IX - Earlier on Wednesday, Jason Cole of Yahoo Sports reported that the NFL and the players union have come to a basic agreement on implementing a rookie wage scale. A union source as well as others denied the report, but Cole has stuck to his sources. I believe it. The rookie pay scale is out of control and one of the most disposable bargaining chips the players have provided they get some sort of concession in return.
X - Like, say, taking an 18-game schedule off the negotiating table. NFLPA director DeMaurice Smith publicly stated for the on Wednesday evening that an 18-game schedule was non-negotiable. Hmm. Still two business days to go before the CBA expires, but things aren't looking too hot if you ask me.
XIII - Football Outsiders has published their 'Wisdom of Crowds Review' for running backs in 2010. What's that mean? Essentially how each 'back did compared to what a FO's hand picked panel predicted at the outset of last season. Check out where Rashard Mendenhall ranked.
XIV - Mel Kiper Jr. filed his most recent mock draft on Wednesday ($). Here's who Kiper had the Steelers selecting in Round 1.
Danny Watkins, OG, Baylor
Pittsburgh needs help on the offensive line, and Watkins is a versatile player who can play multiple positions for them. They hit a home run drafting a versatile offensive lineman in Round 1 last year, and Watkins offers more of that. The Steelers could also target the defensive line, but the offensive side of the ball is a bigger need, and, like the Jets, they can add help to the front of their 3-4 set with a later pick.
Interesting choice. Certainly isn't like Kevin Colbert to draft a guy so old. Watkins will be 27 during his rookie, and as Dale Lolley says, he's a 'good player, but too damn old. By the time his first contract is complete, he's already in his 30s. And then what? If he doesn't start his first season - or even his second - you've wasted a good sum of money on a guy who's already almost over the hill.'
XL - A little audio for those of you who enjoy a change of medium.
- Concussion expert Chris Nowinski with Bill Simmons on the BS Report
- Rashard Mendenhall from late last week with Buck & Kincade on WCNN in Atlanta
- And how about Charlie Sheen from Wednesday on The Dan Patrick Show
XLIII - Hmmm, maybe a lockout wouldn't be such a bad thing if it meant the end of the Roger Goodell era as commissioner of the National Football League.