Speaking of which…

    1024 576 Ravenous128

    I refuse to write a filler article.

    I engaged in a bit of online ranting this week in my own feeble attempt to out the industry’s worst offenders.  Right now, most NFL-entwined publications are hard-pressed for news, as evidence by the slate of current headlines – “The Falcons Think They’re in Good Shape”, or “Jacoby Brissett Attends XFL Game”.  I’m sure most of you die-hards are aware the new CBA negotiations are ongoing and slated for a vote this weekend; this is actual news, as is the naming of a new NFLPA president (ironic, considering the new president will have to negotiate on the merits of the new CBA – his predecessor’s signature handiwork).  The Rules Committee will be meeting soon and several changes are being proposed around the league.  These events have been dutifully covered by national and local sports media.  The remaining 23 hours of the football news cycle these days trends towards speculation over Tom Brady’s destination (usually embellished with a random quote or two from his ex-teammates), running blurbs about a team’s intentions, unworkable and unfathomable trade scenarios, and prognostication based on nothing.  Oh, and mock drafts.  LOTS of those.  Speaking of which…

    The Ravens’ draft board has undoubtedly been affected by the retirement of stalwart RG Marshal Yanda, whose presence in stabilizing a young offensive line has obviously been key to the team’s recent success.  Yanda will be sorely missed, so speculation is already raging over his possible replacement.  Given the available in-house options, it’s safe to say the Ravens will be looking outside the organization for possible help, but they’ll most likely stick with their draft board.  Press releases this morning indicate the team has been aware of Yanda’s pending announcement for some time, so they’ve probably got a few ideas in mind.  Speaking of which…

    The aforementioned new NFLPA president is Browns C J.C. Tretter, who apparently has a background in labor relations and has been notably equitable in his views.  Upon his election, Tretter tweeted a redress of the proposed CBA and urged all voting members of the NFLPA to read it thoroughly before making any decisions.  Perhaps it’s good he had little hand in creating it; that distance should enable him to see all sides of the issue and act accordingly.  It’s worth saying that Tretter retained majority support throughout this transition and was elected on his first review – all factors that point to established trust.  Given the CBA’s often-testy negotiations, it’s going to be needed.  Speaking of which…

    Reliable in every way but general health, Bengals WR A.J. Green remains a strong candidate for the franchise designation.  The deadline for tagging players has been officially moved to Monday, March 16, which, given the lack of progress in a long-term deal may be the only way the Bengals retain his services.  The tag for WRs carries a financial hit of roughly $18 million annually, which isn’t far off Green’s projected worth in today’s bloated market.  The Bengals have the salary cap space to make it happen, although with this ownership group, nothing is certain.  Look for negotiations to go down to the proverbial wire, as spending more than is absolutely necessary is generally anathema in Cincinnati.  Speaking of which…

    Talks and pearl clutching continue in Pittsburgh, where the Steelers are hard-pressed against the salary cap, and while they appear determined to franchise-tag OLB Alvin “Bud” Dupree, he’s just one part of the overall equation, as his retention would trigger the release of some higher-salaried veterans.   The team hasn’t definitively named anyone for that dubious honor, but as noted here last week, it’ll probably be painful.  Three likely candidates are identified here, but the team’s going to have to endure a lot more carnage than this to feel comfortable again.

     

    Enjoy the week!

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    Ravenous128

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