Crap ……… The NFL Could Be Back In Business ?
So the NFL is now on the verge of reaching an agreement with the NFLPA and in essence an accord reached guarantees that the 2011 season survives in tact. However , what I find so egregious in all of this have been the actions of both the NFL and the union as it relates to the retired veterans . Judge Athur J Boylan the Federal Court official presiding over the hearings has been approached by both parties in question not to make public the agreement in details as it relates to the benefits for retired veterans . Now inasmuch as one might not think anything wrong with the request it does give credence to the fact that if the league and union could have gotten away with reaching a compromise that didn’t benefit the long term retired veterans of the NFL as they would have .
Slide show for your perusal .
In lieu of the recent death of NFL great John Mackey from dementia and the very fact that he died in an assisting living facility sheds more plight on the numerous retirees still living in some cases in deplorable conditions . The player’s untimely death and the mere fact that the player in the waning days prior to his death was on the verge of being denied benefits rightfully due. What we have been led to believe is that the league will set aside $1 billion to assist the more than 6 ,000 plus living retired NFL veterans . However what the public may not know is the fact for players to actually qualify immediately for any benefits derived from the union they have been a player in the league for a minimum of four years to qualify. Given the idiocy of this rule and the fact that a player’s career within the NFL can easily ended within one game much less play four years at a minimum but yet we are given the impression that the league and union simply cares about its members . In the NFL’s infancy a number of players’ careers were literally over within eighteen months much less playing four years due to injuries that at the time the medical establishment simply had no idea how to treat .
Judge Arthur Boylan , the court-appointed mediator in the NFL labor talks, arrives to the meetings in New York, Monday, July 18, 2011. AP Photo/Seth Wenig ….
Somehow Mackey’s death situation has never seemed more relevant than it is today but you are pressed to notice anything forthcoming as a statement from any senior executive of the NFLPA . There has always been the perfunctory sound byte offered up for public consumption . And that has most certainly been the case with Roger Goodell and his union counterpart DeMaurice Smith . Both individuals have expressed their concerns as to the well being of the veterans but in all honesty does anyone at this juncture believe in the sincerity now being expressed by either Goodell or Smith ?
With the litany of lawyers now formulating the legal aspects of the agreement for both the league hierarchy and union which we are to believe will be a binding ten year collective bargaining agreement. The prospective salary cap for the upcoming season will be in the region of $120 million per team but along with that comes a number of sticking points . Perhaps the most pronounced is the very fact that the teams will have to deal with the of the ” franchise tag” and its use by the franchises. At this juncture I do believe that there is about to be a great deal of mayhem within the NFL because once there union gives its approval then it will all be left to the general managers around the league ascertain their needs as it relates to their unrestricted free agents
The team owners around the NFL have to be gleeful and perhaps none more so that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers . The organization will be some $61 million below the projected salary cap for the 2011-12 season. I’d dare say that GM Mark Dominik , coach Raheem Morris and the coaching staff must be salivating over a wish list of players that they would no doubt like to sign ! The prospective free agents would read like the who’s who of the NFL .
Quarterback Josh Freeman (5) of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers points out coverage before snapping the ball during the game against the New Orleans Saints at the Louisiana Superdome on January 2, 2011 in New Orleans, Louisiana. Getty Images North America / Chris Graythern ….
The Buccaneers this upcoming season should be really fascinating for the franchise all round for a number of reasons . The team’s Pro Bowl quarterback Josh Freeman has shown that he’s the face of the organization for the foreseeable future and with the draft choices made in recent years as well this past season bodes well for the team for the foreseeable future .
Last season in the NFC South the Buccaneers came within a whisper of making the playoffs . The team played admirably with Freeman leading with authority and by example which his teammates seemed all too willing to follow.
There’s no denying with the Buccaneers missing the postseason was seen as immense disappointment for the fans and in particular by those within the front office of the organization . The team’s schedule this season has a number of intriguing match-ups perhaps none more so than the divisional games against Atlanta Falcons , New Orleans Saints and Carolina Panthers . The NFC South may well lack the prestige of the NFC East where a number of analysts and fans believe just might be the best division in the NFL . Given the evidence of last season I now find that to be something of a fallacy . The likes of the Philadelphia Eagles , Dallas Cowboys , New York Giants and Washington Redskins were either under achieving or simply doing it all with smoking mirrors . And the asinine notion that repeatedly year in and year out the Cowboys are the team to beat is now becoming redundant and infantile by those who continue to make that claim ! Perhaps those fans can wake up smell the coffee and also awaken to an actual does of reality for once ?
Head coach Raheem Morris talks with Ronde Barber (20) of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the game against the New Orleans Saints at the Louisiana Superdome on January 2, 2011 in New Orleans, Louisiana. The Buccaneers defeated the Saints 23-13. Getty Images / Chris Graythern ……
The thing I find intriguing about this Bucs’ team in its current format is the sheer youthful exuberance of all the member on the roster. Much of this can be credited to Raheem Morris and his staff who have essentially gotten the players to buy into his style of play and he also holds them accountable . I am not so sure that the same could be said about Morris’ predecessor Jon Gruden who to my mind yearned the spotlight but when it was time to be held accountable he simply sought to apportion blame elsewhere . Gruden may well have led a Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ team to a Superbowl triumph but in the aftermath of that event he simply did nothing tangible for the organization by way of them showing any real improvement . As to his astuteness for the nurturing young talent , can we all agree that too is a real fallacy ? The only thing that Gruden has been use to nurturing has been his own damn ego !
If the Buccaneers are to fare well this upcoming season then it will he incumbent upon Josh Freeman having an injury free year with the defense and offense stepping up their game . LeGarrette Blount had a breakout year as the team’s primary back and with Mike Williams proving what an invaluable addition he’s become , all that is needed is a great deal more consistency and cohesion from the offense to make them a formidable threat within the league .
Earnest Graham (34) of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers celebrates as he jumps for a touchdown against the Carolina Panthers during their game at Bank of America Stadium on September 19, 2010 in Charlotte, North Carolina. Getty Images North America / Streeter Lecka ……
Raheem Morris has made sure that the fulcrum of this team has been the defense and here too he has made sure that there’s a great deal more agility on this side of the ball. Granted, the defense had its problems through much of last season but they continued to real signs of improvement and it bodes well for the foreseeable future. The preponderance of the defensive responsibilities and leadership will fall on the shoulders of Ronde Barber , Barrett Ruud and Geno Hayes . The rest of the defense will take their queue from that trio of players as the team seeks to be not only productive but of able support to the offense .
There’s much to be discussed as to a prospective upcoming season but to my mind much of this pales into insignificance as it relates to what the league’s intent will as it regard the treatment of the retired veterans . A lot has been made about the rule changes but these are simply morsels of tidbits being placed out there by the NFL to deflect a great deal that it wants remained hidden from the public forum. Over the years the league has simply deflected questions by failing to answer succinctly what real assistance they provide to the players . And now with of the senior retired veterans now in their waning years it seems reprehensible that it takes a lockout for both the league and union to be reactive to institute real actions that will be of benefit to the players . I liken the action we are allegedly now seeing from the NFL to asinine statement that can be attributed to former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld in the early days of the ‘war on terror’ . In the aftermath of the mounting death tolls and the fact that servicemen were sent into battle ill equipped he….. ” stated those casualties were unavoidable but now that we know what the enemy is capable we can make changes ” . Well I suppose when you have members of the armed forces having to pay for their own protective jackets and other items of necessity it speaks to the the sheer ineptitude shown by Rumsfeld and the Department of Defense ! Much like the same sort of ineptitude that has been shown by the NFL and NFLPA as it relates to the players in question.
Picture gallery for your perusal.
In light of the league slowly it would appear inching towards an agreement are you entirely by the news of this event ? And what if anything do you feel has actually been achieved by the two sides ? Also how do you view the upcoming season for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and do you see them as serious contenders within the NFL ? Simply leave a comment as to your thoughts and thanks as always for your ongoing support as it is greatly appreciated !
Alan aka tophatal ….. http://tophatal.wordpress.com
Contact ……. firstname.lastname@example.org
Picture and slide show details .
(1) This July 28, 1969 image provided by the NFL shows San Francisco 49ers football player Forrest Blue , at Santa Clara University in Santa Clara, Calif. Blue, a four-time Pro Bowl center who helped the 49ers win three straight division titles in the early 1970s, died Saturday, July 16, 2011, at an assisted living facility in Carmichael, Calif. No cause of death was given. He was 65. AP Photo/NFL Photos …..
(2) Kevin Mawae , left, president of the NFL Players Association, and DeMaurice Smith, Executive Director, NFL Players Association leave the NFL Players Association offices where talks to end the NFL football lockout have been taking place, Tuesday, July 19, 2011, in Washington. AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin ….
(3) Judge Arthur Boylan , the court-appointed mediator in the NFL labor talks, arrives to the meetings in New York, Monday, July 18, 2011. AP Photo/Seth Wenig ….
(4) Quarterback Josh Freeman (5) of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers points out coverage before snapping the ball during the game against the New Orleans Saints at the Louisiana Superdome on January 2, 2011 in New Orleans, Louisiana. Getty Images North America / Chris Graythern ….
(5) Mike Williams (19) of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers catches a touchdown pass over Jabari Greer (33) of the New Orleans Saints at the Louisiana Superdome on January 2, 2011 in New Orleans, Louisiana. The Buccaneers defeated the Saints 23-13. Getty Images / Chris Graythern …..
(6) Head coach Raheem Morris talks with Ronde Barber (20) of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the game against the New Orleans Saints at the Louisiana Superdome on January 2, 2011 in New Orleans, Louisiana. The Buccaneers defeated the Saints 23-13. Getty Images / Chris Graythern …..
(7) Earnest Graham (34) of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers celebrates as he jumps for a touchdown against the Carolina Panthers during their game at Bank of America Stadium on September 19, 2010 in Charlotte, North Carolina. Getty Images North America / Streeter Lecka ……
Buccaneers’ Head coach Raheem Morris
Unofficial list of potential free agents in 2011