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7-22-11: Bird Droppings - Not Over Yet

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(Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
(Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
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This is what we get for being optimistic... It looked like the lockout would have ended last night, but not all of the debate is over yet. The owners passed their version of the CBA, the players didn't even have the document when it was time for them to vote and they didn't like some of what was in it. Shouldn't we have been past this by now?

Getting this up early again so I can just kick back and observe all of the news for today. Maybe I will try to get them up early for the next couple of days too. Todays links mainly refer to the discovery of Fitz and Kolb already working out together, and the Lockout kerfuffle from last night.

Arizona Cardinals News:

Report: Kolb, Fitzgerald worked out in Arizona -
While Kevin Kolb looks for a house and attempts to gain familiarity with the Phoenix area, it appears he has already gained familiarity with the Cardinals star wide receiver. According to, Kolb and Larry Fitzgerald organized a private throwing session on the campus of Arizona State University earlier this month.

Kevin Kolb looking for a house in Arizona -
As the lockout nears an end, the Kevin Kolb era in Arizona appears to be nearing a beginning. While Kolb is still a member of the Philadelphia Eagles, the Cardinals appear to be the favorites to acquire the quarterback. NFL experts and analysts think Kolb is coming to the Valley and it appears the quarterback does too, as he has allegedly begun to look for a new home in Arizona.

Warner's Warning
Former Card Kurt Warner says new QB prep will be difficult after missing offseason

Word From the Birds Blog - So close to the end
The NFL owners officially approved the new labor agreement this afternoon. The lockout is close to over, although it’s not — the players still have to approve the deal, and everything remains hinged on the players agreeing to re-certify as a union (and players, apparently, aren’t calling it a slam dunk.

Cardinals may be sold on Kevin Kolb, but Kurt Warner is not -
It appears as though the Cardinals are close to finding their franchise QB, as a deal for Philadelphia's Kevin Kolb seems to be imminent. However, Arizona's last franchise QB does not seem to be as high on the 27-year-old as others. blogs - Kent Somers - A roster to build, money to spend
Without a CBA in place, it's impossible to know how much the Cardinals can spend in free agency. But as I've written for a long time, cap space, or the lack thereof, will not be an issue for the team this off-season

Arizona Cardinals' Ken Whisenhunt plotting return to the throne
Ken Whisenhunt still feels the love. In public, fans continue to shower him with gratitude, thanking him for changing the competitive culture in Arizona. That sentiment dies with another losing season.

Re-up or Reject: Early Doucet -
Not every Cardinal free agent is free to just choose his next team. Some are restricted, meaning the Cardinals can match any offer they sign with another squad. Receiver Early Doucet is one such player, and he presents one of the more interesting decisions for the Cardinals to make.

Chat wrap: MVP year for Steven Jackson? - NFC West Blog - ESPN
Ray from Arizona asked how good Larry Fitzgerald might be with a healthy, motivated Randy Moss lined up opposite him in a Cardinals uniform. He also asked whether the Cardinals would invest heavily in a free-agent receiver if Steve Breaston were to depart.

Source: Kolb, Fitzgerald set up private session
If the Arizona Cardinals complete a long-rumored trade for Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Kevin Kolb, training camp apparently won’t mark the first time Kolb has thrown passes to Pro Bowl receiver Larry Fitzgerald.

Kevin Kolb and Larry Fitzgerald have already practiced together | ProFootballTalk
Let’s take a brief break from the labor brouhaha for our second most popular offseason activity: Kevin Kolb talk.

Kolb, Larry Fitzgerald work out together - NFC East Blog - ESPN
So once the lockout ends and the league year begins, one of the first deals everybody expects to happen is the one that will send quarterback Kevin Kolb from the Eagles to the Cardinals. This is not a done deal, but a lot of people seem to be expecting it. Including, apparently, Kolb himself and the Cardinals' best player.

Word From the Birds Blog - Fitz, Kolb reportedly worked out
In the end this probably shouldn’t come as a surprise, but’s Craig Morgan is reporting wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald and Eagles QB Kevin Kolb — the potential Cards QB — worked out together at one point this offseason over in Arizona State University’s Dickey Dome. (To be fair, the report said they organized a workout, not that anyone actually saw the passes. I think you can connect the dots.)

Hey Kevin Kolb, Larry Fitzgerald chooses you -
With news of Larry Fitzgerald and Kevin Kolb working out together in Arizona coming down Thursday, all the attention has turned to whether or not this means Kolb to Arizona is basically a formality.

Arizona Sports News:

Ian Kennedy helps Diamondbacks even series vs. Brewers
More than a win, the Diamondbacks needed a morale boost. Yes, the Diamondbacks are still playing catch-up to the San Francisco Giants in the NL West and a victory on Thursday would have been hugely advantageous with the Giants enjoying an off-day. But ever since Stephen Drew fractured his right ankle in Wednesday's game and news spread that he would be sidelined for the remainder of the season, a somber mood hugged the Diamondbacks clubhouse. If Thursday's effort was any indication, the Diamondbacks will be just fine. It wasn't an overpowering offensive performance for the home squad by any means. Three long balls courtesy of Justin Upton, Miguel Montero and Kelly Johnson was enough support for starter Ian Kennedy, who was solid in guiding the Diamondbacks to a 4-0 win in front of 22,241 at Chase Field.

Arizona Diamondbacks call up Cody Ransom to replace injured Stephen Drew
The Arizona Diamondbacks called up infielder Cody Ransom from Triple-A Reno and placed infielder Stephen Drew on the 15-day disabled list with a fractured right ankle, according to a news release.

Play of the day! Selfless young fan returns ball to upset boy - Big League Stew - MLB Blog - Yahoo! Sports
There's hope for America's future yet! In one of the most heartwarming scenes you'll ever see, a young Arizona Diamondbacks fan named Ian made Wednesday's play of the day at Chase Field after an even younger fan named Nicholas missed a ball thrown his way by Milwaukee Brewers second baseman Rickie Weeks.

NFL News:

Lockout -- NFL owners approve proposed labor agreement, players expected to vote Friday - ESPN
NFL owners approved a proposed 10-year labor agreement with the NFL Players Association on Thursday, leaving the potential end to the league's lockout in the hands of the players' vote Friday.

NFL cancels Chicago Bears vs. St. Louis Rams Hall of Fame game - ESPN Chicago
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell says the Hall of Fame game between St. Louis and Chicago has been canceled despite owners voting in favor of a tentative deal to end the lockout, pending player approval.

NFL owners approve new collective bargaining agreement
NFL owners approved a 10-year collective bargaining agreement and the settlement of litigation. Pending the approval of the Players Association, players can report to club facilities on Saturday and the league year will open Wednesday, July 27. That's when rosters expand to 90 and free agency begins. Trades are also allowed beginning that day, an important time frame for the Cardinals, who are interested in trading for Eagles quarterback Kevin Kolb.

Mort: Players vote expected on Friday | ProFootballTalk
Despite the fact that Bills safety and NFLPA* representative George Wilson called reports that the players will vote Friday on the proposed, pre-approved labor deal untrue, ESPN’s Chris Mortensen (or, as Donte’ Stallworth referred to him during an ESPN phoner, "Morten Andersen") reports that the players are indeed expected to vote on the proposal Friday.

Making sense of the last 12 hours | ProFootballTalk
Of all the crazy nights I’ve experienced in nearly 10 years of doing this, last night was the craziest.

NFL Lockout: The Owners Think Everyone's Stupid, Including You -
Thursday night, Roger Goodell announced that NFL owners had an agreement to end the lockout. This was news to the players, who hadn't agreed to anything. So why announce it? Because the NFL thinks you're stupid.

Mawae says NFLPA* will consider proposal today | ProFootballTalk
With NFLPA* executive director DeMaurice Smith attending funeral services for Myra Kraft, the wife of Patriots owner Robert Kraft, NFLPA* president Kevin Mawae has issued a statement regarding the status of the talk.

NFLPA* rep: We didn’t see owners proposal before conference call | ProFootballTalk
We’re nearing the end of a long, insane day at PFT. The finger pointing has started. We’re seeing a lot of strong opinions out there despite a deficit of key information in this labor dispute. For example, NFLPA* rep George Wilson said player reps didn’t even see the owners’ proposed deal before their conference call tonight.

NFLPA* fears lawsuit from Vincent Jackson | ProFootballTalk
Chargers receiver Vincent Jackson is represented by a couple of the hardest charging agents in the business. Neil Schwartz and Jonathan Feinsod have engineered, for example, the recent holdouts of Darrelle Revis and Roddy White. Also, they threatened litigation on Jackson’s behalf last year against the San Diego Union-Tribune based on the suggestion by Kevin Acee that Jackson was broke.

Players: Owners tried to slip items into CBA | ProFootballTalk
It appears players won’t be voting on ratifying a deal on Thursday night. One major reason: Players feel that the owners are trying to add new elements to a deal.

De Smith shouldn’t be surprised about new revenue sharing arrangement | ProFootballTalk
One of the surprising aspects of the NFL’s Thursday night press conference arose when the league mentioned that the owners approved a new supplemental revenue sharing plan. It was surprising because no one knew the NFL was considering a new supplemental revenue sharing plan.

Goodell, Smith need to take charge of the process and get the deal done | ProFootballTalk
For months, it has been believed that the CBA would be resolved by Commissioner Roger Goodell and NFLPA* executive director DeMaurice Smith going into a room and hammering out the terms. As it turns out, this deal will only be resolved if Goodell and Smith hammer plenty of the folks who have their hands in the pot.

Email to NFLPA* reps questions NFL procedure to end lockout | ProFootballTalk
While listening to the NFL break down details of the labor agreement they ratified Thursday, we got an email that should remind everyone that it’s not over until it’s over. ESPN’s Adam Schefter got a hold of an email sent to player reps Thursday night.

Angry NFL Players Venting Over Owners' CBA Vote - From Our Editors -
Yes, NFL owners voted Thursday night on a plan that would end the lockout if the players agreed. But so far it looks like players don't agree -- except, apparently, Ravens rep Domonique Foxworth, who may be leading fellow Baltimore players to the Dark Side. Chris Mortensen collected strong words from a few players, as did several other media members as players took to Twitter to express their views first-hand. Some have been steamed and others have been flippant, but it's clear we're in for more NFL lockout talk. Wheee!

Arian Foster Puts An End To NFL Lockout By Himself - From Our Editors -
Arian Foster has already won the NFL lockout and now he's decided to end it by himself, with his own collective bargaining agreement.

DeMaurice Smith Drops In For Hilarious ESPN Interview - From Our Editors -
DeMaurice Smith has emerged as one of the more entertaining characters in the NFL lockout so far and Thursday was no exception. Smith pulled the ultimate power play during the negotiations to end the lockout, waiting until the right moment to inform the owners of a large insurance policy meant to keep money flowing into the players hands in the event games are missed. He's also been the face of the NFLPA, conducting various interviews on a daily basis for about the last five minutes. news: Why previously irrelevant preseason gains significance in 2011
Typically, the third preseason game was the only one that meant much. Starters compete through the first half, coaches stretch their playbooks a little bit, and we get a glimpse at what players are poised to play ball –- and strike it big for fantasy football players. More than any time in the recent past, the four preseason games that typically don’t mean much -– remember, the NFL flirted with only playing two because they seemed so irrelevant -- will have significant importance this year.

Commish for a day: What would you do? - NFC West Blog - ESPN
A chops-busting blog network colleagues, upon reading my "Commish for a day" piece lamenting 10 a.m. PT kickoffs for West Coast teams, expressed mock concern for "all the NFC West wusses who don't get enough of a pregame beauty nap the night before early East Coast games." My reply: Let's have a staff meeting to discuss the matter one of these nights at, say, 10 p.m. PT. I've gone through all our suggestions and liked a few in particular:

Commish for a day: Wake up, smell the bias - NFC West Blog - ESPN
Our divisional bloggers discuss one thing they'd change as commissioner for a day:


De Smith addresses recertification issue | ProFootballTalk
In a surprise appearance before the cameras and microphones parked outside NFLPA* headquarters, executive director DeMaurice Smith talked about the question of whether the trade association will lose its asterisk.

Here’s how a deal can be done, now | ProFootballTalk
This isn’t speculation. This isn’t a hypothesis. This is fact. The NFLPA* is ready to do a deal. The NFLPA* is ready to commit to reformulating the union. But the NFLPA* doesn’t believe that it can be done without signed union cards.

24 offensive players that could get cut | ProFootballTalk
We gave you 16 defensive players that could be cut earlier Thursday. We have even more on offense. The new CBA should make it easier for teams to retain veterans, but most of these players simply cost too much. They could (or should) be released.

16 defenders who could be cut before the season | ProFootballTalk
We wrote the majority of this post Wednesday, before we reported that the new CBA will take measures to protect veterans from becoming cap casualties. That doesn’t mean teams should spend huge money on players that aren’t worth it. With that in mind, here are 16 defenders that could (or should) be on the chopping block in the coming weeks.

Lockout -- Sides eye deal that will immediately lift NFL lockout, sources say - ESPN
NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith and NFL commissioner Roger Goodell are working to impose certain conditions to immediately lift the lockout if the two sides approve a deal tonight, according to sources.