Source: NFLPA, owners reach labor agreement

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Source: NFLPA, owners reach labor agreement

July 25, 2011
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WASHINGTON (AP) -- NFL owners and players agreed early Monday to the terms of a deal to end the lockout, and players were expected to begin their voting process later in the day, two people familiar with the negotiations told The Associated Press.The people spoke on condition of anonymity because the process was supposed to remain secret and no formal announcement had been made.The NFL Players Association's executive committee was to meet at its headquarters in Washington on Monday so it could be presented with the finalized agreement. NFLPA president Kevin Mawae arrived shortly after 9:30 a.m.Owners overwhelmingly approved a proposal last week, but some unresolved issues still needed to be figured out to satisfy players; the owners do not need to vote again.The sides worked through the weekend and wrapped up talks Monday morning, one of the people told the AP.The league's old labor deal expired in March, and the owners locked out the players, the NFL's first work stoppage since 1987."We have every reason to believe it's going to be a good day," NFL spokesman Greg Aiello wrote in an email to the AP.If players sign off on the agreement Monday, NFL clubs would be able to start signing 2011 draft picks and rookie free agents on Tuesday. Conversations with veteran free agents also could start Tuesday, and signings could begin Friday.Under that tentative schedule, training camps would open for 10 of the 32 teams on Wednesday, 10 teams on Thursday, another 10 teams on Friday, and the last two teams on Sunday.The major economic framework for the deal was worked out more than a week ago.That included how the more than 9 billion in annual league revenues will be divided (about 53 percent to owners and 47 percent to players over the next decade; the old CBA resulted in nearly a 50-50 split); a per-club cap of about 120 million for salary and bonuses in 2011 - and at least that in 2012 and 2013 - plus about 22 million for benefits; a salary system to rein in spending on first-round draft picks; and unrestricted free agency for most players after four seasons.Should the players' executive committee vote to accept the deal, it then would go to the 32 team representatives to approve, perhaps later Monday. After that, the total membership would need to vote, with a simple majority required for passage.The 10 named plaintiffs in the players' lawsuit against the league - including Tom Brady, Peyton Manning and Drew Brees - must officially inform the court in Minneapolis of their approval of the pact, too.Even after that, while training camps would be opened, a formal collective bargaining agreement can't be fully set in place until the NFLPA re-establishes itself as a union. The NFLPA said it was rejecting its union status in March and becoming a trade association; that allowed the players to file their antitrust suit.Players will need to vote to OK re-forming the union even as the sides put the finishing touches on a deal. Legal protections will be put in place so the NFLPA can start negotiating such items as the league's personal conduct policy and drug testing as soon as Monday.

Reports: Former Raiders QB expected to join Cal's coaching staff

Reports: Former Raiders QB expected to join Cal's coaching staff

It looks as though Marques Tuiasosopo is heading back to the Pac-12, again. The former Rose Bowl MVP and Washington quarterback has reportedly been added to the coaching staff at Cal under new head coach Justin Wilcox.

The news was first reported by Bruin Sports Online and later followed up by Bruce Feldman of FOX Sports, via Twitter.

Tuiasosopo is no stranger to coaching in the Pac-12. After spending 12 seasons in the NFL, Tuiasosopo returned to his alma mater to take on a role as assistant strength coach for the Washington Huskies in 2009.

After two years in that role, he joined the UCLA coaching staff as a graduate assistant in 2011 and took on a role as tight ends coach in 2012 under Jim Mora. The following year, in 2013, Tuiasosopo returned to Washington to be the quarterback coach to work for Steve Sarkisian. 

READ MORE AT CollegeFootballTalk.com

McKenzie: Osemele gave Raiders OL teeth, Nelson eased Woodson's loss

McKenzie: Osemele gave Raiders OL teeth, Nelson eased Woodson's loss

Raiders general manager built a foundation of talent heading into the 2016 offseason, but needed more to get his team over the hump. Draft picks were essential, and expected. He had significant salary cap space, where he could find some immediate impact players on the open market.

McKenzie signed six unrestricted free agents, a few of them at a hefty price. Most veteran imports worked out well, though some thrived more than others.

It was a solid group that, in addition to the 2017 draft class and some key undrafted pickups, helped McKenzie win the Pro Football Writers of America’s executive of the year award.

He singled out two members of the 2016 free-agent class that helped set the tone for a 12-4 regular season and the team’s first playoff berth since 2002.

Left guard Kelechi Osemele was the first. The former Baltimore Raven signed a record contract for interior linemen but was worth the price, adding attitude to the offensive line during an All-Pro season.

“I think Kelechi solidified our offensive line, from the standpoint of what we wanted from our run game, from a physicality standpoint, what we had always talked about from Day 1,” McKenzie said Thursday in a conference call. “He added to that and he put some teeth into the whole offensive mentality. I felt like that was an impact. I was happy to see him get his first Pro Bowl. That was good to see.”

McKenzie also highlighted free safety Reggie Nelson’s efforts. He signed late in the offseason for relatively cheap, but was voted a team captain after his first preseason as a Raider and helped the secondary function with confidence. That was required after losing the eminent Charles Woodson to retirement.

Nelson also had five interceptions and two fumble recoveries, including three takeaways that secured victory.

I thought Reggie [Nelson] made some plays and was a true leader back there. When we lost Charles Woodson, from the leadership standpoint, communication standpoint, I felt Reggie came in and did a solid job to help ease that transition. You can never replace a Charles Woodson, but he was able to help ease that transition, especially when we had a young rookie back there (in Karl Joseph).”

Let’s take a look at the Raiders unrestricted free agent class and how they fared:

LG Kelechi Osemele
Contract: 5 years, $58.5 million ($25.4 million guaranteed)
Impact:Osemele ranks among the league’s elite left guards, and brought a nastiness to the Raiders offensive line. He helped immensely in the run game, and didn’t allow a quarterback sack all season. He was a Pro Bowler and a first-team All Pro, the results McKenzie hoped for after offering Osemele a massive contract.

LB Bruce Irvin
Contract: 4 years, $37 million ($14.5 million guaranteed)
Impact: Irvin started slow but rounded into a dominant player and an excellent compliment to star edge rusher Khalil Mack. Irvin had seven sacks and an NFL-high six forced fumbles, showing enough versatility to play well in coverage and against the run.

CB Sean Smith
Contract: 4 years, $38 million ($15 million guaranteed)
Impact: Smith was benched in his first game, and struggled against Julio Jones in his second, but played better after than and largely well the rest of the year. His quarterback rating against was 114.0 and he allowed too many big plays. More is expected from a No. 1 cornerback. Smith had shoulder surgery after the season and vowed to be better in 2017.

FS Reggie Nelson
Contract: 2 years, $8.5 million ($4 million guaranteed)
Impact:Nelson wasn’t perfect in his first year as a Raider, but made some big plays during a Pro Bowl year. He had seven takeaways, including five interceptions, and some big hits in the clutch. He was a solid leader in the back who should be better with a year’s experience in a new system to his credit.

S Bryden Trawick
Contract: 1 year,  $675,000
Impact: Trawick was brought in to be a solid special teams player, and he thrived in that role. He was strong in kick and punt coverage, with a team-high 14 special teams tackles. He showed some defensive prowess late when forced into action, and the safety made some nice plays over the last two games.

LB Daren Bates
Contract: 1 year, $850,000
Impact: Bates is a special teams player first and, along with Trawick, helped anchor the coverage units. He had seven special teams tackles over the year.