Packers: Owners & Lockout, Free Agency & QB Rodgers Workout

Legendary senior writer jclombardi highlights Packers headlines.



Resistance from owners mount: An internal battle is percolating at some of the highest NFL circles in which some owners are resisting the labor deal they’ve been trying to negotiate with the players, according to multiple sources. A handful of NFL owners believes the parameters of the deal being discussed don’t adequately address the original issues the league wanted corrected from the 2006 collective bargaining agreement, according to sources.

Packers unrestricted free agents’ prospects are mixed: Teams are working from the assumption that the new CBA will return eligibility for unrestricted free agency to four years service, the same as it was from 1993 through 2009. That’s not guaranteed but is the most likely outcome of the pending CBA talks. Less certain is how the CBA will handle restricted free agency. In past years, teams had a late-February deadline to tender offers to restricted free agents (i.e., players with three years of service whose contracts had run out), and then the restricted market was open from the start of the league year in early March until the week before the draft. If another team signed a player to an offer sheet, his original team had a week to decide whether to match. Facing the compressed signing period, it’s unclear whether the owners and players will agree to cancel restricted free agency for this year only, or offer it in abbreviated form. They could shorten the restricted signing period to a few days or a week, and give teams only one day to match an offer a player signs with another club. No matter the rules, teams will have to be ready for fast decisions and lightning negotiations on restricted and unrestricted free agents alike. They’ve had an extended offseason to plan, so they at least can go in with well-thought priorities. But they still will be deciding important personnel matters over few days.



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