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League Nearing Doomsday Situation As CBA Talks Are Canceled

I have avoided talking about the collective bargaining agreement for as long as I could, but it now appears to be time to explain the situation, the deadlines, and the ramifications if a deal is not in place soon. The news broke this morning that the owners and players association would be calling off their scheduled meeting today after reportedly meeting for upwards of 10 hours yesterday with little to no progress. It’s also been reported that the meeting for next week has been canceled as well and if that report proves to be true the chances of a lockout will almost instantly double.

The reason for this is there is a March 3rd deadline to have a new agreement in place otherwise teams will be unable to make trades, players will not become free agents, and will be locked out without deals to any teams. If the league and its players cannot reach a compromise by that deadline the talks will likely be put on hold until right before the season. The situation is getting uglier by the day and the chances of them coming to terms before that March deadline are becoming more of a pipe dream than reality. If the talks head into the middle of the summer the league will suffer gigantic losses in merchandising, ticket sales, sponsors, and more. The players will also be losing out big in the way that they will be locked to their current team well into the summer and cannot blend with their new team anytime soon and they will be unable to test the waters of free agency.

For fans we still will get to enjoy the NFL draft and the scouting combine, but we will not see trades, free agency, and mini camps until something is worked out. This will be a major let down as the NFL as always prided itself on being a year round sport that always leaves the fans something to look forward to.

The league and players are mainly fighting over the money the players get in comparison to the owners. Players take far more of the NFL pie than the owners and the players are so heavily overpaid it snit fair to the owners. Some of the other issues include revenue sharing, rookie salary cap, the proposed 18 games schedule (the players hate), and overall issues with pay rates.

The league has not hit the panic button quite yet, but they have certainly now have their fingers on it. For the rest world we will have to wait and see if our nations most popular sport will even be in existence as we know it in 2011 and if so what major changes we will see across the board. The NFL sky is falling and clock is ticking.

Update: The CBA talks broke down due to union proposing a 50-50 split of all revenue. This is per Chris Mortensen of ESPN.


The latest: Training Camp Update

The news has been flying lately and I spent all of yesterday in Georgetown watching the Bengals at their opening day of camp. There is so much to talk about so I will try to catch my readers up if they haven’t heard some of this already.

Benson will not be suspended. The commissioner decided against suspending Benson after their one on one talk about the incident last week in New York.

-Antonino Bryant is hurting. He looked good in yesterdays opening practice but he was unable to compete in the night practice or in this mornings session due to his lingering knee troubles. It does not look good and there are now rumors he may make the PUP list which would deactivate him for the first six weeks in 2010.

– Jermaine Gresham is still looking for his deal, and reports are that the talks have not been going well. However, the last few days has seen a number of 1st rounders sign and it looks to be helping the talks between Gresham and the Bengals.

—With Benson on board the Bengals can now focus with the players they have on the roster. The coaches have been happy with what they have seen thus far and so have I. As I watched practice I noticed quite a few standouts and here they are.

*The Good

Carson Palmer- He looked good and practiced without a knee brace or without any tape or glove on his surgically repaired thumb. His throws have been very accurate and velocity has been very good as well. He has been throwing the deep ball well, but has struggled on overthrowing a few players when he had a rush in his face.

Cedric Benson- Has been smiling, laughing and enjoying himself, while he flies through the line and lowers his shoulders on the DB’s. The guy looks motivated and ready for another huge year.

The Corners- All have looked very sharp expect for one (see below).

The WR’s- I wont go too in-depth because my breakdown of the group is coming soon, but basically the very talented group is showing that this years roster battles and cuts will be very interesting. Obviously the addition of T.O. gives the group a completely different feel. The future HOF WR was on the field for last nights practiced and looked good. He spent much of the practice alone with Palmer discussing what they expect out of each other. This group is leaps and bounds over the patch job group they had in 2009.

– “Taz” and “The Freak” have shown why the coaches have been raving. Both M.J. and Atkins have shown they can really get after the QB and that they have a ton of speed. The potential for these two young defenders is huge.

* The Bad

-Adam Jones was consistently beaten badly by any WR he lined up against and let his frustration show.

-The Injuries. Nelson, Jeanty, Hall, Smith, Bryant and Mathis are all hurting and are not practicing.

-Gresham is still not signed. The deal should be close, but apparently it’s just getting worse.

Terrell Owens is a Bengal

Owens finally settled for the Bengals low ball offer. 2 million dollars plus incentives landed “Team Obliterator” on Cincy’s squad. Its going to be a circus but if Carson Palmer can be the ring master then this could be one of those things Bengals fans look back at and say “that was the move that got us our Superbowl.” However, there is a chance this cripples the team and the Bengals will no be able to get over the “Owens Curse.” Regardless T.O. is a Bengal and Antonio Bryant is most likely headed to the PUP list.

Update: Jordan Shipley has inked rookie deal

No confirmed details yet, but Joe Reedy who covers the team is reporting that Shipley is “in the fold,” and the Bengals are now just focusing on the remaining top two picks. Looks like the Bengals are finally getting a move on with these last second deals. Let’s Hope the remaining two deals come before Thursday. More to come.

UPDATE: Shipley has signed to a 4 year 2.5 million dollar contract. The Bengals got an absolute steal with Jordan Shipley at that price no doubt.

The Fate of a Franchise: The Carson Palmer Story

It was 2002 and I was enjoying my first year of watching football. I was just 12, but I was instantly drawn to the team and it become my passion. I watched as my team looked lost, confused, and was beaten to a pulp constantly. My team was in need of a hero and that hero came in the form of Carson Palmer. Drafted number one overall in 2003, Carson was pronounced as the “savior” of my beloved Bengals. The Heisman trophy winner instantly became my favorite athlete ever. As 2003 chugged along with a warrior QB named Kitna, I couldn’t help but look towards the man sitting on the bench waiting for his turn to lead the team. Flash forward to 2005. Carson Palmer is fresh off the regular season in which he put up Bengals passing records, got selected to the Pro bowl, beat the rival Steelers in their house, and won the AFC north championship. Coming off of arguably the greatest regular season for a Bengals QB, his next challenge was to take down the Steelers one more time in the first round of the 2005-2006 playoffs.

However, what should have been one of the greatest days in Bengals history ended in horror. On the second play from scrimmage Carson completed a 66 yard bomb to Chris Henry. I wasn’t cheering for long. As he let go of the ball I could see his knee buckle, and my fears were confirmed a few seconds later when the camera panned back to my all pro QB cringing on the turf. His ACL and MCL where both shredded and he was out for the season. The Bengals went on to lose to their rivals, and they had what many fans believe to be their Superbowl, snatched away from them. The championship was lost and Carson’s future was up in the air.

Many believe that fateful night was the defining point of Palmer’s career. However, I believe it was not the injury to his knee that could define his career, but the one to his elbow he suffered nearly 3 years later. Carson spent the better part of 2006 and 2007 coming back from his injuries and returning to his Pro bowl form. In 2008 he suffered the injury to his elbow that is still having ripple effects today. He missed the majority of 2008 and decided against “Tommy John surgery.” He let it heal naturally and was ready to go for 2009. Palmer then lead his team to his second division title of his career. En route to the AFC north championship, Palmer led late game rallies against the Browns, Steelers, Ravens, Chargers, Broncos, Cheifs and Jets while winning most of them. However, Carson’s numbers trailed off, his production fell, and eventually lost to the Jets with a horrible performance in the first round of the playoffs. Some blame the lack of much talent at the wide receiver position (I can second that), some blame the team was to focused on the run and it kept Palmer out of rhythm, while others blame his hurt elbow. I have to be honest something was clearly wrong with Carson near the end of last year. He was throwing balls high, low, wide and everywhere but the direction of the receiver.

I think that the true issue with Carson is that he suffered from a tired arm and not a hurt one. I say this because there was games (Chargers) that Carson looked as good if not better than his 2005 self. His arm wore down due to the immense number of passes he threw in 2009. Palmer was on record as saying that he had already thrown more than a training camps number of passes before camp even started.This caused his arm to go limp near the end of the year and hindered his “golden arm” accuracy and power. His knee injury defiantly has effected his mechanics, but this elbow injury if not healed, could be the truly damning factor of his career. His overworked arm has now taken an off-season to rest and for once Carson is not rehabbing any huge injury. On a much more laxd summer throwing regimen, Carson should be 110% come the start of the season and beyond. He is a top 3 QB in the league when completely healthy and I expect him to be much better in 2010 as he also has a much stronger supporting cast.

Palmer will either have solid years until he retires as a Bengal, or he struggles and Cincinnati becomes the next Philly and runs him out of town. Carson is still the best shot to get to the NFL’s “promised land” and as Bengals fans we need to believe in our QB and stop drilling the nail in his coffin. Just one Superbowl will erase nearly 50 years worth of losing, injuries, heartbreak and suffering from the Bengals faithful and would propel Carson into legendary Bengals status. The man has faced injuries, being on bad teams, doubters, and tough losses that where out of his control. Feel free to comment, where do you think Palmers story will end? As the man who had a world of talent but couldn’t get it done? Or as the Bengals first Superbowl winning QB?

We will see what the future has to offer from him, but in the meantime all the doubters should watch this video from his 2009 season and see the glimpses he showed of being that old all pro. – Carson Palmer 2009 Highlights

Late Night Update: Roddrick Muckelroy to sign tomorrow

Morning, noon, and night I am chasing down the latest info to bring to my loyal blog viewers. The fact that I double check all my sources at 1 in the morning is just another reason you should make my site your go to source for breaking NFL news. The news tonight? Look for the Bengals to ink yet another rookie tomorrow. Straight off of Roddrick’s twitter comes a status saying “sounds like i might sign that line 2mro 56 on the way.” The news comes as a good sign for the Bengals who have currently 4 unsigned picks heading into the week of the training camp opener. Roddrick would make yet another linebacker in the fold for the Bengals and would give him a chance to immediately fight for his job at the start of camp. The fourth round pick finds himself battling to make the team as the Bengals are now loaded at linebacker. Now lets just hope the remaining picks will be dipping the pen in ink soon as well.