Archive for: February 2011

Chad Henne the Dolphins Offseason Off. Coordinator?

In a very interesting story, Ben Volin of the Palm Beach Post discusses the Dolphins’ contingency plans for the NFL Lockout. Volin says that Chad Henne has been working with new Dolphins Offensive Coordinator to learn the team’s new offense. You’re probably saying to yourself  “of course, he should be!”  But, Henne is not only learning the offense for himself, he’s learning it so that he can teach the Dolphins other offensive players during a Lockout. Yes, the same Chad Henne that struggled in 2010 will be leading the Dolphins offense practices this offseason if there’s a Lockout.

Another interesting note from Volin is that the Dolphins players plan to start offseason practices in late March on their own, if there’s a Lockout. Remember, players can’t work at team facilities or with their coaches during a Lockout.  So it is critical that the players begin preparations for the 2011 season when they normally would.  We wondered if this would happen and we hope many of the Dolphins players take part.  I really hope the media is out at the Dolphins Player Practices, because it will be interesting to see who steps up to lead when no Dolphins’ coaches are around.

Remember to follow us on Twitter @phinnation for the latest Dolphins news and analysis

Pros/Cons of Soliai being Miami Dolphins Franchise Player

If you had been in a coma since July 2010 and woke up last Thursday to see that Paul Soliai was tagged as the Dolphins Franchise player, would you be surprised?  What if you just slept the normal 8 hours from Wednesday night into Thursday morning?  The answer to both questions is probably YES.  We were surprised that Soliai received the Franchise Player designation by the Miami Dolphins on Thursday.  What the tag does is that it ensures the Dolphins will not be in the market for a Nose Tackle this offseason.  Here are our thoughts on the Pros/Cons of the Dolphins Franchising Soliai:

Pros

- Run Stopping Force – Soliai entered 2011 as the Dolphins NT backup to Randy Starks.  However, he wasn’t a backup for long.  He quickly stepped in after Jared Odrick’s injury, which forced Starks to move back to defensive end.

- Soliai started almost the entire year that saw the Dolphins rush defense improve from 18th in 2009 to 7th in 2010.

- It’s only a 1 year agreement, which means he’ll be motivated to prove he deserves a long term deal.

- It give the Dolphins depth on the D-line.  Think about it, the Dolphins will have Soliai at NT with Starks backing him up.  At DE, the Dolphins will have Jared Odrick, Randy Starks, Kendall Langford, Tony McDaniel, and Phillip Merling battling for the 2 starting spots.  And the guys that don’t win the starting spots will provide good depth rotation.

- Consistency. Resigning Soliai means the D-line will likely remain similar to what it was in 2010, which is important, especially with the labor issues facing the NFL. If there are less mini camps and practices, having players that know the Dolphins defensive system will be an advantage to the team.

Cons

- It’s $12.4 million!

- Soliai will make more than any other Dolphins player in 2011.  Is he really their best player?  Most valuable player?  Most irreplaceable player?  The answer may be yes to one of those questions.  But, if you were Jake Long and just finished your THIRD Pro Bowl season, wouldn’t you be a little annoyed that Soliai is getting paid more than you? Brandon Marshall anyone?!

-  Is Paul really worth all of that money for 1 good season, which were preceded by 3 average or below average seasons?  The only thing that keeps us from getting too angry about this is that it is only for one season.  The Dolphins can work with Soliai on a longer term deal during or after the 2011 campaign (hopefully after so he stays motivated all year).

- Motivation.  Paul has had weight issues, motivational issues, and has spent time in the coaches doghouse.  Is giving him a ton of money really going to keep him motivated to play hard?  Again, it’s only 1 season, so he still has to prove himself to the Dolphins in 2011.  We’re more concerned about how Paul will react after the Dolphins give him a long term contract.  Will he return to his unmotivated habits?  Or will he become the best NT in football?

Thanks for reading!  Please follow us on Twitter @phinnation for the latest Dolphins news

Newton, Ingram, and other Phins Draft Possibilities

The lack of a new collective bargaining agreement has not dampened the excitement surrounding the NFL Draft Combine.  The NFL stars of tomorrow were on display this weekend in Indianapolis.  The Miami Dolphins have their full contingent of scouts in Indy, along with General Manager Jeff Ireland.  As we’ve mentioned before, this is a critical draft for the Dolphins front office.  They may have received contract extensions this offseason, but they now the pressure is on to win in 2011.  Another 7-9 season and Mr. Ross will be on a plane again next offseason chasing coaches.  So with that, let’s take a look at some of the players that stood out during the Combine this weekend.  These are some of the players the Dolphins are looking at closely and could very well draft in late April.

Cam Newton – QB Auburn

Leading up to the Combine, Newton was criticized for claiming that he is more than a football player.  He said that he was an “icon and an entertainer”.  He debunked this misnomer by saying that he was simply answering a direct question about sponsorships.  Newton was impressive with the measurables at the combine, with a 4.58, 40-yard dash.  He was inaccurate, somewhat during the throwing drills, but there is more than enough tape on him to quell those concerns.  Some of the inaccuracy could be from his unfamiliarity with the receivers he was throwing to.  Newton will have a Pro Day on March 8th with his receivers.  But for the Dolphins to be interested, they will have to be sure to conduct a full character background check.  Newton’s talents are vast, but it’s his off the field issues that could cause teams to red flag him.  Newton, like Ryan Mallett have concerns, which Omar Kelly looks at here.

Interestingly, Adam Schefter of ESPN tweeted that the Dolphins were one of the teams to hold a personal interview with Newton.  Maybe the Dolphins are just doing their due diligence…maybe they don’t think there’s a chance he’ll be there at the #15 pick.  But, they could also think he is the real deal.  Could they disregard their “picks are gold” mentality and move up to get a player they see as a franchise QB?

Ryan Mallett – QB Arkansas

Watching some of the throwing drills, we realized that this kid has an amazing arm.  But, like Newton, he has character concerns.  Rumors of failed drug tests have been circulating throughout the Combine.  In our opinion, Mallett doesn’t have the upside that Newton has.  But, that doesn’t mean he can’t be a very good quarterback in the NFL.  If the Dolphins were to draft Mallett, they could likely get him in the 20′s of round 1.  It’s possible they could trade back in the 1st round, pick up a 2nd round pick from a team in the 20′s, and draft Mallett.  However, that entire scenario is based on Mallett’s character issues checking out with the Dolphins.

Mark Ingram – RB Alabama

Mike Mayock said that he has Mark Ingram as the only running back with a first round grade in this draft.  With Ronnie and Ricky both possibly leaving the Dolphins via free agency, many mock drafts have Miami taking Ingram with the #15 pick. He has drawn comparisons to Emmitt Smith by many ‘experts’, but those comparisons are certainly premature.  He showed good explosiveness at the Combine and certainly has the build of a running back that can carry the load of an offense.  Matching Ingram with a speedy change of pace back could be an option for the Dolphins.  However, we will go on record as saying he will NOT be the Dolphins pick at #15.  There are just too many other options in free agency and the draft at the RB position.

Julio Jones – WR Alabama

Julio Jones made himself some money this weekend at the Combine.  No, he didn’t sign any endorsement deals, but he put up some great numbers in the WR drills Sunday.  Jones stands at 6’4″, 220 lbs.  He ran a 4.39, 40-yard dash.  He also had an amazing 11’3″ broad jump.  The athleticism is there.  Before the Combine he was mocked to be taken between picks 12-20  of the first round.  He may have moved himself into the top 10 after his showing on Sunday.  Yes, it was THAT impressive.  The Dolphins could look to add Jones if they think he can add speed at the WR position and compliment Brandon Marshall.  Doubtful, but an intriguing thought to have Jones, Marshall, and Bess on the field at the same time.

Christian Ponder – QB Florida State

I didn’t get a chance to see Ponder throw much at the Combine, but the reports indicate that he had one of the best performances of ANY of the QBs.  Ponder is a QB that has above average intelligence and good accuracy.  What will cause him to slide is his arm strength, but he may have tempered any immediate fears of that with his performance this weekend.  It appears he duplicated his solid Senior Bowl week, at the Combine.  Ponder could be a 2nd/3rd round QB that the Dolphins take a long, hard look at.  If his shoulder is healed, he could be a steal in this draft.

We love this time of the NFL year….The Combine…The Draft Buzz…Free Agency…well, Free Agency will have to wait until the CBA is done…But the NFL offseason is in full swing and we’ll be here to keep you posted on everything you need to know about the Dolphins offseason news!

Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter @phinnation for the latest Dolphins news

Panthers Won’t Tag DeAngelo Williams, Dolphins should AT LEAST be Interested

According to various reports, the Carolina Panthers will NOT place their Franchise Tag designation on Running Back DeAngelo Williams. Instead, they will likely tag either C Ryan Kalil or DE Charles Johnson. This means that whenever the new CBA is agreed to, DeAngelo Williams will become a free agent and free to sign with any team he chooses. We believe the Miami Dolphins should at least be interested.  The Dolphins should see what it would take to sign him. As much as Dolphins’ fans love Ronnie Brown, his time in Miami could be ending soon.  We think the writing is on the wall for Ricky..he actually may have written on the wall himself!

We posted a story earlier this month, comparing DeAngelo Williams’ numbers to those of the Dolphins’ Ronnie Brown. The numbers are from the last two full years that both backs were healthy and the difference was pretty drastic.  Williams averaged over 1.3 yards per carry more than Ronnie.  He also averaged more yards and more TDs in those years. Keep in mind that both RBs played in systems that had a two back approach.

Williams’ would come with a track record of being injured.  Some might say “Why give up on Ronnie because he’s injury prone, just to sign another guy who is injury prone?”  A valid concern.  But, look at what Williams did vs. Brown when they were healthy.  They were both injured, yes, but Williams did more with his carries when he was healthy.

We aren’t saying the Dolphins should overpay for a player that has been injured in the past.  We’re just saying that it is worth having the conversation.  The Dolphins are looking for speed on offense and DeAngelo Williams adds that immediately.  What do you Dolfans think?  Would it be wise to move on from Ronnie Brown and onto DeAngelo Williams?

Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter @phinnation for the latest Dolphins news

Newton to Workout at Combine, #51 is Back, and a New Dolphins Song?!

The Miami Dolphins and other NFL teams may be in stuck in limbo until a new CBA is reached. However there are still some interesting things going on that will impact the Dolphins in 2011.  Yesterday we learned that Cam Newton will be working out fully at the NFL Combine and Brian Cox (#51) will be joining the coaching staff.  Today we’ll also share some interesting posts that we found on other great Dolphins blogs.

Cam Newton to fully workout at Combine

There was a lot of speculation that Cam Newton might opt out of throwing at the NFL Combine, especially after his impressive workout last week.  Many thought he could only hurt his status. However, yesterday Newton confirmed that he would participate fully at the NFL Combine this weekend.  Many teams interested in Newton wanted to see him participate fully and from his end, a good enough showing could vault him higher in the Draft.  Until recently, many mock drafts had Newton dropping to #15 and being selected by the Dolphins.  However, his stock has risen and he now seems to be a top 10 pick.   Newton is a player that I personally like.  Yes, he has a lot of baggage off the field, but he could be the type of quarterback the Dolphins have been looking to find for years.  He has good accuracy, particularly on the deep ball, and his size allows him to buy extra time in the pocket (think Big Ben).  He still has a long way to go to make people forget about his off the field issues, but the talent is certainly there.

Brian Cox is Back!

Yes, THAT Brian Cox.  Fans in Buffalo surely remember him!  I liked Brian as a player, although his intensity and aggression often got him into trouble.  He’s been brought to Miami as the Pass Rush Coach.  As Omar mentioned on Twitter yesterday, he will likely be asked to add some fire and aggression to the front 7.  Welcome back Brian!!

D-Line Grades

Matty at ThePhinsider.com takes a look at the Dolphins defensive line and grades each player.  PhinNation.com agrees with the assessments.  The biggest questions for 2011 are whether or not Paul Soliai and Tony McDaniel are back on the defensive line for the Dolphins.  Both are free agents…Or will be whenever the CBA is agreed to. Matty makes a great point, saying that getting Jared Odrick back will be like getting an extra 1st round pick for 2011.  Our prediction: Soliai is resigned and McDaniel is not.

New Dolphins Song?

Hat tip to Paul at the DolphinShout.com for pointing this one out.  We’ll warn you, there is some obscene language, so watch/listen at your own risk.  I could see the Steelers taking ownership of the Black and Yellow song….Even Lil Wayne turning it into a song about the Packers…But this may be stretching it a little too far!

Remember, you can follow us on Twitter @phinnation for the latest Dolphins news and updates

The NFL Fan Strike Needs YOUR Help!

Things certainly have changed since our update last week.  Things seem to change quickly with the NFL and NFLPA these days.  Well, that is everything EXCEPT the signing of a new CBA!  As the Owners and Players continue to argue discuss their stances in the CBA negotiations, we’re going to give you the latest news in today’s update. We’ll cover everything from a change in date/time for the Owners ‘Lockout’ Meeting to our efforts to make the NFL Fan Strike as big as possible.

Venue Audible

We were preparing to assemble our protest in Fort Lauderdale, outside of the NFL Owners meetings.  You remember, the one where they almost definitely going to vote to lock the players out?  It seems that the Owners have called an audible to that meeting that was set to take place on March 3rd.  First, it’s not going to take place on March 3rd now…..AND it’s not going to take place in Fort Lauderdale!  The Owners are now set to meet on March 2nd, somewhere in Washington D.C.

So what are NFL Fan Strike supporters going to do?  We’re calling out to every NFL Fan that will be in the Washington DC area on March 2nd.  If we can get enough fans involved, we’re planning an organized protest outside of the building!!! In order to protest, we will need to obtain protest permits (yes, even in America, you need a permit for free speech!).  So we’re calling on all of you passionate NFL Fans that have been so great in this NFL Fan Strike Movement.  We are looking for leaders of the protest.  If you are interested, please email us at phinnationblog@gmail.com .  This protest and strike is only has powerful as the people involved.  That means ALL of the NFL Fans!

NFL/NFLPA Enter Mediation

No, that’s not meditation…although that might help too.  The NFL and Player Representatives have begun a 7 day session of mediation in Washington DC.  After meeting for a total of 20 hours this weekend, they started their 4th day of mediation earlier today.  Mediation sounds great and we hope that great strides are being made.  However, mediation essentially keeps both sides from screaming at each other.  In fact, our understanding is that the two sides might not even be in the same room!

The mediator does not have any power, he is not an arbitrator.  His role is to keep both sides talking without shouting matches or personal attacks.  Sad that he even needs to be involved, but apparently things have gotten that bad.  Personally, I have my doubts about this mediation and believe it could just be a way to tell the public ‘look, we’re doing something!’.  I hope not, but that’s my gut feeling.  I hope they emerge from the meetings with a new CBA.

Current State of NFL Fan Strike

By a rough count, we have only reached about 10,000-15,000 NFL Fans thus far with our call to boycott NFL Licensed Merchandise.  This number is a very rough estimate of those fans that have actually read about the Fan Strike on this blog.  We’re sure that more have been reached and might be taking part.  As you can imagine, it’s tough to know what the real numbers are. For our initial thoughts on how much of an impact the NFL Fan Strike could have, please check out our previous post here.

We are continuing to reach out to players and the media as vehicles to reach ALL NFL Fans.  We’ve been on an email campaign and have used Twitter quite extensively.  We were interviewed on ESPN Radio to talk about the NFL Fan Strike, and have been calling into sports talk shows regularly.  We need all of the NFL Fan Strike supporters to do the same.  Tell your friends and family.  Post links about the Fan Strike on Facebook..Tweet about it…Blog about it!! Surely, almost every NFL fan wants to have their voice heard….and that voice is screaming We Want Football!!!

If you don’t think it’s worth your time or energy, please read Mike Sando’s list of 10 things to know about the NFL Lockout.  If March 4th arrives with no CBA, football in 2011 will most certainly be different…in fact, it might not happen at all.

As a reminder, please take the following steps to support the NFL Fan Strike:

1. Do Not Purchase ANY NFL Licensed Merchandise.  No coffee mugs, no jerseys, no t-shirts, no team blankets, etc.

2. Sign the Petition.  We’ll be sending this to the NFL offices on March 3rd and need ALL members of the NFL Fan Strike to sign it.  It literally takes less than 2 minutes to do.

3. Follow us on Twitter (@NFL_FanStrike) OR Friend us on Facebook here. This will help you to stay up to date with the latest on the CBA negotiations and the NFL Fan Strike.

4. Tell your favorite celebrities/players/media members about the NFL Fan Strike.  A beginning list can be found here.

Thank you all again for your support.  We are confident that the NFL WILL hear the voices of NFL Fans, whether they want to or not!

Plaxico Burress interested in coming to the Miami Dolphins?

We just saw the above headline and asked the same things that many of you are asking right now…1. Why? and 2. Should/Would the Miami Dolphins be interested? It appears that when Plaxico Burress is released from prison in early June, he would like to escape New York and head to a warmer climate, ideally near his home in Miami. This information is based on a report from the Daily News, citing ‘someone familiar with Burress’ thinking’ (possibly his agent?).

whereistheoutrage.net

We’re passing this news along, not because we think he’ll end up with the Miami Dolphins, but the prospect might not be AS CRAZY as you might think.  The topic will also likely bring about some good discussion, which we value at PhinNation.com.

Why Miami?

Plaxico is just about done serving his 2.5 years in prison and he wants to put this entire situation behind him.  He won’t be able to do that in New York with the Giants or the Jets for that matter.  New York has more media members than the Jaguars have fans (sorry Jacksonville!).  He is also a free agent, which means he can pick which destination he sees as the best fit for him.  He owns a home near Miami, so it’s logical for him to think the Dolphins would be a good fit for him.  Reports suggest that he has lost some weight while in prison, but has been working out 4 times a week to get into football shape.

Should/Would the Dolphins be interested?

This is the key question to this story.  Plaxico can WANT to sign on with the Dolphins, making for a shorter commute to his home.  BUT, should/would the Dolphins be interested?  The Dolphins won’t say anything publicly about Burress until they announce that they’ve signed him.  That’s their approach with most free agents. It sounds like a number of teams are interested in bringing Plaxico in, IF HE’S IN SHAPE.  He was a very good receiver for the Giants before all of the off the field nonsense that occurred.  In his last 3 FULL years with the Giants he averaged over 1,000 yards and 9 TDs.  BUT (that’s a big BUT) his last full season was in 2007.  How much have his abilities diminished?  Hard to tell, but he is 6’5″ and will likely be back to the 220-225 lbs. weight he was at before his stay in jail.

What this comes down to is a simple equation of risk versus reward.  The Eagles gambled on bringing back Michael Vick.  All Vick did was complete a prison to Pro Bowl season last year.  The Miami Dolphins DO have a history of bringing in talented players with shady pasts.  Remember a few years ago when a certain aging running back re-signed with the Dolphins?  Ricky Williams anyone?  Remember last year when the Dolphins traded away 2 bars of gold 2nd round draft picks for Brandon Marshall?

It’s not entirely crazy to think that the Miami Dolphins would take a flier on Burress, perhaps for a 1 year, incentive laden deal?  Low risk contract, possible high reward performance?  You never know.  Burress could, and we emphasize could, answer some of the red zone issues that have plagued the Dolphins in recent years.  After all, can you imagine a 3 wide set with Brandon Marshall, Plaxico Burress, and Davone Bess?  This all takes into account that Burress still has something left in the tank…Unfortunately, only time will tell if that is the case.

Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter @phinnation for the latest Dolphins news

Who will the Dolphins be checking out at the Combine?

It’s hard to believe, but the NFL Draft is only 2 months away.  This year’s draft will probably be one of the most anticipated in recent memory.  Why?  Because of the labor issues between the NFL and NFLPA, the NFL Owners will likely lock out the players, starting March 4th.  This means no free agency.  This means no serious on-field football talk until late April.

If there is a Lockout, teams will not be able to sign free agents and will have to change their strategies heading into the Draft.  In previous years, we’ve loved the anxiousness leading up to March 4th.  It’s like the waiting for a huge holiday and the anticipation is what makes it great.  What player will get a call from the Miami Dolphins ownership at 1201am to arrange a visit?  Who will the Dolphins sign to improve the team?  Hopefully the Owners and Players can get the CBA resolved so that free agency comes before the draft…hopefully.

So, with the NFL Draft taking center stage, all eyes turn to Indianapolis later this week, where the Scouting Combine will take place.  We decided to point out a few players that we think the Miami Dolphins could be paying close attention to at the Combine.

Cam Newton – QB Auburn

Newton is a bit of an enigma when it comes to draft experts.  Mel Kiper has him going #3 in his most recent mock draft.  Others suggest that he could fall into the middle of the 1st round.  Newton did himself a huge favor by throwing last week in a private workout.  Onlookers said that the workout was quite impressive.  If the Dolphins are going to take a QB with the #15 pick, our preference would be Newton, if he’s there.  In fact, if the Dolphins front office believe he can be a franchise QB, they should even trade UP to get him.  Check out this piece by Dave Hyde, which gives you everything you need to know about Cam Newton.  Yes, he has off the field issues, but he could be the QB the Dolphins have been looking for, for 10 years.

Colin Kaepernick – QB Nevada

Colin Kaepernick is a name that many of us have never heard.  And why should we have, after all he did go to Nevada!!  But, he could be the next quarterback of the Miami Dolphins.  He’s got the right build, at 6’5″, 225 lbs.  We’ve said before not to believe a word of what you hear from teams,  leading up to the draft.  However, it should be noted that the Dolphins were interested in Kaepernick at the Senior Bowl.  He had a good week of Senior Bowl practices, but didn’t do too well in the game itself.  He has a good arm, great athleticism, and good accuracy.  He will need to adjust his throwing motion as he has a bit of an long delivery.  But, he is said to be coachable and should be available in the late 1st, early 2nd round.  If the Dolphins choose to trade out of the #15 pick and drop down into the late 20′s, while picking up a 2nd rounder, Colin could be their choice.

Mark Ingram – RB Alabama

Ingram has been ‘mocked’ to the Dolphins in a number of drafts that we’ve seen around the internet.  We believe this is happening primarily because of where he’ll likely be selected and the fact that the Dolphins have 2 RBs set to hit free agency.  Ingram won the Heisman Trophy for Alabama 2 years ago, so he is definitely a good back.  Some have compared him to Emmitt Smith.  He runs with good vision and is an excellent runner between the tackles.  His doubters will bring up that he does not have breakaway speed or the ability to get to the edge.  Neither did Emmitt!  We are eager to see how he performs at the Combine, since he could be the safe pick that Tony Sparano and Jeff Ireland might make.  However, we think it would be better to address the RB position in Free Agency or the 3rd/4th/5th rounds of the draft.

We’ll continue looking at other draft targets the Dolphins could be looking at as the week progresses.

Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter @phinnation for the latest Dolphins news

A Critique of “The Commish’s” Letter

We are now about two weeks away from the first real deadline (March 4th) of the NFL labor negotiations.  The NFL Fan Strike is continuing to grow and is adding new supporters every day.  We’ll continue working to reach as many NFL Fans as possible, to achieve the greatest impact possible.  However, today we would like to take a closer look at the op-ed that The Commish (Roger Goodell) released to the national media on Tuesday.

Before we get into the letter, please understand that NFL Fans just want football.  We’re already tired of talking about the CBA and labor negotiations.  Both sides need to get together and come to an agreement.  Personally, I was displeased with both sides.  But after researching and learning more about the situation, I have to say that I am more angry with the Owners.  I’m not going to feel bad for the players that are making millions of dollars.  However, we must remember that it is the NFL Owners that are threatening to Lockout the players.  So please, take the below comments for what they are; we just want a new CBA so we can get back to talking about football!

Below you will see the words of the NFL Commissioner, followed by our translation of what he really means plus our questions/thoughts. (Our translation is written in bold italics, with parentheses). Enjoy!

THE TIME HAS COME TO MAKE (IT LOOK LIKE WE WANT TO MAKE) A DEAL

By Roger Goodell (Actually written by a roomful of PR ‘spin’ masters)

One of the best NFL seasons in history is now over. We salute NFL players for their extraordinary talent and we deeply appreciate the tremendous support of the fans (for spending billions of dollars on merchandise, tickets, and concessions, that we have deposited into our bank accounts).

The hard work to secure  the next NFL season (more revenue for the Owners) must now accelerate in earnest. We are just weeks from the expiration of our collective bargaining agreement. There has been enough rhetoric, litigation and other efforts beyond the negotiating table. It is time for serious negotiations (Not really, but we want fans to think we’re doing SOMETHING).

The current agreement expires on March 4, and I cannot emphasize enough the importance of reaching agreement by then. If we as a league — the teams and players’ union — fail to fulfill our shared responsibility to the fans and game, everyone will be worse off — players, teams and fans — starting in March. (The ‘teams’ because reports indicate that they’ll still make $5 bil if no games are played)

This is an opportunity to create a better future for the NFL (Owners), to improve the game for our fans, and to expand the economic benefits for the players and teams.

Staying with the status quo is not an option. The world has changed for everyone, including the NFL and our fans. We must get better in everything we do(at retaining more revenue for the Owners).

The union has repeatedly said that it hasn’t asked for anything more and literally wants to continue playing under the existing agreement. That clearly indicates the deal has moved too far in favor of one side (What happened to ‘there’s been enough rhetoric???). Even the union’s president knows this — as he said on national radio on January 27: “I think what really happened is in 2006 we got such a great deal. I mean, the players got a good deal and the owners felt they got it handed to them.”

We need an agreement that both sides can live with (is more favorable for the NFL Owners) and obtain what they need, not simply what they want.

Today’s collective bargain agreement does not work as it should from the standpoint of the teams (Finally, the TRUTH!!). If needed adjustments are made(demands are met), the NFL will be better for everyone (the Owners). The first step is making sure a new collective bargaining agreement is more balanced (wouldn’t 50/50 be balanced?!) and supports innovation and growth.

The NFL clubs want to move forward, improve the system, and secure the future of the game for the benefit of players, fans and teams.

The status quo means no rookie wage scale and the continuation of outrageous sums paid to many unproven rookies. In 2009, for example, NFL clubs contracted $1.2 billion to 256 drafted rookies with $585 million guaranteed before they had stepped on an NFL field (Agreed, this needs to be fixed). Instead, we will shift significant parts (Commish, please define ‘significant’) of that money to proven veterans and retired players.

The status quo means 16 regular-season and four preseason games — even though fans have rejected and dismissed four preseason games at every opportunity (WRONG! Fans reject paying absurd amounts of $$ for preseason games, that does not mean an 18 game schedule). We need to deliver more value to our fans by giving them more of what they want at responsible prices (Responsible, not reasonable?). This can be achieved if we work together and focus on more ways to make the game safer and reduce unnecessary contact during the season and in the off-season.

The status quo means failing to recognize the many costs of financing, building, maintaining and operating stadiums (Aren’t MOST stadiums paid by taxpayers, Mr. Commish?). We need new stadiums in Los Angeles, Minneapolis, San Francisco, Oakland and San Diego; and the ability for more league investment in new technology to improve service to fans in stadiums and at home. (Correct me if I’m wrong, but I didn’t know there was an NFL Franchise in Los Angeles…Why is a new stadium needed there?)

The status quo means players continuing to keep 60 percent of available revenue, in good years or bad, no matter how the national economy or the economics of the league have changed. From 2001 to 2009, player compensation doubled and the teams committed a total of $34 billion to player costs (and in that same time period, what have league revenues done???). The NFL is healthy in many respects, but we do not have a healthy business model that can sustain growth.

Companies with far more revenue than the NFL have gone bankrupt because they mismanaged their costs and failed to address their problems before they became a crisis. The NFL has a track record over many decades of making good decisions that have led to unprecedented popularity (So now is the perfect time to leverage the sport’s popularity and lockout the players). Negotiating a fair agreement will result in billions in pay and benefits to current players, improved benefits for retired players, and a sustainable business model for our teams.

The current deal does not secure the best possible future for the game, players, clubs and fans (I’d argue that the fans and players are fine with the way the NFL is now). The next few weeks must be used to negotiate with intensity and purpose so we can reach a fair agreement by March 4. If both sides (The NFL Players) compromise and give a little, everyone will get a lot, especially the fans (Oh yeah, and let me throw in ‘fans’ for the 11th time in this letter!).

There you have it, our thoughts on the latest piece of propoganda put before us. What do you think?  Leave us a comment with your thoughts or send us a tweet @NFL_FanStrike

If the new CBA isn’t agreed to by March 3rd, NFL fans will let their voices be heard.  We’re gathering fans to protest in Fort Lauderdale, outside of the NFL Owners meeting.  This March 3rd Owners meeting is when they will have the ‘official’ vote on whether or not to lockout the players.

Mankins Tagged, NFL Fan Strike Protest, and Can Henne be Brees?

It’s the offseason, but there sure is a lot of football talk going on!  With Baseball Spring Training set to begin, the NFL offseason is full of rumors, labor strife, and even litigation.  Today we’re going to discuss the similar paths of Chad Henne and Drew Brees, Logan Mankins being tagged, the Dolphins top 30, and call out for support for the NFL Fan Strike protest that is coming to Fort Lauderdale.

Can Chad Henne Become Drew Brees?

Like you, when we first read this statement on the Miami Herald website, we thought it was a typo.  In this article, Mando takes a look at the comparison that many Chad Henne supporters make when defending the Dolphins QB.  Drew Brees struggled for the first few years of his career and Henne supporters think that Chad can develop into what Brees has become.  Anyone that says they know for sure is full of it.  The key point of this article that we completely agree with is the part where Mando says the Dolphins would be wise to address the QB position in the upcoming draft.

The Dolphins are now in a very similar spot to where the Chargers were a few years ago when Drew Brees was entering his 3rd year as a starter.  They saw potential in Brees, but knew that it would be wise to draft a QB, just in case he never realized that potential.  The Dolphins have been rumored to have interest in Cam Newton and Colin Kaepernick.  We’ve mentioned that these rumors can sometimes be smokescreens, leading up to the draft.  However, it would be wise for the Dolphins to backup their investment in Chad Henne, by bringing in another young quarterback.  We’ve seen the Dolphins do this recently.  They’ve addressed the CB position by drafting Nolan Carroll, Vontae Davis, and Sean Smith in recent drafts.  They like to draft multiple players at the same position in hopes that at least one will work out.  While this isn’t the same draft as when Henne was selected, it would be wise for the Dolphins to look for a young QB….just in case.

Logan Mankins staying in N.E.

This news was hardly a shock to the football world.  But Logan Mankins OG will likely be a New England Patriot next season.  Many Dolphins fans hoped that Mankins would hit the free agent market and that the Dolphins could sign him to help fix their interior offensive line. That dream scenario seems unlikely now.  We say unlikely, because there is still a chance that the Pats could look to trade Mankins, instead of giving him the long term contract that he seeks.  So, if the Dolphins hope to fix their offensive line, they’ll need to look elsewhere this offseason.

Ranking the Top 30 Dolphins

Omar Kelly has been busy creating a list of the top 30 Dolphins.  Click the above link to see where he ranks your favorite Dolphins players.  For the most part, we agree with Omar’s listings.  The top 5 seem to be in line with what most Dolfans think.  We’d like to know what you think about the rankings.  Who would be your most valuable Dolphins player?  Who would be in your top 5?  Please leave a comment or send us an email: phinnationblog@gmail.com

NFL Fan Strike Needs South Florida’s Help!

That’s right, the NFL Fan Strike needs help from Dolphins fans!  The NFL Fan Strike is trying to help prevent an NFL Lockout, which appears to be imminent.  The NFL Owners are meeting on March 3rd in Fort Lauderdale.  NFL Fan Strike needs as many Dolphins fans as possible to attend the protest their organizing.  If you are available, please come out on March 3rd and let the NFL Owners know that fans don’t want a lockout, we want football!!

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