Open Letter to the NFLPA

Dear Players,
I have been on your side for a while now. For years when people who just want my opinion or value my football knowledge have asked, any discussion of NFL contracts have usually ended in my saying, “These players get screwed all the time.”
I oppose the blanket rule against guaranteed contracts. I don’t like the franchise tag. I generally think the owners abuse labor every time the CBA is on the table for (re)negotiation.
During this labor battle, I am still in your corner. You should fix this relationship with the owners. You should expose their shenanigans. And now, for the first time in my lifetime, you appear to have the leadership and the public good will to do it.
That said, get it right. Not counting the guys who will hold out this year because of the franchise tag, I have defended my last tag-ee.
You have the power to go to the mat with the owners over this. They appear to be headed there anyway, why not fight for something while you’re there?
The franchise tag sucks, but I’m done defending you in the daily water cooler discussions if you don’t fix it. Average citizens don’t protest their government’s actions by refusing to pay taxes. They don’t say I’m not going to work until you lower my tax rate or give me what I want. They VOTE.
Well it’s election day, gentlemen. Go get the system you want, because if you agree to a CBA, that still has the tag, I won’t side with the next Logan Mankins.

Sincerely,
The Democratic Fanatic

My 2011 NFL Draft Wishlist

Just so you know where I’m coming from.

Picks the Pats Have:

17, 28, 33, 60, 74, 90, and their 4, 5, and 6.

Picks I want them to use:

At least #17- the fourth round. Don’t really care if they want somebody in the last two or they trade them…

What I want in a perfect world:

If they make seven picks, just for example. I want three players distributed between defensive tackle, defensive end and pass rushing outside LB. Whoever works for Bill works for me so long as “whoever” isn’t a high second rounder at HB that gets released in four years and goes on a blunt ride in STL with his Glock 9mm. I also want two tackles and a guard. Not three offensive linemen of Dante’s choosing, not a bunch of sixth round fat tight ends who he turns into serviceable starters in a year and a half. Two tackles and a guard.

Why do I want these things?

For two reasons. First of all, the game is won and lost in the trenches and I was reminded of this in the most painful and lasting way imaginable on Sunday. Secondly, and this is particularly directed at the offensive line, competition isn’t just good. In the NFL it is vital. I don’t know if Logan Mankins is coming back, I hope he is. But whether he is or is not, there is nothing wrong with putting a talented group of guys together in camp and saying, “hey, show us who wants to play. We want to dominate the line of scrimmage, which five guys will do it?” (Oh, and I want Matt Light in a plastic bag at the bottom of Crocker Pond) Continue reading