Really quick. Do a sweep and see how many blogs and sports writers actually reported, this past Wednesday or Thursday, that there was no chance in hell of a new CBA being done before Monday. Go ahead, I’ll wait. Are you looking? Check Bleacher Report, SB Nation, hell check ESPN and the NFL Newtork guys. Did any one of them say the lockout wouldn’t end last week? Or did they all say their sources had informed them that the 21st was D-Day, it was a done deal and that players could be working out in team facilities as early as Friday? If you’re too lazy to research it now don’t worry. I’ll do all the work for you here tomorrow.
The point is that if you had listened to me (“Why the Lockout Won’t End This Week,” 7/20 and “The Guessing Game: When Will the Lockout End,” 7/8) you could have saved yourself the heartbreak of thinking it was all finally going to be over Thursday night, of watching the NFL Network and ESPN for sixteen straight hours as they literally held vigil over the owners’ meeting in Atlanta and every sports journalist in the country from Peter King to the Eagles’ Dave Spadaro all converged on some random hotel lobby to “be there live” when “the lockout was finally over.” Then the owners voted – they VOTED! – and agreed on a new CBA and it was a mere formality now, all the players had to do was text De Smith yes or no and Nnamdi was gonna be an Eagle by Monday. And then…wait. What’s that? I’m sorry viewers, I’m…I’m being told we were all totally and completely wrong. There will be no CBA after all. But please tune in tomorrow because our sources are telling us it will all be over tomorrow. It’s a mere formality.
Yeah. If you had listened to me you could have been at the beach all day like I was, you could have turned off the radio and rocked out to some Justin Beiber…er… I mean Metallica songs and looked up funny stuff on YouTube instead of reading a bunch of fake reports, made-up articles, and misleading Tweets all night.
So, now that I’ve proven beyond all doubt that I’m the only trustworthy sports reporter left in America, I figured I would clear up a few more things while we’re all sitting around waiting for the players to fire DeMaurice Smith and beg for their jobs back. Here are four “reports” that we’ve seen pretty regularly throughout this offseason, and now that we’re getting closer to actually being able to talk about football again I figured we’d get our feet wet by calling fair or foul on each of them. Doubt me at your own peril.
Fact or Fiction: Four Offseason “Storylines”
1) Players declined to sign the owners’ CBA offer on Thursday because they were angry the owners held a press conference and announced the deal first. They had wanted to announce the deal and when they saw Goodell on TV they ripped up the contracts and walked away.
FALSE. This was a multi-billion dollar deal that would last for ten years and a settlement of two federal lawsuits that could never be tried again in court. They weren’t building a volcano for the school science fair. The idea that players would walk away from a good deal because the owners “took too much credit for it” is so laughable I honestly can’t even consider it for more than a second. We have no access to any of the prior proposals, so we have no way of knowing if this really was a good deal or not. For all we know the owners decided to take advantage of all the media coverage in Atlanta and submit a “finalized” deal to the players – one they knew was heavily slanted in their own favor – then hold a press conference announcing it, all so they could pressure players into accepting a bad deal. It makes as much sense as the other theory. All we know for sure is that De Smith has one concern and one concern only: money. He doesn’t give a crap who holds a press conference first.
2) Kevin Kolb will be traded to the Cardinals. For Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie.
Half-fact. Kolb is going to Arizona. I think even he knows it. But DRC is nowhere near adequate compensation for a veteran, franchise quarterback who will start for at least a decade. Especially in a year when the work stoppage has basically ruined the chances for rookie QBs to succeed at the level the Cardinals are looking for, a guy like KK is worth his weight in gold. DRC may have talent, but he’s inconsistent and prone to mistakes. Definitely not a game changer, as evidenced by the 22 passing touchdowns the Cards gave up last year and the fact that DRC didn’t even lead the team with interceptions. He reminds me of Dimitri Patterson, actually, except that Patterson had more interceptions in 2010. And he didn’t get to play the Rams, Seahawks and 49ers twice last year. Personally I don’t think Reid has any interest at all in DRC, but if we fail to make any progress with Jonathan Joeseph or Nnamdi he might be willing to take him. So long as he comes with a first round pick.
3) The players’ recent rejection of the owners’ CBA proposal was a huge slap in the face, and the negotiation process has broken down to the point where we’re going to have to start all over again. There will probably be no football this year after all.
Fiction. Ridiculous. The loss of the Hall of Fame Game is going to cost both sides millions, and if the league has to start cancelling preseason games it will cost owners and players another $200 million a week. The true costs of the lockout are going to get more and more tangible the closer we get to September, and neither side is greedy, angry or foolish enough to stand by and watch all that money slide down the drain. It may take some more time, and we might lose at least another week of preseason games, but eventually there will be an agreement and we will have football this year. Trust me.
4) Plaxico Burress will be an Eagle.
FICTION. I’m honestly kind of shocked that I even need to explain this one, so I’ll do it quick. The Eagles have set offensive scoring records in each of the last three seasons. Ever since D-Jax got here, we’ve gotten better every year. Now with the big play ability of Maclin and the consistent possession play of Avant, we might have one of the best receiving corps in the NFL. Riley Cooper – the guy who recovered that clutch on-side kick in the Miracle at the New Meadowlands – has the potential to make serious strides as the number four this year while continuing to contribute heavily to an improving special teams unit. By signing Burress, he would essentially be replacing Cooper on the offense, which would cost us a valuable player on special teams. He would also be more expensive, older, more injured, more distracting and probably a hell of a lot more rusty. Yes, Plax is a “big target” we could use in the red zone, but so is Cooper and he’s rarely on the field during goal line plays anyway. And even if we did want to splurge on a veteran wide receiver with big play ability and a huge size advantage over defenders, there’s an unhappy guy out in San Diego who would give us a lot more production for the money. Don’t get excited. I’m not actually saying Vincent Jackson has a chance to more to Philadelphia. I’m just saying Plaxico doesn’t have a chance either. Meet the new depth chart, same as the old depth chart.
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