Labor's been very difficult in delivery of CBA


Labor's been very difficult in delivery of CBA

By Tom E. Curran 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 Follow Tom on Twitter at http:twitter.comtomecurran.

Wednesday's Pats-Bills practice report: Jimmy G., Brissett both 'limited'

Wednesday's Pats-Bills practice report: Jimmy G., Brissett both 'limited'

FOXBORO -- The highly-anticipated first Patriots injury report of the week was released on Wednesday afternoon, and it was fairly predictable. 

Both injured quarterbacks were active but limited in their practice participation, the report indicated. That comes as little surprise as both Jimmy Garoppolo (shoulder) and Jacoby Brissett (thumb) were spotted throwing passes early in Wednesday's practice. Neither appeared to be experiencing any significant discomfort as they made their warm-up throws. 

Patriots linebacker Dont'a Hightower (knee) and tight end Rob Gronkowski (hamstring) were also limited. Gronkowski admitted that the team was taking it slow with him in his first game back on the field last week -- he played just 14 snaps in New England's win over Houston -- but he said on Wednesday that he hoped to go "freakin' crazy" on the field soon.


QB Jacoby Brissett (right thumb)
OT Marcus Cannon (calf)
G Jonathan Cooper (foot)
LB Jonathan Freeny (shoulder)
QB Jimmy Garoppolo (shoulder)
TE Rob Gronkowski (hamstring)
LB Dont'a Hightower (knee)
CB Eric Rowe (ankle)


TE Charles Clay (knee)
OL Cyrus Kouandjio (ankle)
OL Patrick Lewis (knee)
WR Sammy Watkins (foot)

DB Colt Anderson (foot)
DB Ronald Darby (hamstring)
QB Cardale Jones (right shoulder)
DB Jonathan Meeks (foot)
WR Greg Salas (groin)
DB Aaron Williams (ankle)
OL Cordy Glenn (ankle)

Garoppolo: Not pressured by Patriots to return last Thursday

Garoppolo: Not pressured by Patriots to return last Thursday

FOXBORO -- Jimmy Garoppolo spoke Wednesday for the first time since getting his shoulder separated by the Dolphins’ Kiko Alonso. Standing by his locker, Garoppolo was predictably vague about the status of his arm, unless you consider, “Getting better day by day,” as being insightful. 

The only two responses offered that were worth a damn came when asked if he could have done anything different when he got squished by Alonso while retreating and buying time.  

“Just have to be smart I guess,” said Garoppolo. “I mean, it’s football and stuff’s gonna happen like that, but have to be smart in those situations.”

Asked if he regretted holding the ball as long as he did on a third-down play with the Patriots up 21-0, Garoppolo replied, “After it’s all said and done it’s easy to say that, but it’s one of those things, you’re in the heat of the game. But bottom line I have to be smarter than that.”


Meanwhile, as he worked last week to get back for Thursday night’s game against Houston, The Boston Herald reported that the Patriots were “putting pressure” on Garoppolo to be ready for the game. Working hard to get key players ready for upcoming games is standard operating procedure for a medical staff. Trying to force a player to perform is not. 

I asked Garoppolo if he felt unduly pressured. He replied, “No.”