Today on the steps of the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell will sign a new collective bargaining agreement that will take the league through the next ten seasons. Over the summer, the players and owners were a part of a four and a half month lockout, which at some points seemed to threaten the 2011-2012 season in its entirety. While fans sat by and waited, the two sides worked to find common ground on issues such as revenue sharing and the rookie wage scale. Thankfully, the player’s union and owners were able to come to an agreement that would preserve the season.
This agreement set into motion a free agency frenzy that saw shakeups throughout the league. Fantasy football fanatics will have to throw their off-season research into overdrive, as they struggle to keep up with the signings and trades. Next year, fans in Philly will see Vince Young on the bench and their former quarterback Kevin Kolb will be calling the shots in Arizona for the Cardinals. Reggie Bush will take his talents to South Beach and Chad Ochocinco will be catching passes from Tom Brady in New England.
Teams such as the Dallas Cowboys have to get creative to stay within the constraints of the salary cap and made news on the first day of free agency by cutting ties with running back Marion Barber and wide receiver Roy Williams. They also restructured the contract of their All-Pro linebacker, DeMarcus Ware. Some have predicted that the contracts of quarterback Tony Romo and receiver Miles Austin will also be retooled to help in the efforts.
The NFL preseason will kick off on August 11th and it will be interesting to see how the
summer lockout has affected the product on the field. Reports out of camps around the league are that many players are rusty and there is a long way to go to be ready for the opening kickoff. Particularly with all of the roster changes, team chemistry and new schemes will require quick adjustment. Regardless, anxious fans around the league are ready for football to resume.
So, are you ready for football? Did the lockout affect your views of the sport in a positive or negative way? Who will you be cheering for this fall at Third Base? Let us know!