Finally! After 131 days of haggling, manoeuvring, rhetoric, negotiations, false alarms, back talk, whispers, dirty looks, and perhaps the odd inappropriate action that I don’t want to know about, the NFL is back!
Very early this morning as first reported by FOX Sports NFL insider Jay Glazer, (who’s now the voice I trust when it comes to the NFL) the league and its players reached an agreement that has been approved by both sides. Which means season on.
Only one game was lost and that was the Hall of Fame game, which no one outside of Canton Ohio will remember anyways.
I won’t get into the details of the labour agreement. I’m not a lawyer and I have no desire to be one. I’d rather talk football. However I will say that this deal ensures labour peace for the next 10 years. Clearly neither side wants to go through this for a very long time.
Now comes the fun part. Teams can now negotiate contracts with their own free agents before they hit the open market. This will be a huge test for the front offices and football operations departments of each club. We will find out which teams were prepared for the lockout and eventual deal. We will also find out which team is well-run, organized, and has a winning program.
Every team is going to have to make some very difficult decisions. Who to keep, who to cut, who takes a pay cut, who gets a raise. This will be a very fine line each team will have to cross to see who’s successful and who’s a failure.
There are some intriguing names out there as free agents. The one name I’m most interested in is Oakland Raiders cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha. An all pro shut down corner with size, speed and pure athleticism, Asomugha would be a valuable asset to any team’s defence, no matter the scheme. The Detroit Lions were considered front-runners at one time but have since backed off.
Other names that are getting some free agent buzz are QB Matt Hasselback, RB DeAngelo Williams, WR Santonio Holmes, and LB Tamba Hali.
Most of all I’m happy that the battles will now be on the field instead of the courtroom. I don’t want to write about labour negotiations anymore. I’m glad I can write about the games on the field. I love football and I’m glad it’s back!