AFC South: CBA chatter

CBA chatter: The schedule

February, 1, 2011
Props to Bill Smith, who broke a long streak of mailbag messages unworthy of a mailbag, better yet a singular post.

Here’s what he wrote:
The NFL usually releases the schedule in April. If the lockout is still ongoing do you think they will backload with division and conference games in case some games early are missed? Or do you think they have 2 schedules ready to go (normal/abbreviated)? That has to be one that makes the blog, yes???


A league official says the schedule will be released in April as usual and an official with an AFC South team said his frachise expects it as usual.

It’s a full project to get that ready, and I suspect any abbreviated plans won’t happen until after that. If it appears they could be necessary, then the league’s scheduling department might work on some contingencies -- but how much can it do without knowing how many weeks will be missed?

I do think it would be smart for the league to steer clear of marquee games early on -- if the first few weeks are chopped off, it would be easier to pick it up as it is. But it could still be re-scrambled.

I would expect a shortened season would want to include a full divisional schedule as the expense of other games.

If you chop two games, it's easiest to take away the two same-conference opponets determined by last season's finish.

If you chop four it's easiest to scratch off the four against a full AFC division (for us, the AFC North in 2011) or the four against a full NFC division (for us, the NFC South in 2011).

For your reference, here are the opponents of the four teams of the AFC South.
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.