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7-24-11: Bird Droppings - Progress

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Today, our main story is the progress in the CBA talks that makes it look like the vote by the NFLPA on Monday will wind up approving the new CBA and ending the lockout. After 130 days, it is finally almost over.

Arizona Cardinals News:

Larry Fitzgerald says he isn’t advising Cardinals on QB decisions | ProFootballTalk
There has been plenty of talk about Kevin Kolb going to the Arizona Cardinals and you’d think no one would be more interested in the outcome of that chatter than Larry Fitzgerald. One of, if not the, best receivers in the game, Fitzgerald had to catch passes from three different quarterbacks in 2010. The Derek Anderson-Max Hall-John Skelton-Richard Bartel stew produced very few fireworks in the passing game. They completed an eyelash more than half their passes and threw just 10 touchdowns against 19 interceptions. Fitzgerald still managed to catch 90 balls for 1137 yards, making you wonder what kind of numbers he would have gotten with better play at quarterback.

azcentral.com blogs - Kent Somers - A quiet weekend?
Both players and owners have displayed a large amount gamesmanship over the last couple days. First, the owners approved a CBA proposal and issued a timeline for beginning the league year. Players felt that was meant to pressure them into quickly approving a 10-year agreement, and now are going to wait until Monday to vote on the issue. Apparently. So where does this leave the Cardinals? Well, with a weekend off, not that the front office or coaching staff necessarily wanted it.

Arizona Sports News:

Justin Upton, Miguel Montero propel Diamondbacks to win
Justin Upton and Miguel Montero combined to drive in 11 runs and the Arizona Diamondbacks routed the Colorado Rockies 12-3 on Saturday night. Josh Collmenter threw seven strong innings, had a pair of hits and added his first career RBI for the Diamondbacks, who have won two of their past three. Upton finished 3 for 5 with his second career grand slam and six RBIs while Montero had three hits and drove in five.

Arizona Rattlers reach record-setting 16th win to close regular season
The Rattlers became the first Arena Football League team to win 16 games in a regular season by defeating the Vigilantes 55-49 on Saturday night in Dallas. Quarterback Nick Davila led the Rattlers (16-2) with 253 passing yards and eight touchdowns, including five to wide receiver Chris Jackson, who also had seven catches for 71 yards. Kerry Reed had 10 catches for 76 yards and two touchdowns.

NFL News:

2011 NFL lockout -- Camps eyed for player ratification vote, source says - ESPN
Major breakthroughs in Saturday's discussions between NFL owners and players is setting up a time table for both sides to resolve their 130-day labor dispute, a source told ESPN.

2011 NFL lockout -- Owners, players come to deal on all points, sources say - ESPN
The NFL's players association and owners groups have reached agreement on the remaining points needed in their 10-year labor deal, sources from both sides said.

Under new CBA, rookies won’t have much of a reason to hold out | ProFootballTalk
In past years, the process of negotiating contracts for draft picks was a tricky one, with plenty of guys holding out for better terms and skipping part of training camp and in some cases missing all of training camp and the preseason. Occasionally, a guy like 49ers receiver Michael Crabtree would hold out into the regular season.

Early word on length of deal: Firm 10 years, no opt-out clause | ProFootballTalk
One of the big questions regarding the deal on which the NFLPA* Executive Committee reportedly will vote on Monday is whether the contract will cover 10 years, or whether it will have an early opt-out provision. Per the source who explained to us earlier today the problems with an opt-out clause, the early indication is that it will be a firm, 10-year deal.

Seven-year opt out isn’t necessary, or helpful | ProFootballTalk
As best we can tell, there are two primary issues that need to be resolved before the labor deal can be worked out. First, the league and the players need to figure out how best to reconstitute the union. Second, the league and the players need to agree on the length of the deal.

Reggie Kelly on players: "People have started to cool off" | ProFootballTalk
Following the labor rollercoaster of Thursday night, Florio tried to make sense of what happened. Some of the problems came from business, and some from simple human relations. Many players didn’t appreciate the public pressure put on them by the owners and fought back. Now 36 hours later, it seems like the emotions are subsiding.

NFL.com news: Concessions for Brady lawsuit plaintiffs no issue in CBA talks
Issues still are standing in the way of NFL labor peace. Placating the named plaintiffs in the Brady antitrust lawsuit no longer is one, for now.

Video: John Clayton on labor breakthrough - NFC West Blog - ESPN
ESPN's John Clayton says NFL owners and players made "significant progress" Saturday toward finishing a 10-year labor agreement.

How Monday’s NFLPA* procedure will work | ProFootballTalk
With an agreement between the NFL and NFLPA* on the verge of happening, many folks may be wondering exactly how Monday’s events will transpire.

Report: Player reps flying to D.C. Sunday, final deal points reached | ProFootballTalk
ESPN has upped the language and certainty of their report that says the process to end the lockout will start with a vote Monday.

NFL.com news: Sides 'down to the details' in finalizing agreement
The NFL and NFL Players Association are down to the details in finalizing a 10-year agreement to end the 4-month-old lockout.

New CBA sets up eventual 18-game stare down | ProFootballTalk
The NFL players successfully have beaten back the league’s desire to expand (i.e., enhance) the regular season from 16 to 18 games. For now.

Report: Eagles interested in Brett Favre | ProFootballTalk
Ugh. Let me repeat that. Ugh. Howard Eskin of WIP radio in Philly reports that the Eagles could quarterback Brett Favre as a backup to Mike Vick, after Kevin Kolb is shipped out of town.