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7-23-11: Bird Droppings - Still Waiting

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Another day goes by in this standoff between the owners and the players where the lockout is still going on and screwing all of the teams who have or will have a new QB when the season starts, along with all of the teams who have a new Head Coach or coordinator. We get the double whammy here with Horton being added and the likely Kolb Trade.

Today in another early post of this before I go off to class, more lockout stuff, something on how Fitz factors into the QB decision, and a little video from the team website on previous matches with the Cowboys.

Arizona Cardinals News:

Larry Fitzgerald will factor into Cardinals' quarterback decision
Whenever they are allowed to begin the pursuit of a new starting quarterback, the Cardinals will consider all the usual factors and a single unusual one: Will the deal help them re-sign receiver Larry Fitzgerald? news: Fitzgerald: 'No truth' to reports I'm helping Cardinals find QB
Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald, who's entering the final year of his contract, disputes claims that the team is so desperate to keep him happy that he's advising coach Ken Whisenhunt and general manager Rod Graves in their search for a new quarterback. "There's no truth to that at all," Fitzgerald said Friday via text to The Arizona Republic. "I have no criteria. The two sides haven't even sat down and talked. I have not talked to any coach on staff for six months. I'm like everybody else scrambling to make this season a success.

Kolb '100 percent' to be traded, likely to Arizona -
It's settled. Kevin Kolb will be traded, and there's a very, very, VERY strong chance it will be to the Arizona Cardinals. According to ESPN NFL insider Adam Schefter on NFL Live, it is "100 percent [Kolb's] traded."

Re-up or Reject: Deuce Lutui -
The Arizona Cardinals are not known for having a dominant offensive line. The pieces have changed over the years, yet the results have been, mostly, mediocre. The longest-tenured player on the line is guard Deuce Lutui, who joined the Cardinals as a rookie during the 2006 season. After an acrimonious contract battle last year, Lutui enters this offseason as an unrestricted free agent for the first time in his career.

Re-up or Reject: Alan Branch -
When the Cardinals traded up to nab Michigan's Alan Branch in 2007 they did so thinking they were getting a dominant defensive lineman who, for whatever reason, fell in the draft. Four years later it is apparent why Branch fell: a lack of a motor. Incidentally enough, his play picked up just as he was about to enter free agency.

Re-up or Reject: Ben Graham -
There was a time when the Cardinals' best -- or at at least, most visible -- player was the punter. Fortunately things have changed. Ben Graham, though, was one of the league's best a couple years ago, putting together a campaign worthy of the Pro-Bowl but without the selection. He took a step back last year, though, and now the Cardinals must decide if they want to keep the Australian around.

Word From the Birds Blog - A hint of parallel history
Now that training camp (hopefully) should come soon and the days of the Revisionist History series have come to and end, this thought I had last night felt like the perfect bridge: How Thursday’s events with the is-it-or-isn’t-it end to the labor talks reminded me so much of the first press conference drama I encountered on this beat, back in 2000, with Simeon Rice.

Series History - Dallas Cowboys
Video Gallery -

Arizona Sports News:

Diamondbacks begin NL West swing with loss to Rockies
For brief moments, Daniel Hudson was the same pitcher who was dominant in previous start; other times, he was the polar opposite. The not-so-good side eventually prevailed Friday night. Hudson labored through a 31-pitch first inning - after throwing 112 in a complete game in his previous outing - and it foreshadowed what was to come. Hudson was unable to hold three-run and one-run leads, and the Diamondbacks fell 8-4 to the Colorado Rockies in front of 22,768 at Chase Field.

Drew undergoes surgery to repair ankle, ligaments -
Arizona Diamondbacks shortstop Stephen Drew has undergone surgery to repair his fractured right ankle and related ligament damage. Dr. Peter Mitchell said in a statement released by the team that he performed "internal plating to the fibula bone" on Thursday as well repairing the ligaments.

ASU football: Omar Bolden says he probably won't return this season
Injured Bolden says chances of his return are slim. Omar Bolden knows these next few weeks probably will be difficult. He's never missed the start of a football season, but this one's different. The senior Arizona State cornerback is three months removed from ACL surgery on his left knee, the result of an injury he suffered April 2 in spring ball. So far, rehabilitation has gone smoothly. Bolden, a unanimous All-Pac-10 selection last year, likely will start running next week. He should get fitted for a brace in about a month.

KTAR mixes up sports talk lineup
Radio listeners craving local sports talk in the mornings will have only one choice by mid-August.

NFL News:

NFL lockout -- NFLPA reps to meet Monday, discuss options - ESPN
NFL Players Association representatives told players in a letter Friday to stay put this weekend while it reviews the owners' proposed settlement and that the reps would meet Monday to discuss their options.

Vote could come sooner than Monday | ProFootballTalk
Notwithstanding an e-mail from NFLPA* player representatives to the rank-and-file indicating that a meeting (and thus a vote) won’t happen until Monday, there remains a chance that a vote will come sooner.

De Smith is caught between a rock and a hard place | ProFootballTalk
While continuing to try to figure out how the Executive Committee and board of player representatives of a supposedly toothless trade association has the power to keep the players from voting on the proposed labor deal that NFLPA* executive director DeMaurice Smith presumably has brought to the table with a recommendation to accept it, the light bulb finally has flickered.

As NFL lockout drags on, who's the bad guy? -
NFL fans want their football. Some believe the owners tried to give it back to them, only to have the players balk. When owners approved a tentative labor deal on Thursday, fans, like NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell thought it was "time to get back to football." Not quite. Players have yet to ratify the agreement, and that has surprised and enraged many.

ESPN Insider: 'Shut up and vote' -
The NFL owners have agreed to a new collective bargaining agreement, but the lockout is still in effect. While everyone is hopeful the players will recertify as a union and agree to the deal, it is not quite that simple. "It's a messy situation," ESPN's NFL writer John Clayton said on Sports 620 KTAR's Doug and Wolf. "Trust is still not there on either side."

NFLPA* to players: We will meet again on Monday to discuss our options | ProFootballTalk
It’s probably safe to put that champagne back in the fridge. Or hit yourself in the head with it.

Football people not reacting well to new CBA rules | ProFootballTalk
It’s widely believed that NFL owners agreed to overhaul practice and safety rules, cutting the offseason workout program and eliminating two-a-day practices, because it was a cost-free way to strike the financial deal the owners craved. And now it’s for the football people to figure out how to be as competitive possible in a world with reduced contact and practice time.

Keys to the game: Avoiding labor panic - NFC West Blog - ESPN
The long-running labor dispute between the NFL and its players does not lend itself to definitive analysis in the moment. That's frustrating for fans, media and players accustomed to instant replays, hurry-up offenses and two-minute warnings. Three things I'm keeping in mind as the process continues:

Regular season padded practices reduced | ProFootballTalk
We’ve heard plenty from Bart Scott and others about the reduction of two-a-days in training camp. We haven’t seen much talk about the reduction of padded practice during the regular season.

Takeo Spikes explains NFL players' reaction - NFC West Blog - ESPN
Expecting 1,900 players and the rest of us to instantly grasp the NFL's agreement Thursday night was unrealistic. The labor picture would get clearer with time. That was my view, and one discussed at some length on my Facebook wall. The San Francisco 49ers' Takeo Spikes touches on that subject and gives a player's perspective in the video below.

NFL drops third quarterback rule, 46 active players on game day | ProFootballTalk
With everyone focusing on how the league’s finances will change for the 2011 season and beyond, little attention has been paid to the rules changes that will affect the teams on game days. But one change that the owners and players to agree to will come into play on Sunday afternoons. The owners and players have agreed to expand game day rosters from 45 to 46 active players. The No. 3 quarterback will no longer be an "emergency" inactive player.

Looking at how salary cap flexibility will work in 2011 | ProFootballTalk
We reported Thursday that NFL teams would have a mechanism to make it easier to keep high priced veterans in 2011. When the league rolled out their settlement agreement (which hasn’t yet been agreed to by the players), we found out how it all work.

NFL Lockout: Three Remaining Steps Before Football Returns -
The NFL and NFLPA are nearing the end of the lockout. Here are three more steps that must be completed before football returns.

The open items before the league’s approval of the labor deal | ProFootballTalk
On Thursday, the NFL announced that it had approved a new labor deal, subject to acceptance of the deal by the players. Some players complained that they hadn’t seen the final version of the deal that was approved by the owners, other players complained that the NFL had slipped new terms into the final version of the deal that was approved by the owners.

Owners care more than players about preseason revenue | ProFootballTalk
In theory, the players should have no leverage at this point in the practice. Each lost week of the preseason results in a shared forfeiture of roughly $200 million. Under the proposed labor deal, that’s roughly $96 million for the players, and roughly $104 million for the owners.

New offseason rules carry stiff fines for violations | ProFootballTalk
From time to time, teams have been punished for violating the terms of the offseason workout rules. Typically, the offending team loses a week of workouts. Under the proposed labor deal adopted by the league (but not yet by the players, if you haven’t heard), it’ll cost more than a week of practice time.

NFL -- Canton, Ohio, stung by Hall of Fame game cancellation - ESPN
Workers assembled the metal framework for outdoor tents in the parking lot of the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Friday, getting ready for its big enshrinement weekend -- one that won't include a game for the first time in 45 years.

Vincent Jackson is finally backing down from his requests | ProFootballTalk
It appears Vincent Jackson is no longer a thorn in the side of the NFL. Or the NFLPA*.

Jackon’s wise decision comes better late than never | ProFootballTalk
We’ve criticized Chargers receiver Vincent Jackson for trying to get something for himself via a lawsuit that he joined ostensibly in the hopes of getting the best possible deal for his football brethren. And so now that he reportedly has decided not to seek free agency or free money in the amount of $10 million, we need to applaud him. news: Owners, players agree on four points that will change game
The majority of what could be the 10-year collective bargaining agreement has been finalized by NFL owners and players. Some loose ends need to be tied up before players vote on if they want to join owners in ratification of a deal, but we do know some points that will be in place. The financial structure has been set, as have most of the playing rules, length of rookie contracts and salary-cap structure. Some of the finer details -- like the overall financial specifics of the new rookie wage system and elements of potential HGH testing -- have yet to emerge, but they likely will once players ratify a deal. For now, let's examine some of the parameters in place:

Mailbag: Final Eight limits won't be missed - NFC West Blog - ESPN
Shane from Los Angeles does not think Asomugha would make sense for the 49ers. He thinks the team would be committing too much cap space to an older player at a position other than quarterback. As a Cardinals fan, he thinks Larry Fitzgerald will want more money than an unproven quarterback such as Kevin Kolb, and he'd like my thoughts on committing that much to a non-quarterback.

Cam Newton will make roughly $22 million in first four seasons | ProFootballTalk
In the past, No. 1 overall picks at quarterback were paid like they were among the very best players at their position. Now they are paid like below average starters.

Chris Kluwe Kicks Back At Critics, Still The Coolest Punter On Earth - From Our Editors -
When we last left Vikings punter Chris Kluwe, he'd just called Peyton Manning and Drew Brees "douchebags" for holding up the NFL Lockout by seeking settlements in their pending lawsuit against the league. I think. At this point, I've given up keeping track of the exact details stalling the lockout on any particular day. But Chris Kluwe definitely called them douchebags, and not everyone liked it. After the jump, see what former-NFL player Nate Jackson had to say about a punter calling out superstars, and even better, see Kluwe's scathing response.