Labor's been very difficult in delivery of CBA

191543.jpg

Labor's been very difficult in delivery of CBA

By Tom E. Curran
CSNNE.com Patriots Insider Follow @tomecurran ATLANTA - Dont tell me about the labor pains. Just show me the baby.Thats pretty much where we are now with this NFL lockout, agreed? Wednesday, the NFLPAs Executive Council met in Washington and reviewed the proposed CBA. A vote was expected. A vote never came. Too much information to digest all in one sitting, according to reports. Thursday, the leagues owners will meet at the Airport Marriott in Atlanta (169 room rate for me). Theyre expected to vote on the proposed CBA. But you never know. Sometimes theres too much information to digest. After the death of Myra Kraft on Wednesday morning, Robert Kraft will not be in Atlanta. Jonathan Kraft will represent the Patriots.Its expected (hoped), that the players will be able to hold their vote and agree to the new CBA before the owners hold their vote later Thursday. Each team was also asked to send a key football decision maker who will be briefed on the rules of engagement once the CBA is agreed to and the lockout ends. That person not sure yet who the Patriots are sending but Bill Belichick or Nick Caserio seem the likely suspects will get the new rules and the timeline for free agency, reporting dates, etc. One of the NFL's lead litigators, Jeff Pash, said the fact the players didn't vote is not a big deal. "It doesnt impact (the owners' plans) at all," he explained. "Were going to continue to work with the players. Well find out if there are issues that still need to be negotiated and were going to work cooperatively with them through the evening and try to have something in place that both sides can vote on tomorrow morning.Ratification is an independent process by each side, just as they could ratify something if we havent voted. So, I assume we could do so."At this point in the process, there is heightened interest and anticipation. Timelines calling for free agency to start within a few days and teams to begin reporting next week have people with a vested interest players, owners, team personnel, fans and media on edge. Any hint of a hangup is met with media concern which quickly devolves into a full-blown Twitter panic. The agitation then becomes a measure of news itself a kind of new media riptide. Example? Minnesota punter Chris Kluwe calling Peyton Manning, Drew Brees, Vincent Jackson and Logan Mankins dbags after reports broke that those four were making individual demands for settling the Brady vs. The NFL litigation. Frankly, I still dont know what to believe in regards to what was requested.
And Wednesday night, after Brees and Manning had their agentmouthpiece Tom Condon say they never asked for anything, a source told CBS Sports' Mike Freeman that Mankins and Jackson still wanted 10 million. Despite Jackson saying Tuesday he wouldn't hold up the process. Despite a report that Mankins hadn't asked for money. There are a lot of sources out there right now and if you ask the right or wrong one the right or wrong thing at the right or wrong time the responses can run the gamut. Eventually, the rioting is quelled and the torches are stowed until the next agita-causing nugget drops. Ill be in Atlanta Thursday. I expect to see the baby.
Tom E. Curran can be reached at tcurran@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Tom on Twitter at http:twitter.comtomecurran.

Sanu on Patriots' Super Bowl comeback: Lady Gaga's long halftime hurt Falcons

Sanu on Patriots' Super Bowl comeback: Lady Gaga's long halftime hurt Falcons

Three weeks removed from his team blowing a 25-point, second-half lead in the Super Bowl, Mohamed Sanu offered a possible explanation for the Atlanta Falcons losing their edge against the Patriots.

Lady Gaga.

More specifically, it was the half-hour-plus halftime show that interrupted the Falcons' rhythm, the receiver said Friday on the NFL Network's "Good Morning Football."

“Usually, halftime is only like 15 minutes, and when you’re not on the field for like an hour, it’s just like going to work out, like a great workout, and you go sit on the couch for an hour and then try to start working out again,” Sanu said.

Sanu was asked if the delay was something you can simulate in practice. 

"It's really the energy [you can't duplicate]," he said. "I don't know if you can simulate something like that. That was my first time experiencing something like that."

Patriots coach Bill Belichick did simulate it. In his Super Bowl practices, he had his team take long breaks in the middle.

Sanu also addressed the Falcons' pass-first play-calling that didn't eat up clock while the Patriots came back.

"The thought [that they weren't running the ball more] crossed your mind, but as a player, you're going to do what the coach [Dan Quinn] wants you to do." Sanu said. "He's called plays like that all the time."


 

It's official: Patriots nab third-round compensatory pick in Collins trade

browns-collins-jamie-collins-012017x.jpg

It's official: Patriots nab third-round compensatory pick in Collins trade

The Patriots received a conditional fourth-round pick in 2018 from the Browns in return for Jamie Collins. That's how the trade was described on the league's transaction wire. 

The "condition" of that fourth-rounder? Well, if the Browns received a third-round compensatory pick in 2017, the Patriots would nab that pick instead. 

On Friday, the NFL announced that the Browns had in fact been awarded a third-round compensatory pick, which meant that almost three full weeks after Super Bowl LI, everything was still coming up Patriots.

In actuality, the odds were pretty good all along that the Patriots would get what they got

Cleveland lost Pro Bowl center Alex Mack in free agency last offseason when he opted to sign with the Falcons. Because compensatory picks are based on free agents lost and free agents acquired, and because the Browns did not sign any similarly-impactful free agents, there was a good chance Mack's departure would render a third-round comp pick that would be shipped to New England.

Had Mack suffered a significant injury that forced his play to drop off or limited his time on the field, a third-rounder may have been out of the question, but he played well (named a Pro Bowler and a Second Team All-Pro) and stayed healthy -- lucky for the Patriots -- missing just 17 total snaps in the regular season. 

The Browns comp pick that will be sent to New England is No. 103 overall. The Patriots were also awarded a fifth-round comp pick, No. 185 overall. That was a result of the league weighing the departures of Akiem Hicks and Tavon Wilson against the arrival of Shea McClellin.

The Patriots now have nine selections in this year's draft: One first-rounder; one second-rounder; two third-rounders; one fourth-rounder*; two fifth-rounders; two seventh-rounders.

The third-round compensatory pick acquired by the Patriots carries additional value this year in that it is the first year in which compensatory picks can be traded. A near top-100 overall selection may allow the Patriots to move up the draft board or build assets in the middle rounds should they be inclined to deal. And we know they oftentimes are. 

* The Patriots forfeited their highest fourth-round selection in this year's draft as part of their Deflategate punishment. They acquired a fourth-round pick from the Seahawks last year. Because that would have been the higher of their two selections, that's the one they'll lose. They will make their own fourth-round pick at No. 137 overall.