3-10-11: Bird Droppings - More on Fitz and his contract, no more 18 game season, Cards talking with Newton?

After a longer than expected wait due to some Internet problems, here are your links for today.

Larry Fitzgerald confident of reaching deal with Arizona Cardinals - ESPN
The Arizona Cardinals and wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald failed to come to terms on a contract extension last week before the league's collective bargaining agreement was set to expire. But Fitzgerald said on Wednesday that he is "not really" interested in testing the free-agent market.

Chat wrap: Hasselbeck and Cardinals - NFC West Blog - ESPN
Josh (Ca): Hey Mike, do you think there is a chance that Matt Hasselbeck could wind up playing for Arizona this season? It seems to me that with the labor issues, and the number of teams looking for a QB, that Hasselbeck's value could be greater on the open market than it is to the Seahawks.

Draft Watch: NFC West - NFC West Blog - ESPN
Quarterback stands out as the most obvious need for the Cardinals after Arizona suffered through a rough 2010 season with Derek Anderson, Max Hall and John Skelton under center. Acquiring a veteran passer in free agency or trade would clear the way for Arizona to focus on other areas in the draft. But if the labor impasse continues through April, the Cardinals will face more pressure to find one in the draft. Beyond quarterback, the Cardinals need fresh talent at outside linebacker to improve their pass rush and perimeter run defense. They need help at offensive tackle, where Levi Brown hasn’t played to his status as the fifth player drafted in 2007. Their starting interior offensive linemen are without contracts for 2011, so that area is another concern. Arizona does not have a starting-caliber tight end. Inside linebacker is another position needing attention.

Andre Johnson, Larry Fitzgerald and WRs - NFC West Blog - ESPN
We're still getting comments on the wide receiver power rankings from Tuesday. The Houston Texans' Andre Johnson prevailed over the Arizona Cardinals' Larry Fitzgerald for the top spot. I've gone through Pro Football Reference to find which active receivers have given NFC West teams the most trouble, as defined by single-game receiving performances featuring at least 150 yards.

azcentral.com blogs - Kent Somers - Larry Fitzgerald talks contract, again and again
Receiver Larry Fitzgerald hates talking about his contract yet he's spent the off-season doing just that. Fitz has made several appearances for sponsors this off-season, and at every stop he's been asked about his future in Arizona, where he has a year left on his contract.

Surprise team enters Cam Newton sweepstakes | National Football Post
It’s impossible to say where Cam Newton is going to fall in the draft but at this point it’s difficult to imagine him falling out of the top 10. (It also mentions that Newton will have a workout with the Cardinals)

NFLPA won't agree to 18-game schedule - ESPN
Players' union leader DeMaurice Smith had a lot to say Wednesday. Smith indicated that NFL owners have lowered from $1 billion to $800 million the amount of additional revenues they want to take off the top of their $9 billion business.

Report: Agreement reached on rookie wage scale | ProFootballTalk

While the NFL and NFLPA wrangle over potentially crippling transparency issues, they have reportedly settled a smaller problem.

Mailbag: Larry Fitzgerald to Steven Jackson - NFC West Blog - ESPN
Tanner from Southern California writes: Mike, what will Larry Fitzgerald's status be when the NFL and NFL Players Association come to a new collective bargaining agreement? If he becomes an unrestricted free agent, I could see Pete Carroll being very interested. They've got money to spend in Seattle, right? Your thoughts?

Video: What about Kolb and the Cardinals? - NFC West Blog - ESPN
Josh from Redding, Calif., asks: Do you see Arizona Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt getting a short-term veteran to give John Skelton one or two years more to develop, or does he go after Kevin Kolb and pay a high price? If he goes with Kolb, Whisenhunt would essentially be giving up on Skelton.

Fitzgerald says he never offered input on quarterbacks | ProFootballTalk
Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald is like the rest of us. He doesn’t know where the next Cardinals quarterback will come from.

The Shutdown Corner Interview: Larry Fitzgerald, Part 1 - Shutdown Corner - NFL Blog - Yahoo! Sports
Larry Fitzgerald has been one of the NFL's best receivers since the Arizona Cardinals took him with the third overall pick in the 2004 draft. And despite a quarterback situation that bordered on the preposterous after Kurt Warner's retirement and the trade to Baltimore of battery mate Anquan Boldin, Fitzgerald still caught 90 passes for 1,137 yards and six touchdowns in the 2010 season. We caught up with Fitzgerald as he was enjoying his offseason, hoping that it wouldn't last too long with the current labor battles, and just after he had participated in the "Invite to Be Unstoppable" event on the EAS Unstoppable Tour, which is detailed here. We invite you to watch Sam and Larry go head-to-head in the upcoming days at www.UnstoppableTour.com. Here's Part 1 of our interview.

The Shutdown Corner Interview: Larry Fitzgerald, Part 2 - Shutdown Corner - NFL Blog - Yahoo! Sports
Here's part 2 of our interview;

NFL.com Blogs " Blog Archive Pick Six: Players we’d actually like to return "
1. QB Kurt Warner Always leave them wanting more. Just look at the legacy of Warner compared to Favre. Warner is still beloved in Arizona and fans spent the 2010 season wondering what could have been if Warner returned. Favre’s sequel in Minnesota reached depths not seen since "Dumb and Dumberer" which, incidentally, is a pretty accurate description of Barber’s post-NFL career.

Audio Player - Dave Pasch, play-by-play voice of the Arizona Cardinals
Dave Pasch joins the guys to talk about the controversial win St. John's had over Rutgers and Ohio State University football coach Jim Tressel's reputation.

Life without Coyotes would lead to what could have been - ArizonaSports.com
It's time for a little story.

Clausen only has one supporter left in Carolina | ProFootballTalk
John Fox never seemed like a big Jimmy Clausen fan. To no one’s surprise, Carolina’s new coaching staff reportedly feels the same way.

Union sending mixed signals on 18-game season | ProFootballTalk
It seems that some players are willing to play 18 games per year if the price is right and that some are flatly opposed to playing more than 16.

Dusting off the 18-game debate | ProFootballTalk
In the past, we’ve sought your opinion as to whether the NFL regular season should expand from 16 to 18 games.

De Smith says fans have been "abundantly clear" about not wanting 18 games | ProFootballTalk
Our friends at 106.7 the Fan in D.C., which hosted the event at which Smith spoke, have video of Smith’s remarks. Apart from citing player safety, Smith explained that the fans have made it "abundantly clear" that they don’t want 18 regular-season games.

Brandon Meriweather accused of shooting two people | ProFootballTalk
Early this morning, Deadspin reported based on a conversation with the alleged victims’ lawyer that Patriots safety Brandon Meriweather is accused of shooting two people during a fight that broke out at a house party in Apopka, Florida on February 27.

Union says no to 18 games | ProFootballTalk
Though it’s unclear whether the NFLPA continues to posture on the issue in the hopes of getting the best financial deal possible, the union’s position on an expanded season is getting more and more clear. In late January, NFLPA president Kevin Mawae said he "can’t sell" an 18-game season to his constituents. At a time when a feeling had emerged that the union would acknowledge the pie-growing benefits of two more regular-season games, NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith says that expanding the season from 16 to 18 games won’t happen.

2011 NFL draft: More reasons Cam Newton could struggle in the NFL - ESPN Insider
There have been a number of retorts to last week's article that said Cam Newton should not be a first-round pick in the 2011 NFL draft. The gist of most of them is that whatever mechanical issues Newton has that currently make him a less-than-polished pro prospect could be overcome with NFL-caliber coaching. That is certainly a valid point, but as noted near the end of the article, the three items listed there were only part of a much larger array of question marks.

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