Veterans are coming to the field now, and that’s where we’ll start this week’s column …
• In my morning column, we took you through the latest in the NFL-NFLPA fight on the offseason schedule, and there was a quote there where we had Browns center and union president JC Tretter explaining how In reality, it’s not just now during the nine-week offseason program that players are exposed to the risk of exercising under NFI rules, it’s the entire 29-week offseason run. And in reaction to that, I had an agent who knows these things well and he pointed out to me how the NBA union got protection for their guys. It actually dates back decades and ties into the old “Love of the Game” clause that Michael Jordan had included in his contracts with the Bulls. The romanticized story was that he was there so Jordan could crush people in a van. However, the functional value of this was protecting a guy who was manic for working at his craft. Here’s the eventual language that ended up becoming standard in NBA contracts:
By agreeing to the provisions (to be established in Annex 5 of a Uniform Player Contract) that allow the player to participate or participate in some or all of the activities prohibited by paragraph 12 of the Uniform Player Contract; provided, however, no amendment to paragraph 12 of the Uniform Player Contract will allow a player to participate in any public game or public display of basketball not approved in accordance with Article XXIII of this Agreement.
And then …
Notwithstanding the provisions of paragraph 12 of this Agreement, the Player and the Team agree that the Player does not need to obtain the consent of the Team to participate in the activities set forth below:
a) Play, practice, demonstrate or teach basketball in connection with a basketball camp or clinic; or
b) Participate in off-season basketball games, lifting games or any weight training, running or other individual or group conditioning exercises that do not unreasonably endanger the health or safety of the Player. The Player and the Team acknowledge that the above list of activities for which the Player does not need to obtain the consent of the Team will not include, among other things, any activities in which (i) admission is charged for any off-season games ( other than a game or charity event). approved by the NBA for NBA player participation), (ii) the player receives any compensation for playing in an off-season basketball game, or (iii) the score is maintained or officials are used.
After that, there is a language that prohibits (there is a lot here) skydiving, hang gliding, snow skiing, rock or mountain climbing (as opposed to hiking), water or waterskiing, rafting, rappelling, bungee jumping, trampoline jumping and mountain biking. ; any fight, boxing or wrestling; use fireworks or participate in any activity that involves firearms or other weapons; ride on electric scooters or hoverboards; driving or riding a motorcycle or moped or on four wheels or off-road of any kind; riding in or on any motorized vehicle in any type of race or racing contest; or operate an aircraft of any kind.
So here you can see where the NBA and its union came to a reasonable compromise, one that penalizes guys for hurting themselves irresponsibly, but takes care of them if they responsibly prepare to do their job and end up injured. Given the amount of training that is required to play soccer and the nature of the sport, I think it is fair to say that the union should have obtained this protection in contracts a long, long time ago, especially when it is considered that it does not really exist. It’s a good argument the NFL could make to retain players (aside from “because we can”). But now that the offseason form has become ground for another fight, I think the owners could take a tougher line on it, ridiculous as it may sound.
• The outcome of the aforementioned fight, as we mentioned this morning, was a modified version of the offseason schedule for some teams. The Colts, for example, will go on a two-week model that will have players ready for Memorial Day weekend. This week will be the rules for Phase II, next week we will be in Phase III, with all the 11v11 work done at a walking pace. And Indy won’t have a mandatory minicamp. The Cardinals are another team that reduced work on the field. They will have a minicamp, but only three OTA practices for veterans (which generated a good turnout Monday). The Bengals will be following normal hours, but they are eliminating all 11v11 drills at full throttle; team drills conducted at a paced walk will replace them. The Chargers are another team that will do individual and strength and conditioning drills at top speed, taking 11v11 work to run. All of these conditions were negotiated by the players and coaches, which I have to think is positive as these teams try to be on the same page when it comes to the season. Also, seeing some of these things unfold could give us an idea of the importance of all this spring work, perhaps in how the rookies of one team play compared to another, or how this team against that team comes out of the door in September. .
• And one more thing, while we’re here: the NFL-NFLPA negotiations on the offseason schedule are officially dead (that’s why the players and coaches had to take over), but there’s another big discussion going on between those parties. And that refers to the training ground, and it is not just about the extent to which COVID-19 protocols should be instituted in our country’s improving conditions (although that is also on the table). Players are also fighting to make the period of acceleration they had last year permanent. Tretter told me that he did not receive the benefit of that new COVID-influenced feature at camp, because he was coming off surgery, but he has spoken to many players about it. “They loved the acceleration,” he said. “Everyone said they felt better and much more prepared for the season. For me, it was how I got out of the season, how I felt under the new rules. And honestly, I felt the best I had felt in over five years. He was healthy and ready to go back to training. I didn’t have to rest my body in the same way and I felt mentally fresh. And that was the common anecdote of the boys, they just felt better. After that, it’s hard to tell a guy that you shouldn’t feel better. We all know how demanding COVID was, so the fact that so many guys feel good after that year shows what a big change it was. “
• It’s good to see that Broncos general manager George Paton has imported his former Viking co-worker Kelly Kleine to be Denver’s new executive director of soccer operations. I know Minnesota GM Rick Spielman wanted to stay with Kleine, but the professional and personal opportunity was just too good in Denver. Kleine worked on both college and career scouting, and served as something of a hub on the college scouting side for the general manager. During this particular recruiting cycle, she was partly responsible and became an advocate for North Dakota State QB Trey Lance. And by making the move, she’ll end up with another player she was stumped by with the Vikings: Wisconsin-Whitewater OL Quinn Meinerz, a third-round pick by Denver. So of course, history is being made here, with Kleine ascending to a role a woman never had for an NFL team. But Paton wouldn’t do it if he didn’t think she was worthy, and the people of Minnesota can claim that she is.
• It is also worth mentioning that the Vikings will continue to progress in exploration going forward, with three women continuing to move up in the department. Taylor Young is in line for a post-draft promotion to soccer administration manager (she’s No. 2 from lead contract negotiator Rob Brzezinski), Kaitlin Zarecki is being elevated to Kleine’s old position as player development manager / special assistant General Manager, and Intern Caroline DeFelice is being hired as a players personal assistant.
• You have to feel terrible for the Jaguars RB Ryquell Armstead. The 24-year-old’s 2020 season was basically eliminated due to COVID-19 (he spent two seasons on the COVID-19 list, due to complications) after a promising rookie campaign. And on Wednesday, with Jacksonville deep in his position, the team let go of the former fifth-round pick. In fact, the pandemic may have ended his career.
• One thing teams get at rookie minicamp, and especially this year without combining, or training and private tours, is the prospect of their class size. And I can say that in a year where the Bengals felt they needed it, the Cincinnati coaches really liked the way a team of three offensive line rookies and four defensive line rookies looked on the helmet. Second-round pick Jackson Carman moved well and made a good first impression, but defensive end Joseph Ossai’s raw length and defensive tackle Tyler Shelvin’s overall size really stood out.
• Ryan Kerrigan is an interesting addition to new DC Eagles Jonathan Gannon. While on paper you’d look at it and think it would bring the Seattle-style scheme that Matt Eberflus runs in Indy DC, there’s still a lot of Mike Zimmer’s influence there. And Zimmer highly values pass rushers who have some versatility, so he can get creative with them. At his height, that’s what Kerrigan was. At 32, even having some of that could help Gannon bring his vision of defense to life. (For what it’s worth, here’s a professional scouting director’s take on what Kerrigan has left: “Not much. I thought he was very close to the end last year, even with reduced playing time. Sometimes. , that kind of guy got a decent one last year with a new team. “
• It was good to see Jon Gruden say “Derek Carr is so underrated” on Monday. I think it is also true. He played very well last year. And given some of the attrition in Las Vegas, I’m sure Gruden knows the Raiders will need him to be even better in 2021.
• I’m going to throw the flag: I left Chris Long’s tweet about United Airlines in Mark Ingram from the Best of the Internet section in my column this morning. It has to be better than that. Total apologies to Chris for the carelessness.
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• Orr: Which rookie quarterback will be the most successful in 2021?
• Rosenberg: Everyone loses at Rodgers Feud
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.