I don't know if there is a lot of point in doing Fanposts right now, because if you guys aren't constantly clicking the main page over and over to see if there is any update at all, you are probably rereading Lee Ford's incredibly well reasoned and researched post on the CBA. (Not that I am doing that myself.) But there is so much that has happened the past couple of days that I just want to throw it out there and see if anyone has anything to add. And this whole posting thing is, well, addictive.
This brings up the overall question: How do you feel about the first two days of Football Post Lockout? Looking at the comments in the articles today, I have to think many of you are smiling to yourself. And as the song asked, do you feel like we do?
Coming out of the vacuum of the lockout, the big concern that seemed to be putting everyone's bowels in distress was whether the Cowboys were going to be lost in cap hell. The figures looked grim, with estimates flying around that the 'boys were up to $30 million over the cap. Doug Free, our best player on the OL, was suddenly seen to be a prime target for other teams in free agency. The familiar calls for Jerry Jones' head were flying about.
In the middle of all this, Mr. Jones calmly observed that the Cowboys had plenty of cap room. People responded with things like "What does he know that we don't?"
Well, as it turns out, maybe a lot. Roger Goodell credits him with being a key reason the new CBA got done. And it looks like ole' Jerrah was watching out for number one. Armed with his intimate knowledge of what the CBA really said (versus the myriad rumors flying around out there), Jerry knew what needed to be done and how it needed to be done.
The how turned out to be brilliant. With daring (although not totally unforeseen) moves, the Cowboys brain trust cut some formerly big time players and freed up cap money, and then turned around and got Doug Free resigned to what looks to be a reasonable yet rewarding contract, and answered the biggest question for the team. Now it looks like Kosier is signed too. Meanwhile, the roles of camp bodies and bottom of the roster challengers were being quickly and efficiently signed. It was a dazzling and dizzying couple of days out there, with a level of excitement that was near that of the draft or even of gameday. The Cowboys pretty much did all that they needed to do those days, and very effectively, I might add.
And around the rest of the NFL? Deals are being negotiated and cut, and I think some of them are going to look a lot worse that what the Cowboys have done. The Chargers made Eric Weddle the highest paid safety in the game (maybe egged on by a little interest from Valley Ranch). The Vikings are wooing Donovan McNabb. Tennessee is getting Matt Hasselbeck. Kevin Kolb may get traded from Phillie to Arizona. Reggie Bush is apparently getting some offers. There are even rumors that Brett Favre and JaMarcus Russell are getting nibbles.
JaMarcus Russell? What is going on?
Well, maybe panic. Rushing about madly, trying to fill roster holes and get up to the salary floor. And not having prepared adequately because, say, you didn't have an owner/GM who was intimately involved in the negotiation and writing of the new CBA.
This may be the NFL version of insider trading. But I don't think anyone can do anything about it.
Sitting here at the end of day two, with the first of the draft choices reportedly signed, and with the dust starting to settle out there, things are looking pretty good. Dallas' approach feels pretty danged good right now. The team seems to be moving in a measured, planned method, accomplishing what it needs without getting sucked into overpaying or drafting over the hill players out of necessity. Which seems to be what several other teams are doing.
I am feeling really good. Oh, sure, there might be some stumbles ahead, but right now the team seems to be in good hands.
So, how do you feel?