Let's be honest here. News is slow. We're all frustrated with the ridiculousness known as the NFL lockout. Now those of us who are also fans of the NBA get to suffer even more as their lockout gets underway. Of course, the outcry over an NBA lockout won't even come close to that of the NFL lockout (because we all know football is king). But it's just the proverbial cherry on top of the sh*t sundae that sports fans have been served over the past few months.
Luckily we get to enjoy a long holiday weekend. So I'm going to keep this week's "five" brief:
1. As predicted, talks are going backwards. I never bought into that optimistic rhetoric we were being fed a couple of weeks ago. I also don't buy into the suddenly pessimistic rhetoric we're being fed now. But the bottom line is obvious - as this lockout drags on, the start of training camp isn't the only thing in serious jeopardy right now. I'm starting to seriously wonder about the start of the preseason. Now we still have a little while to go before we have to panic. But as I like to say, it's getting late very quick.
2. The owners looking more like the villains now. The two latest reports about the CBA negotiations don't really paint the owners in a good light. The more I hear about the talks, the more I begin to completely blame the owners for this mess. On Thursday, Chris Mortensen reported that talks are going "backwards" and that "optimism is waning." According to Mortensen's sources, the owners have "reneged" on the previously agreed upon formula that would have given players 48% of total revenue. Now the owners reportedly want to take $400 to $500 million off the top before giving the players their share - which amounts to about 45% for the players.
A suddenly new sticking point also appears to be the number of years of service needed to reach free agency. It was widely expected that the free agency terms would revert back to pre-2010 standards where a player needed only four years of service to be an unrestricted free agent. But now a FOX Sports report claims the owners would only agree to those terms if they can get a "right off first refusal" on three named players entering their fifth or sixth season - meaning players with five or six years of service wouldn't exactly be free.
Considering there will be some kind of rookie wage scale, the players will be seeing less of the revenue than they'd like, and there will continue to be a franchise tag, why should they agree to this "right of first refusal" idea? It's starting to seem to me like the billionaire owners are starting to get greedy, feeling the players are ready to cave in with the season just around the corner and hefty paychecks on the verge of being lost.
3.taking a "wait and see" approach regarding . There's no question that Wake's break-out season last year was a big reason why Miami's defense ranked 6th in 2010. Coming off of his dominant 14 sack season, Wake and his agent have been lobbying the Dolphins for a new contract. I can't say I blame them, either. Wake signed a 4 year, $2.318 million deal in '09 that brought Cameron from the CFL back onto the NFL. While another $2+ million is obtainable through incentives, It's fair to say he's out-performed his $480,000 salary that he will earn in 2011.
But the Dolphins plan on waiting out Wake to ensure he doesn't "plateau" as he enters his second year as a starter. I can't say I blame them, either. Wake is already 29 years old and could see his outstanding speed and quickness off the edge diminish over the next few years as he ages. With Wake signed for two more seasons, it makes sense for the Dolphins to see if Cameron makes the next step in his career before giving him the pay day he probably deserves.
4. This lockout can't end soon enough for the Dolphins' new rookie center. In case you haven't been following Mike Pouncey on Twitter, you should head over to his Twitter feed when you have a few moments. That way you can see how Mike has been keeping occupied during this prolonged lockout. You can see photos like this one. Or this one. And of course this one.
5. But not everyone is spending their free time "planking" like Mike Pouncey. Dolphins cornerback Sean Smith has created a YouTube channel that will feature some of his training during this lockout. Below is the "preview" of what is to come. Bonus points for creativity, in my opinion.