Working out details is a major chore in CBA talks


Working out details is a major chore in CBA talks

By Tom E. Curran
So we got an extension to the extension and my prediction (uttered on Mike Florio's Pro Football Talk Live the day after the Super Bowl and resurrected today) lives!Good news? Yes. The tenor of the talks has been described to me as courteous and a lot got accomplished when the owners were present on Thursday which, of course, led to the initial extension that paved the way for today's. The details are the difficult thing to hammer out. For instance, if the players concede to a give up a couple of percentage points of their share of the "pie" the salary cap will drop. It was at about 128 million in 2009, the last year of the cap. If the cap drops to 124 million, for instance, that puts players' jobs at risk. The last thing the NFLPA wants is to see veteran players getting thrown overboard after the new agreement is reached because the cap drops. Another thing for the sides to consider is how to deal with the new rookie salary scale. For instance, Sam Bradford signed a 78 million deal with 50 million guaranteed last year. When his salaries start to escalate in the second, third and fourth years of his contract and get into the 14 and 15 million range, he'll be consuming more than 10 percent of the cap all by his lonesome. Can those exorbitant deals be somehow excised from the cap, grandfathered into the system so they don't result - again - in lost jobs for veterans? And where exactly will the money saved from the new rookie wage scale be allocated? Retired players? Current players? It's details like those that will take a significant amount of time to hammer out next week as the next deadline approaches. With the respective sides bunkering down for the weekend, they'll both be putting together proposals to have in hand when they return to the table Monday. Realistic proposals hatched in the next two days will help ease the negotiations when they get back to bargaining. .AOLWebSuite .AOLPicturesFullSizeLink height: 1px; width: 1px; overflow: hidden; .AOLWebSuite a color:blue; text-decoration: underline; cursor: pointer .AOLWebSuite a.hsSig cursor:
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Rex Ryan: Zero focus on 'extracurricular things' vs. Patriots


Rex Ryan: Zero focus on 'extracurricular things' vs. Patriots

FOXBORO -- Seems as though the Bills don't quite have their stories straight. 

On the one hand, you have Bills players, who say that they won't hesitate to retaliate if a Patriots player gets near one of their pregame warmup drills, as Jacoby Brissett did in Week 4. 

On the other hand, you have the Bills coach, who sounded less eager for there to be any kind of scrap before this weekend's game at Ralph Wilson Stadium. 

"No, I mean with us, just go out and warm up," Ryan said in a conference call Wednesday. "That’s what you do, but any of the extracurricular things, you know, there’s absolutely zero focus on that, and shouldn’t be any focus on that. It’s just about playing games.

"I mean if people want to show how tough they are, put the boxing gloves on and get in the ring or something. That might be more impressive -- I don’t want Gronk by the way.

"But I definitely don’t want to see that happen, and our focus is 100 percent on the game and doing the very best we possibly can."

It's an interesting comment from a coach who has made it very clear that he wanted to build a "bully" in Buffalo. His team shut out the Patriots after trying to intimidate New England's rookie quarterback before the game. Did his team not benefit somehow from what occurred before kickoff that day?

He doesn't think so.

"It had nothing to do with our team . . . Absolutely nothing," he said. "You know, those things happen every now and then but it was no big deal. It did absolutely nothing for us."

Roethlisberger to Brady: I've never done this before but . . . can I have your jersey?

Roethlisberger to Brady: I've never done this before but . . . can I have your jersey?

Tom Brady has fans everywhere, apparently. Even in Pittsburgh. Even on the Steelers roster. 

Showtime's Inside the NFL caught video of Brady meeting with Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger before Sunday's game between New England and Pittsburgh. 

The pair hugged near the 50-yard line at Heinz Field. Brady called Roethlisberger "big guy." Roethlisberger, who was out with a knee injury, told Brady he wanted to play "so bad."


Then Roethlisberger became a fan. And like many of them, he had a request. 

"Um, hey, listen," he said. "I've never done this before, but I would love to get a jersey at some point. It'd mean...There's not many I want to put in my office. You're the best, dude."

Brady was happy to oblige. Just not right at that moment. 

"Sure, I'd love to," Brady said. "I'll get you after the game."