Owners, NFLPA already working on a new deal

FOX Sports’ Alex Marvez has some outstanding news for football fans, as he’s reporting that the NFLPA has entered negations with commissioner Roger Goodell and the two sides are entertaining a new six-year Collective Bargaining Agreement that would extend through the 2016 season.

There are still some hurdles that must be overcome before a new deal can be struck, however.

While stating some progress is being made, Smith remains adamant that the NFL provide detailed financial records for its teams before an agreement can be struck. Goodell has strongly resisted such requests and shows no sign of acquiescing.

Such information is especially important to the NFLPA because Smith claims the league is demanding an 18 percent reduction in player salaries. NFL executive vice president/legal counsel Jeff Pash has said Smith’s contention is a “misrepresentation” of the league’s proposal. Pash said the $1 billion generated by a new split of applied revenues between the two parties would be reinvested toward business stratagems designed to produce more money for both sides. Pash also said that player salaries wouldn’t necessarily be affected. The league generated roughly $9 billion in 2009 with a 52-to-48 percent overall revenue split between the NFLPA and NFL.

Click here to read the full article, including a more detailed explanation as to why Smith is demanding that the league shows the union its financial records.

The two sides are unlikely to come to terms on an agreement before some posturing takes place, but with the threat of a lockout coming in 2011, it’s highly encouraging that talks have already begun. Everyone stands to lose a substantial amount of money if there were no football next year, so chances are a deal will eventually get done.

Let’s hope both sides can come to an agreement soon.

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ESPN’s 2010 NBA Free Agency Summit

Bill Simmons, Tony Kornheiser, Michael Wilbon and Dan LeBatard discuss all the free agency news and rumors.

Doc Rivers will coach next season


Doc Rivers says he’s returning to coach the Boston Celtics for a seventh season, according to Boston-area media reports.

“I’m coming back,” he said in a text message, The Boston Globe reported. “I want another crack at it with this group.”

Good for him.

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Update on Giants’ safety Chad Jones

Chad Jones, the rookie safety for the Giants who was seriously injured in a car wreck last week, has been transferred to the New York Presbyterian Hospital-Weill Cornell Medical Center according to the New York Post.

Jones was accompanied on the flight by his girlfriend, Jade Newman. He is expected to require plastic surgery on his left leg and possibly additional orthopedic procedures.

Jones was only days away from attending the NFL’s rookie symposium in Carlsbad, Calif., when disaster struck. He was the driver in a serious accident early last Friday morning when his Range Rover slammed into a street-car pole in New Orleans.

The two passengers in the vehicle escaped with minor injuries but Jones suffered multiple fractures to his left leg and underwent eight hours of surgery to improve the blood flow in his left foot.

Jones won’t be able to play football this season and perhaps never again, although his agent, Rocky Arceneaux, has stated he believes Jones will be able to return to professional sports, if not football than perhaps baseball, where Jones was a left-handed pitcher on LSU’s 2009 national championship baseball team.

Here’s hoping Jones makes a full recovery and can one day play football again, whether that’s a year from now or longer down the road. But whether he laces up his cleats again is a moot point because he’s still breathing, and that’s the only thing that matters right now.

Nine sure-to-be wrong NBA free agency predictions

Cleveland Cavaliers' LeBron James reacts to a play against the Boston Celtics during the fourth quarter in Game 6 of their NBA Eastern Conference playoff basketball series in Boston, Massachusetts, in this May 13, 2010 file photo. July 1, 2010 marks the opening day of the free-agent signing period amid intense media speculation about whether James, the NBA's Most Valuable Player for the past two seasons, will remain at Cleveland. REUTERS/Adam Hunger/Files (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASKETBALL)

Here’s where I stop ruminating about rumors and pose a few predictions about what will happen in the NBA over the next couple of weeks. Let’s start with a near-sure thing and work our way around the league.

1. Dwyane Wade will re-sign with the Heat.
He has said all along that Miami is where he wants to be, and even if he strikes out on getting LeBron and/or Chris Bosh to join him, he won’t have a tough time recruiting a couple of other high-priced free agents to join him. Whether it’s Carlos Boozer, Amare Stoudemire, Joe Johnson or Rudy Gay, someone will want to play in sunny South Florida with a Top 5 player who has already proven he can take over an NBA Finals.

2. Chris Bosh will also sign with Miami.
I thought the Bulls might have inside track on Bosh, but if we’re to believe Dan LeBatard, a deal is already in place that would bring Bosh to Miami. Even if LeBron doesn’t join them, Bosh and Wade will make an excellent one-two punch.

3. LeBron and Carlos Boozer will sign with Chicago.
It’s the reunion that no one was expecting. I have no earthly idea what LeBron is going to do, but he says that winning is the most important thing, so if that’s true, he’ll either sign with the Bulls or join Wade and Bosh in Miami. With his ego, I think he’d rather play in Chicago in the shadow of Michael Jordan’s legacy than join ‘Wade’s team’ in South Florida. But who really knows? (Remember, I said these were sure-to-be-wrong predictions.) As for Boozer, if the Bulls strike out on Bosh, he’s the next-best fit at the four. The Bulls could take advantage of his strengths (low-post scoring, rebounding) while Joakim Noah could hide his weaknesses (post defense).

4. Joe Johnson will sign with the Clippers.
Think about it Knick fans — would you want to play under the NY microscope after the city missed out on the big-name free agents? Expectations are so high in the Big Apple and Johnson is a quiet guy that has proven in Atlanta that he doesn’t deal well with critical fans. He’s reportedly close with Clipper GM Neil Olshey and would be a nice fit there since he can play small forward alongside Eric Gordon on the wing.

5. Stoudemire will land in the Big Apple.
I almost wrote “land in New Jersey” but I didn’t want to send any Knick fans off the edge of the Brooklyn Bridge. If predictions #1-#4 come to fruition, the Knicks won’t be a very attractive place to play, but Stoudemire thrived under Mike D’Antoni in Phoenix and the Knicks will be sure to throw gobs of money to save face after pretty much striking out on the other top free agents. D’Antoni can run Stoudemire at the five and…

6. The Knicks will re-sign David Lee…
…to play the four. They’ll be defensively challenged, but that’s life. Then…

7. The Knicks will trade Eddy Curry for Gilbert Arenas…
…which will make them even more defensively challenged, but again, that’s life. At least the Knicks will be fun to watch.

8. The Grizzlies will match a max offer for Rudy Gay.
The Nets (and maybe the T-Wolves) will make a strong run at Rudy Gay, but the Grizzlies’ owner Michael Heisley has said all along that he’ll match any offer Gay gets in free agency.

9. Dirk Nowitzki and Paul Pierce re-sign with the Mavs and C’s, respectively.
These guys aren’t going anywhere.

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