IX - Earlier in the week, Dale Lolley broke the story that the Steelers were set to use the Franchise Tag on linebacker LaMarr Woodley. We never followed up though with the official announcement, which came on Friday. Neither Woodley nor his agent commented on Friday about the news. Woodley, who earned $550,000 in 2010, will see his salary increase over 1800 percent in 2011 as he's scheduled to earn ~$10,000,000 or the average of the top five highest paid players at his position. Now, it's still possible that the Steelers and Woodley work out a long-term deal before the season, but with so much uncertainty surrounding what the new CBA might look like, let's hold off on speculating about what may happen next.
X - The NFL and the NFLPA are meeting for the third consecutive day on Sunday to hopefully make progress on hammering out a new Collective Bargaining Agreement. Beginning this past Friday, both sides agreed to a week of meetings at the National Mediation and Conciliation Service. The director of the agency, George Cohen, has a track record of helping broker deals of this variety, as he played an integral role in helping Major League Soccer avoid a work stoppage. MLS is a peon in the sporting landscape compared to the NFL of course, but here's to hoping that Cohen can successfully mediate a deal this next week, or at worst, get both sides significantly closer together than they've been up to this point.