Mediation to begin later in the week

The mediation between the NFL player and NFL owners will begin on Thursday in Minnesota.

Judge Susan Richard Nelson made the suggestion to go into mediation when she decided that she was going to take a couple of weeks to make her ruling on the suit.  She advised the players and owners not to wait that long and to try to come up with a settlement agreement before she makes her decision.

The two sides have tried mediation before, but the talks broke off last month, which led to the first stoppage of work since 1987.

Draft alert: Packers

Here is a list of some prospects visiting with Packers.

CB Antareis Bryan, Baylor.  6’1″ 200 pounds.

OT Willie Smith, East Carolina. He has immense talent at the tackle position, but he can also score touchdowns.

LB Marc Schiechl, Colorado School of Mines.  6’3″ 260 pounds. He is the all time NCAA Division II sack leader.

TE Colin Cochart, South Dakota State. 6’3″ 255 pounds.

WR Raymond Webber, Arkansas-Pine Bluff.  Webber and Jerry Rice are the only two players in the history of the SWAC conference to catch 100 passes.

DT Anthony Gray, Southern Miss. 5’11” 335 pounds.

OLB/DE Brooks Reed, Arizona. The Packers are showing definite interest in the player (and not just because he resembles Clay Matthews), but aren’t at what level they will draft him.

KR/PR Shaky Smithson, Utah. The Packers rarely draft just returners, so he might be a late-round or free agent.

WR Jeremy Ross, California. He was Cal’s leader in Punt returns but doesn’t have much to show in the receiver department, but the Packers are still looking at him.

FB/TE Ryan Taylor, North Carolina. He is a solid blocker and caught 30 passes in the 2010 season.

Draft alert: Ravens

These are just some of the rumored visits that the Baltimore Ravens are expecting at their camp.

DE Jabaal Sheard, Pittsburgh.  He is expected to be drafted in the second round.

DE Robert Quinn, North Carolina.  He is expected to be drafted in the top 10.

WR Greg Little, North Carolina.  He is expected to go in the third or fourth round.

LB Akeen Ayers, UCLA.  He is expected to be drafted in the late first round or early second round.

CB Justing Rogers, Richmond.  Expected to be drafted in the late rounds.

Players willing to go to federal court

Earlier I reported that Judge Susan Richard Nelson said she was going to take few weeks to rule on the lockout case and urged the two sides to not wait that long to try to settle.

Now, the NFL players representing the players side of the suit said in a letter to the judge that they are willing to have a mediation session with the owners in federal court.

They are hoping it will begin immediately, but that it unlikely to happen.

 

Mara can’t escape jury duty

New York Giants CEO, John Mara, could not escape his civil duty as a US citizen and was picked up for jury duty in a drug hearing.

His excuses, which include: the upcoming draft and being a key negotiator for team owners in the lockout suit were all rejected by the judge.  The judge had previous knowledge of Mara’s law degree from Fordham University, which I’m sure did not help his plea to be excused.

The judge said he would reconsider if there was an emergency dealing with the lockout case, but that other than that, Mara is expected to be present for the hearing which will take place over the next three weeks, ending around Easter.

Tale of the lockout

The players of the NFL have made it very clear that they just want to play.  The owners have made it very clear that things won’t go back to normal until the two can come to a collective bargaining agreement.

The players and owner failed to reach an agreement last month leading to the desertification of the union, the lockout of the players and the antitrust lawsuit.

A hearing was held today as players asked the judge to lift the lockout.  She said she would take a couple weeks to rule on the request.  That’s not really flying with the players.

The judge has told the two sides to not wait that long and to try to reach a settlement.

NFL Changes Rules

The NFL has voted to move kickoffs from the 30 yard line to the 35 yard line for player safety reasons. The vote also prohibited a running head start. 

Safety has been a number one priority of the NFL after a series of helmet-to-helmet hits resulted in unnecessary injuries, both in college and the NFL.

Return to Titletown

via Green Bay Packers Pro Shop

Superbowl Champions, the Green Bay Packers, have just released a DVD of historic moments from their not-too-distant 2010 season.

“Return to Titletown” is a 55 minutes DVD that can be purchased for $6.95 (a steal if you ask me) on the official site of the Packers.