While everyone has been caught up in the hype of the mad signing spree the Eagles have embarked upon in the last two weeks, NFL fans seem to have forgotten one very important fact. The much anticipated and celebrated CBA that took forever and a day to work out (I am still convinced Demaurice Smith just enjoys hearing himself talk and that in itself is the reason the lockout lasted 4 months) is still not final.
None of the players who have signed new contracts since the opening of free agency almost two weeks ago can practice with their new teams until the new Collective Bargaining Agreement is ratified by the union. This means teams like the Titans who will be leaning on some of their veteran signees like Barrett Ruud and Matt Hasselbeck to be major contributors are facing an uphill battle that gets steeper by the day. While the new contract players are allowed to participate in meetings they are not allowed in practice until things are hashed out between the union and the league.
As of right now the only point of contention left between the two sides seems to be Roger Goodell’s power when it comes to disciplining the players for their off the field behavior. Personally I like the iron fist approach Roger Goodell has brought to a league filled with over-privileged wanna be thugs and have no problem with the way he has been dealing with the incidents. According to Steelers player rep Ryan Clarke Goodell’s power in that matter is “a deal breaker” though.
For the sanity of not just the everyday fan, but that of the sportswriter as well, ENOUGH ALREADY!! FINISH THIS!! What was Demaurice Smith favorite thing to say at his press conferences? “We just wanna play football.” Time to put up or shut up Mr. Smith.