NFL News & Notes: Lockout Update, Haynesworth, & MJD’s knee

Washington Redskins’ Albert Haynesworth is seen on the sidelines as the Redskins play a pre-season game against the Buffalo Bills at FedEx Field in Washington on August 13, 2010. UPI/Kevin Dietsch

Players and owners in the “red zone” in terms of labor talks?
A league source tells that the players and owners are “in the red zone” with regard to the labor negotiations. The source says that back in March, “we weren’t in the same stadium.” But now the two sides are apparently inching closer to wrapping up a deal thanks to the momentum that has been created over the last couple of weeks. The two sides will continue talks on Thursday and Friday, with five players and DeMaurice Smith conversing with Roger Goodell and five owners. While these discussions remain fluid, talks continue to progress.

Redskins won’t release Haynesworth
Mike Shanahan and the Redskins appear determined to leave Albert Haynesworth in NFL purgatory. Philadelphia Sports Daily says that the Skins will not release the DT quickly after the lockout and if any team wants him, they’ll have to trade for him. Apparently Washington doesn’t want to give into what Haynesworth wants, which is to be released. I can’t envision a scenario in which Haynesworth is still a Redskin by the start of the season, but you never know. Shanahan has proven time and time again that he can be stubborn.

MJD: The Jaguars are scared of my knee
In an interview with the Florida Times Union, running back Maurice Jones-Drew says that the Jaguars are “already kind of scared of my (surgically repaired) knee” and are “anxious to throw Rashad (Jennings) in” for more carries. As points out, Jaguars offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter insists that there have been no discussions in the offensive staff room over MJD’s knee, although the team’s official website did run a story earlier this week about how the coaching staff wants to get Jennings more involved. Seeing as how the NFL is largely a two-back league now, it wouldn’t be surprising if Jennings did get more touches next year – regardless of whether or not there is concern about MJD’s knee.

Asomugha to receive $19 million a year?’s Jason La Canfora seems to think that free agent cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha could receive a contact that approaches $19 million a year. If so, it would make Asomugha the highest paid player in NFL history. La Canfora believes that the Bucs could be serious bidders for the cornerback, which makes sense given Aqib Talib’s legal troubles. The Texans are also reportedly interested in Asomugha, and it wouldn’t be surprising if the Lions also got in the mix once the lockout lifts. The Eagles, Ravens and Jets have also been mentioned as possible suitors.

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