

The Titans have declared that Young will not be on the team in 2012. But even releasing him on, or after, Feb. 7 when teams are allowed to start making such moves may not be the avenue the team takes.

Let him go then and someone else could get a head start putting their roster together. And if your roster building is going to be slowed by a lockout, then why give any other team any kind of head start in assembling theirs?

The 2010 trade deadline is passed, so player-for-player or player-for-pick(s) trades can’t happen until the new NFL year starts. Bonuses that are due in the early days of the new league year (unless they are written as being “on March 9” as opposed to “on the fifth day of the 2011 league year” won’t be paid either.

So no matter how finished a team may feel with a guy, there is no gain from releasing him sooner than later, is there? It’s not like he’s going to hanging out with his teammates at team headquarters, as they’ll all be locked out of the building. He won’t be taking any of the team’s money or resources. If he’s corrupting a locker room, he’s doing it outside of the confines of the team-controlled locker room anyway.

If the Colts reach some sort of new deal with Bob Sanders between now and then, great. If they don’t and decide they can’t go forward with him as his current price, then, as patient as they’ve already been, why give anyone a head start on taking a chance with him by releasing him? He could be signed before March 4.

If the Jaguars decide they want to cut ties with Derrick Harvey, that’s fine. But not knowing how long a lockout will last or what the resolution will look like, it makes a lot more sense to keep him and make the move after things are resolved.

If you hate a guy, if you’re done with a guy, if you can’t stand a guy in your locker room --none of that matters if things are heading where everyone believes. He’ll just be name and number on a paper roster.

His name’s going to be written on the whiteboard on his general manager’s wall. I can’t imagine the pleasure an executive might derive from erasing it can’t outweigh still having a player over not having a player while things get frozen.