Quick Links

Upshaw Invokes the "N" Words

Upshaw Invokes the "N" Words

Certainly, it's early and the tough talk is part of the posturing game. Still, NFL Players Association head Gene Upshaw dropped a couple of "N" words in talking about the current status of negotiations for a new contract between the players and the union.

Those two "N" words were NHL and NBA. Upshaw quoted in the Washington Post: Their last proposal to us was totally unacceptable. You see what happened to hockey [a lockout that forced cancellation of the 2004-05 season]. Now basketball is moving in the same direction. I don't see us as being too far off the pace from those two. For some reason, the owners have not moved the ball at all
Just as the NHL has not moved the puck at all in nearly a full calendar year. Its labor problems may be insurmountable and it may well kill the league or at least a lot of its teams. The NBA's labor relations went from friendly but uneasy to hostile at some point last week. A strike or lockout is a strong possibility.

We're still a long ways away from there being a good chance of an NFL strike, but Upshaw's comparisons to the other two labor-strife leagues certainly did ratchet things up a bit.

Said Upshaw:
To sit around and think that labor peace is going to just fall off a tree, they're reading the wrong tea leaves. It's time for them to wake up to the fact that we have a problem, and we need to get it fixed.
The "problem" at hand is over revenues that are not shared by the league's owners and, thus, are not a part of the formula used to calculate the salary cap. Naturally, more revenue going into the top line of the equation means more money in the players' bottom line, their paychecks.

We've covered this here before so I'm not going to retread much ground here. The basic question is this: Should the high-revenue owners such as the Redskins' Dan Snyder be forced to share the revenue generated by luxury boxes and stadium naming rights with the players and/or the other owners playing in older facilities?

It's much easier to make the case that they should be giving the players a cut than it is to argue that other owners should get a piece of the pie. It's like telling Broadway actors that they will get a cut of the ticket sales from the balcony and the far reaches of the lower level of the theater, but nothing from the expensive seats up front.

The effects of a stalemate are closer than you may think. According to ESPN's John Clayton, if a new labor agreement is not reached by this date next year, we will not be talking about June 1 cuts. Since 2007 is currently an uncapped year, there would be no delaying of the acceleration of accrued signing bonuses should a player be cut after June 1. There would be no difference in the cap hits for releasing a player on May 31 and on June 1.

The US Senate recently averted the so-called "Nuclear Option" with a compromise deal. Upshaw is threatening a less severe but still ugly scenario, the "Train Wreck Alternative":
Under the current labor agreement, a salary cap will be in effect for the last time for the 2006 season, and if there is no extension, the 2007 season would be uncapped, meaning teams could spend as much as they want to sign free agent players. Upshaw said if it came to an uncapped year, he would decertify the union, a move that essentially would mean all players would become free agents.

"Once you get to an uncapped year, you can't go back," Upshaw said. "I think that's something they don't want to see happen. I think we need to do this before it gets too late. I'd much rather talk to the players this fall about what we can agree on rather than telling them you better prepare for a train wreck, because that's what it will be."
There's still time but the clock ticking or, should we say, the trains are headed towards each other and they're on the same track.

Quick Links

Matt Ryan throws some serious shade at Kyle Shanahan for the Super Bowl loss

Matt Ryan throws some serious shade at Kyle Shanahan for the Super Bowl loss

Matt Ryan spoke to CBS Sports' Pete Prisco about the loss to the Patriots in the Super Bowl and how the Falcons will rebound in 2017. 

In the process, he took a shot at former offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan's play-calling and put some of the blame on his style of coaching for the disastrous fourth quarter.

"Kyle's play calls -- he would take time to get stuff in," Ryan said. "As I was getting it, you're looking at the clock and you're talking 16 seconds before it cuts out. You don't have a lot of time to say, 'There's 16 seconds, no, no, no, we're not going to do that. Hey, guys, we're going to line up and run this.' You're talking about breaking the huddle at seven seconds if you do something along the lines.

"With the way Kyle's system was set up, he took more time to call plays and we shift and motion a lot more than we did with (former coordinator) Dirk (Koetter). You couldn't get out of stuff like that. We talk about being the most aggressive team in football. And I'm all for it. But there's also winning time. You're not being aggressive not running it there."

Those are some harsh words from Ryan and not exactly a ringing endorsement of Kyle Shanahan. This loss will surely haunt him should he never get back to another Super Bowl.

"There's always going to be a little sting," Ryan said. "You never lose that. Hopefully we've got four Super Bowl victories after this one, but that doesn't mean we won't still be like, 'Damn, let's talk about the other one we should've had."

Redskins fans may be able to relate to Matt Ryan's pain as some were vocal about Kyle Shanahan's play-calling during his time in Washington. Maybe Kirk Cousins takes notice of Ryan's comments as well before he considers San Francisco next off-season.

MORE REDSKINS: REDSKINS STATEMENT WAS A MISTAKE, BUT WON'T HAVE IMPACT ON THE FIELD

Quick Links

Over/under: Redskins running backs in 2017

Over/under: Redskins running backs in 2017

Redskins running backs over-under

The Redskins’ running backs depth chart looks quite different from how it did a year ago. Rob Kelley, who was “ninth-string” back last year per Jay Gruden, is the starter. Samaje Perine enters the mix with expectations that exceed those normally assigned to a fourth-round pick. Chris Thompson is the constant as the third-down back. What kind of numbers will they put up this year? Redskins Insiders Rich Tandler and JP Finlay go over-under on some Redskins running back stats. 

Rob Kelley, 1,000 rushing yards

Tandler: If you project Kelley’s production in the nine games he started over 16 games it comes to about 1,050 yards. He had his ups and downs in those nine starts and he will have them this year. But he should have enough ups to be able to average the 62.5 yards per game needed to hit the thousand-yard mark. Over

Finlay: Unlike wide receivers, where 25 guys broke the 1,000 yard mark in 2016, it's getting harder and harder for a running back to hit four-figures. In 2016, only 12 RBs ran for more than 1,000 yards, and only eight got over 1,100 yards. As the NFL becomes more and more of a passing league, less backs are getting the carries sufficient for a 1,000 yard season. The Redskins haven't had a 1,000 yard rusher since Alfred Morris in 2014. While I think Kelley gets the bulk of the yardage, I think it caps out about 900 yards and Chris Thompson and Samaje Perine creep into the total. Under

RELATED: Who's next at QB for the Redskins?

Kelley, 10 rushing touchdowns

Tandler: He scored six as the starter last year and doing the math that comes to 11 over 16 games. But last year there wasn’t a player like Perine, who could come into the game and vulture some touchdowns after Kelley did the work to get the ball in goal to go position. Under

Finlay: Sorry to keep going back to stats, but last year only seven running backs got to 10 TDs or more. Only seven! Hard to see Kelley getting there on a team that didn't run all that much, or all that well either, in 2016. Under

Samaje Perine, 500 rushing yards

Tandler: It tough to set a line for a guy who hasn’t played. I’ll go off Matt Jones’ 2015 rookie season when he gained 490 yards while sharing time with Alfred Morris. If Perine averages four yards per carry, which is not hard to do, he’ll need about eight carries per game to get to 500. It’s close but if Kelley is effective, as I believe he will be, Perine might not get enough carries to have a chance. Under

Finlay: Tandler's Matt Jones comp pretty much works for Perine, but Jones had explosive speed that Perine doesn't have. A better comp for me was Derrick Henry last year as a rookie with the Titans. DeMarco Murray was established as the top dog, and Henry worked for a productive 490 yards. Under

MORE REDSKINS: Offer to Cousins not nearly enough

Chris Thompson, 60 pass receptions

Tandler: His role is beyond just third down. If the Redskins are behind in the fourth quarter, Thompson is usually in there to try to help spark a rally. Along with TE Jordan Reed and WR Jamison Crowder, Thompson will benefit from Kirk Cousins’ familiarity with him. Over

Finlay: Thompson should be a strong contributor in 2017, but 60 catches is a lot for a running back. Only David Johnson (80) and Le'Veon Bell (75) went over that number in 2016, while James White had exactly 60 catches. Thompson grabbed 49 balls in 2016, an impressive total. I could actually see Thompson getting a bigger percentage increase in carries, he had 68 rushes last season with a very solid 5.2 YPC, than catches. Under

<<<NFL POWER RANKINGS: WHO GOT BETTER AFTER THE DRAFT>>>

Want more Redskins? Check out @JPFinlayCSN and @Rich_TandlerCSN for live updates or click here for the #RedskinsTalk Podcast on iTunes, here for Google Play or press play below. Don't forget to subscribe!

ROSTER BATTLES: Left guard | Tight end Nickel cornerback  | Inside linebacker | Running back