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7-15-11: Bird Droppings - Lockout Nearing Its End

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 (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
(Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Getty Images

Are you ready for some football? It looks like the return of our favorite sport is getting close as all of the economic issues appear to be settled, and before this weekend is over a deal could be made.

With that good news, here are some links for you to skim through.

Arizona Cardinals News:

Ken Whisenhunt encouraged by NFL labor negotiations -
After months of uncertainty, the NFL lockout appears to be nearing an end. The players and the owners appear to have agreed upon a rookie wage scale and the return of football seems imminent, which is news that excites everyone involved with the NFL.

Whisenhunt: Cards attractive to vet QBs - NFC West Blog - ESPN
Looks like the Arizona Cardinals are prepared to play the Fitz card in their search for a veteran quarterback once the lockout concludes. Coach Ken Whisenhunt, speaking with ESPN's "First Take," pointed to Larry Fitzgerald and the Cardinals' other weapons in explaining why he thinks quarterbacks will want to join his team. Finding one will be the team's first objective.

Kyle Orton a better fit than Kevin Kolb -
The tides may be turning. After months of hearing about Kevin Kolb and his role as the future quarterback of the Arizona Cardinals, it appears Kyle Orton is gaining ground.

Could the Seahawks force the Cardinals to overpay for Kevin Kolb? -
Sal Paolantonio has already made it clear that the Seahawks and Cardinals will battle it out to obtain the services of Kevin Kolb, but what exactly could that do to the asking price for the Eagles signal caller? Like bidding in an eBay auction, the additional competition will likely just raise the price in the form of additional picks or a top flight player. That situation is something Sports 620 KTAR's Dave Burns is afraid of.

An annual ritual? Cardinals, Seahawks after same QB -
The Arizona Cardinals and Seattle Seahawks both need a QB, and they appear to be after the same player. With the bidding war sure to be intense, the last thing the Cardinals want to do is see Charlie Whitehurst head to the northwest. Wait, what?

Word From the Birds Blog - Wilson and working away from work
While things get — in theory — a little bit closer to resolution thanks to a reported understanding on the rookie wage scale, there has been some talk about what will the players look like when they finally are allowed to come in. After an offseason of being on their own, it’s tough to know exactly what that will mean for each player. So I was mulling that over — you have ideas of what players would do well in their own environment, and who wouldn’t. Clearly, Adrian Wilson is a guy who you really wouldn’t worry about. He’d stay in shape.

Cardinals' Calais Campbell looking to go Hollywood
We had to track down Cardinals defensive end Calais Campbell after someone brought to our attention that he recently was attending an "actor's boot camp" in Miami while waiting out the NFL lockout.

NFL Videos: Is Kolb destined for the desert?
Rumors swirl around Eagles quarterback Kevin Kolb heading to the Cardinals. Find out what the guys on "NFL Total Access" think about that. news: Could Kolb tilt the balance of power in the NFC West?
Once the lockout ends and team activity can begin, Philadelphia Eagles QB Kevin Kolb could be on the move. If that happens, the NFC West might be the most likely destination, but which team from that division would make the biggest jump with Kolb at QB?

Arizona Sports News:

Can the Diamondbacks' surprising success continue?
How are the Diamondbacks, who lost more than 90 games in 2009 and 2010, just three games behind the San Francisco Giants in the NL West standings at the All-Star break? And what has to happen for them to remain in the hunt? Our thoughts:

Steve Nash would be hurt most by lockout -
While nobody wants it to happen, most people expect the NBA's lockout to drag on for a while. And, while many will be affected off the court, certain players will probably find it tougher to deal with the time off. According to ESPN, Steve Nash is one such player.

NFL News:

NFL lockout -- Owners, players agree to rookie wage system, sources say - ESPN
A source with knowledge of the NFL talks told ESPN's Sal Paolantonio on Thursday night that the negotiations for new collective bargaining agreement are headed toward a settlement.

Report: Economics of deal are essentially done | ProFootballTalk
We heard for a long time that the revenue split was the primary bridge to cross to getting a deal done. Then it was the rookie wage scale. Now it appears both issues are handled.

Rookie wage scale details demonstrate that owners lost battle, won war | ProFootballTalk
On Thursday, the NFL and the NFLPA* struck a deal on the rookie wage scale. Based on the two positions that were detailed in a memo we obtained earlier in the week, it’s clear that the NFL adopted almost entirely what the players were seeking.

Once completed, new CBA will be as long as 10 years | ProFootballTalk
With a labor deal moving closer and closer to becoming a reality, plenty of you have inquired about the length of a new Collective Bargaining Agreement. For weeks, we’ve been hearing a maximum of 10 years, with a minimum of eight. Recently, 10 has emerged as the magic number.

Stunning momentum puts settlement on fast track | ProFootballTalk
With a deal in place on the rookie wage scale, the NFL and the players apparently are moving quickly toward a full and complete CBA. Sal Paolantonio of ESPN (via Chris Mortensen’s Twitter page) reports that a settlement is now on the fast track. Chris Mortensen of ESPN (via Chris Mortensen’s Twitter page) reports that, at the current pace, a deal could come within the next 24-to-48 hours.

Retirees send letter to NFL asking to be included in CBA talks - ESPN
Two weeks after they filed a complaint over their lack of involvement in the labor talks between the NFL and players, and as those talks appear to be gaining traction toward a new collective bargaining agreement, a group of retired football players sent the league a letter asking to be a part of the negotiations.

NFL lockout -- Owners, players moving toward CBA settlement, source says - ESPN
A source with knowledge of the NFL talks told ESPN's Sal Paolantonio on Thursday night that the negotiations for new collective bargaining agreement are headed toward a settlement.

Players’ lockout insurance fund may have broken the ice on Thursday, or not | ProFootballTalk
So what prompted the owners to make significant concessions on the rookie wage scale Thursday? Some have said it was the threat of the filing of a motion to lift the lockout as to players not under contract. Jim Trotter of reports that the dam may have broken once the players unveiled a plan to fund the lockout during the season with $200,000 per player.

Turning the NFL lockout into a positive - NFC West Blog - ESPN
The lockout will prove especially damaging for the NFL's less-established players.

NFC West: Oldie but goodie - NFC West Blog - ESPN
Projecting the best 30-and-over player in my division by the start of the 2014 season.

James Harrison of Pittsburgh Steelers apologizes for Men's Journal remarks - ESPN
Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker James Harrison apologized on Thursday for some of his remarks in an interview with Men's Journal.

Harrison’s apology ultimately contains no real excuse | ProFootballTalk
Less than two days after Steelers linebacker James Harrison created a slow-news-day firestorm with a stream of controversial comments against Commissioner Roger Goodell, teammates Ben Roethlisberger and Rashard Mendenhall, and others, Harrison has apologized for the remarks.

Lawrence Timmons: "There’s a lot of animosity towards Goodell" | ProFootballTalk
Steelers linebacker Lawrence Timmons says it’s understandable that his teammate, James Harrison, isn’t happy with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. According to Timmons, the way the league office hands down fines has a lot of players angry, not just Harrison.

Kluwe crafts a lockout parody with lots of salty language | ProFootballTalk
Vikings punter Chris Kluwe has provided some periodic entertainment over the past year, typically with a stick-figure whiteboard message regarding subjects like player safety and the lockout.