Thursday, June 2, 2011

2011 NFL Lockout: Commissioner, Owners and NFLPA Hold Secret Meeting

For the football fans who are hoping the 2011 NFL season goes on as planned, here's a bit a good news (for once) about the NFL lockout. According to ESPN's John Clayton, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell met with a handful of powerful NFL owners, including Dallas' Jerry Jones, New England's Robert Kraft and Carolina's Jerry Richardson on Wednesday in Chicago.

However, Clayton's initial report about the secret meeting excluded one important figure, NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith. ESPN's Adam Schefter and Chris Mortensen are reporting Smith was present, too, as well as other players association officials.

The meeting is viewed as a positive step as the two sides work to bridge some of their various differences. While a potential agreement appears to still be a long way off, the meeting could help lay the foundation for a deal getting done later this month.

Both sides will be in court Friday, June 3 for a hearing in St. Louis in front of the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals. The court will hear arguments on whether or not the current lockout is legal.

The NFL lockout began on March 11.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

2011 NFL Lockout: Season-ticket Sales Up

If you think the NFL lockout is driving fans away from the sport, I suggest you take a look at the recently released season-ticket data. According to Daniel Kaplan of the Sports Business Journal, NFL season ticket sales for 2011 are ahead of its 2010 pace.

The report says the increase in sales is due in part from a push by teams to get season-ticker holders to pay for their tickets sooner, realizing that a lockout was coming.

The news comes as many teams are deciding whether to lay-off or furlough employees during the lockout. Several teams have already started trimming payroll by cutting staff and salaries.

Ohio State Buckeye Players Eyeing NFL Supplemental Draft?

With Jim Tressel out at Ohio State, there are rumblings that five of his (former) star athletes may be following him out of town.

According to College Football Talk, five Buckeye players: quarterback Terrelle Pryor (pictured left with Tressel), offensive tackle Mike Adams, tailback Dan Herron, wide receiver DeVier Posey and defensive end Solomon Thomas may opt for the NFL supplemental draft now that Tressel is gone.

The five Buckeye players each face five-game suspensions next season after it was revealed they sold personal memorabilia in exchange for tattoos and cash.

In a report by CBS' Len Pasquarelli, sources told him the five players are expected to reconsider their supplemental draft stock, saying the departure of Tressel “put some things up in the air.”

Tressel resigned Monday a midst growing scandal and an ongoing NCAA investigation involving the Ohio State football program. Tressel admitted covering up details about the five Buckeye players and their dealings with a local tattoo parlor owner. Tressel spent ten seasons at Ohio State, winning 106 games and a national championship.

ESPN's Adam Schefter is reporting that if any of the five players decide to apply for the NFL's supplemental draft, the NFL lockout would not prevent them from being drafted. According to Schefter's report, the supplemental draft will be held sometime in July, if there are applicants. So far, there have been no applicants.

In a supplemental draft, teams submit picks to the league and if their bid is the highest, they receive the player but lose the corresponding draft pick in the next draft.

ESPN used last year's supplemental draft to help explain the formula: the Chicago Bears picked Brigham Young running back Harvey Unga and the Dallas Cowboys selected Illinois defensive end Josh Brent. Both players were selected in the seventh round, meaning the Bears and Cowboys forfeited their seventh-round picks in the 2011 NFL draft.