Gordon: Rams need labor dispute to end -- and soon ..
By JEFF GORDON Posted: Tuesday, February 8, 2011
Super-agent Drew Rosenhaus is forced to twiddle his thumbs these days, just like everybody impacted by the NFL’s labor standoff.
“Without a new CBA there can be no free agent signings, no trades and no offseason workouts,” he reminded us via Twitter on Monday. “It will be absolute chaos and bad for the game!
“Also without a CBA there can be no trades during the draft and no signings of undrafted free agents! The integrity of the game is at stake.”
Income also is at stake over at Rosenhaus Sports, but we’re guessing his operation has enough cash to get through this hiatus. Fans are more concerned about how the current state of paralysis affects their favorite team.
This impasse is especially bad for the Rams, a potential 2011 breakout team that has so much work to do between now and September.
The Rams football staff can assess their players and grade the incumbents due new contracts. Executives, coaches and scouts can prepare for the NFL Draft, too, but they can’t size up the free-agent marketplace.
Which players will become free agents? Right now, the Rams can only guess.
Which teams will have to move big salaries to solve salary cap problems? Without a CBA in place, that is a non-issue.
Under normal circumstances, Kevin Demoff, Billy Devaney, Steve Spagnuolo and Co. would be studying the potential veteran marketplace as thoroughly as they study collegiate players available for the draft.
Under normal circumstances, the front office would develop an integrated strategy for filling the various team needs. Some upgrades could come in free agency, others via the draft and perhaps a few more through trades.
But if this standoff becomes a protracted lockout, the football guys will be forced to work in stages. The draft would become Stage One – and general managers might feel more inclined to fill specific needs there, given the uncertainty about free agency.
Then there is the preparation problem. New Rams offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels is eager to integrate his ideas into the Rams offense.
Theoretically, his spread offense will be a snug fit for quarterback Sam Bradford, who flourished in that sort of offense in college.
Theoretically, his spread offense will get the most out of draft disappointments Donnie Avery and Mardy Gilyard, receivers who also excelled in such schemes.
Receiver Danario Alexander put up stupid numbers in Missouri’s spread offense, so he, too, should benefit from this offensive shift. If healthy, he could be the (D)X factor in this attack.
Bradford is eager to remove his training wheels after a successful rookie season. He is anxious to work downfield in the passing game.
But to take that Next Step, Bradford needs more weapons -– and time to work with those skilled players under the direction of his new coordinator.
Will he get that time? Or will the lockout deprive him of the time needed to master the revamped offense and develop chemistry with new and/or newly healthy players?
For now, anyway, there appears to be hope. The owners and NFL Players Association are talking. Saturday’s negotiating session appeared to be constructive, judging from official comments made afterward.
“I am 100% confident that the NFLPA has made good faith offers in an effort to get a deal done,” Rosenhaus tweeted Monday. “Now's the time for the owners to do the same!”
Perhaps they are, judging from the latest bargaining session. Perhaps this negotiation could actually wrap up by March, giving teams a decent time frame to retool rosters and install schematic changes.
Rams fans, more than most, should be pulling for such a speedy resolution.
Re: Gordon: Rams need labor dispute to end -- and soon ..
its funny that if you think about it, both sides lose tonnes of money if it doestn go through and both sides know it. I gaurantee that a deal will be done before the cba deadline or i will pay myself $1 this year ... pfft.