Good morning, Giants fans. I'm a bit somber this morning as we begin a new week of NFL labor negotiations. Why? Because they keep saying one to two more weeks, and we're running out of weeks before training camps are supposed to open. This past Friday, the Giants announced that when training camp opens, it won't be at the University of Albany. More on that in a bit, but, of course, the move makes sense. However, the reality that more than an Albany training camp for the Giants may be canceled looms like a big, bad storm in the distance. Will the storm move toward the ocean, or will it hit us fans directly? I've tried to remain optimistic this whole time, but this is getting tiresome and, frankly, a bit ridiculous.
NFL stumbling blocks: free agency, rookie wages - NFL - Yahoo! Sports
A rookie wage scale and free agency for veterans appear to be the biggest stumbling blocks to ending the NFL lockout. Several people with knowledge of the talks tell The Associated Press that such key issues as splitting total revenues—the major reason for the dispute— the salary cap, fewer offseason workouts and the length of a new collective bargaining agreement are close to being completed.
Appeals Court Rules N.F.L. Lockout Can Continue - NYTimes.com
Progress toward a new N.F.L. labor deal slowed Friday when a federal appeals court gave the league a narrow victory, ruling that its lockout of players could continue. But the court left open the question of whether the N.F.L. could be sued for antitrust violations. According to one person briefed on negotiations, the timing of the court’s opinion — issued in the morning — was "awful" and "not helpful" to the talks, unsettling them just as the sides hoped to finish discussions on the revenue split, the heart of the dispute. The decision emboldened the hawks among both parties, the person said, inspiring some owners to want more concessions from players, and some on the players’ side to want to press their case, with the prospect that the court could allow antitrust damages.
NFL.com news: Latest talks accomplish little, but parties to meet again Monday
NFL owners and players on Friday wrapped up a frustrating couple of days in Manhattan with 10 hours of talks that didn't produce much. In fact, three sources, including figures on each side, said there was little to no progress on the core issues the parties had hoped to break through in constructing a new labor deal. As a result, the lockout, which now is in its fifth month, will continue. There will be communication between the parties over the weekend -- it's not considered a "weekend off" -- but the next set of face-to-face labor talks won't occur until Monday. The legal teams and staff from each side will convene in Manhattan, with the owners and players expected to join them Tuesday or Wednesday.
The only positive I can take away from these news items is in that first one, that the core issues have been resolved and agreed to in the labor dispute. We will keep you posted on "progress" this week otherwise.
Eli Manning doing his best to keep New York Giants' offense in sync during lockout | NOLA.com
He became a father in March. And he became C.J. Hunter, a mustachioed police officer, for a series of DirecTV commercials. But he also has become a leader, a leader of the New York offense, as the lockout drags on and organized team activities fall by the wayside. Manning reached out to his teammates in June and organized several workouts at a New Jersey high school. Manning didn't make a big deal about the practices, describing them as "decent," but took on the responsibility of ensuring he and his receivers stayed sharp until the lockout ends.
I know just about every quarterback did this for their respective NFL teams, but I think we're pretty lucky to have Manning at the helm. His leadership ability has grown just about every season. You hear that, Tikii? Speaking of which....
Ronde Barber unsure if Tiki Barber joining Bucs is realistic | National Football Post
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are an unlikely landing spot for former New York Giants running back Tiki Barber as he attempts a comeback after years of retirement. Although Barber recently said the Buccaneers and the Pittsburgh Steelers are on his short list, even his twin brother, Buccaneers cornerback Ronde Barber, doeesn't think they'll be reunited in Tampa Bay.
Yeah, I know--blah blah blah who cares blah blah blah.
Retiring Collins at peace after 'remarkable' career
People told Ernie Accorsi that he was goofy. Accorsi, the New York Giants general manager in 1999, decided to gamble on a quarterback who had been waived twice, who had undergone alcohol rehabilitation, who had been accused of quitting on one team and who had been accused of making racially insensitive remarks.
I thought Accorsi was more than goofy for signing Collins, but it turned out pretty decent for both parties--especially Collins, who rode that Super Bowl appearance to another ten NFL seasons.
QB trade market is tricky business - NFL - Yahoo! Sports
Given his youth and promise, Kolb might well be worth a first-round choice, when the lockout ends and the trade moratorium is lifted. But projecting a quarterback with such a limited body of work is tricky business. And if history is an indication, the Seahawks, or any other team interested, probably can’t be sure the price is right.
Giants gone just for 2011? - Times Union
University and city officials also issued statements looking forward to the Giants coming back next year. But don't be so confident. In fact, we may have seen the last Giants camp at UAlbany.
Yikes. But I think I've read this before. That said, no one is thinking beyond 2011. We're only trying to think beyond this darn lockout. Let's hope the parties involved are truly looking beyond it as well and toward an agreement a bit more this week.