The big news Tuesday seemed to be hope on the NFL labor front, which is what everybody wants, of course. But sometimes we can let the seeming approach of the thing we want get us more excited than we should actually be. Reports that a solution to the labor issues is close, or that the framework is in place, or that a deal could be done by Tuesday's owner's meetings are all premature and overly enthusiastic, according to the people I spoke with Tuesday.
Those people admit work is being done, and that finally, after years of posturing, there is actual negotiation taking place with each side apparently committed to the shared goal of an eventual deal. And that is positive. But one of the people I spoke with Tuesday, who's connected to and knowledgeable of the situation, told me people are underestimating how much work remains, and that even if progress continues to be made at the rate it has over the past week or so, the process will be long and likely include more setbacks before a final solution is reached.
So in the end, while there's more hope than ever of training camps and the season starting on time, it's still far from guaranteed, and I wouldn't expect any big, happy announcements today.
Meanwhile, we link:
Jean-Jacques Taylor hopes Tony Romo learned some things from Dirk Nowitzki during the Mavericks' run to the NBA title. Taylor falls into the "championships are all that matter" camp, which was discussed at some length in the comments section under yesterday's links. I have said many times that I consider that an overly simplistic way of assessing a player's career, and I think in this case it underestimates how much more Nowitzki had already accomplished in his career than Romo has in his, even before the title. Taylor raises some decent points here, but the central, underlying one is that Romo's book hasn't been completely written yet, and there is time for him to change the tone, tenor and content of the story. I'm just not sure he needed to see the Dallas Mavericks win a championship in order to realize how important it is to win one.
Todd Archer predicts, based on the results of the player voting so far, that DeMarcus Ware will finish between 10th and 15th on the NFL Network's list of the 100 best players in the league. I predict that it'll be a long, long time before somebody finds a way to stretch out a story the way the NFL Network has with this list.
New York Giants
Give Perry Fewell credit. The Giants' defensive coordinator is passionate about his job and determined to do it well. But he's not pulling anybody's leg about whether he wants to be a head coach again someday. He wants it bad.
Keith Bulluck says he'd like to sign with the Giants, Lions or Patriots once the lockout is over. He said the Giants are on the list because "they gave me an opportunity to come and continue my career, really get healthy, where I needed to be." And that is true, but I'm not sure the on-field results from 2010 made the Giants as interested in bringing Bulluck back as he may be in returning.
Les Bowen went up to British Columbia to do the Danny Watkins firefighter story, which is well worth a read. Looking at the NFL through the eyes of people who don't generally think about it very much is always interesting for those of us who think about is so much. Les tells the Watkins story from the perspective of people who knew him before the NFL was even on the radar.
Sheil Kapadia missed the Plaxico Burress release while on his honeymoon (good for him), but he joins the chorus of Philadelphia media who think Riley Cooper can do the same job for far less hassle.
Mike Jones writes that Trent Williams and LaRon Landry haven't attended any of the workouts organized this offseason by and for Redskins players. It never stops, right? I always find it ridiculous when coaches get on players for missing "voluntary" offseason workouts, and now ... I mean, have there ever been workouts more "voluntary" than these? Someday, we may be able to go back and track how much of this stuff meant. But as of now, I just can't get too worked up about taking attendance at these practices. Heck, maybe they couldn't find the workout.
I did enjoy this item, though, on John Beck scouting rookie teammates by finding clips of them on YouTube.
Enjoy your morning. Hope it's as sunny where you are as it is here. We'll be back later to talk broken tackles and whatever else ends up being on your mind, my mind and the news wire today.