Around The Web: OTA Dates, Grievance Ramifications, Draft Workout

The league released the Kansas City Chiefs schedule of organized team activities:haley5

  • May 18-19
  • May 21-22
  • June 1-2
  • June 11-12
  • June 15-18

Head over to Arrowhead Pride for a full breakdown of what to expect from each session.

The Chiefs are allowed two extra voluntary mini-camps because they have a new head coach.  All told they currently have 14 OTAs scheduled, the maximum allowed.

As much as I enjoy the message being sent out by Todd Haley and Scott Pioli I am interested to see how that will translate to the OTAs, especially the mandatory veteran mini-camp.  I certainly don’t want to see anyone get hurt, like last season’s incidents with the Texans, but a few grumblings from veterans that are used to being coddled by Herm Edwards would be nice.

Yesterday, Larry Johnson lost his grievance with the Chiefs regarding guaranteed money for this season and next.  But the ruling alsoallowed Johnson to get back a portion of his signing bonus that he lost for missing four games for various suspensions.  The Special Master said the money was already paid, so Johnson could not be penalized.  It’s the same reasoning Plaxico Burress won his grievance with the Giants.

Ultimately, Burbank ruling means that once a team pays, it has no way to redress a player’s absence for something other than injury.  The ramifications of this ruling will be wide reaching, says Bob Gretz.

The executive director of the NFLPA, DeMarurice Smith was obviously excited about the ruling:

“This decision is a real win for the players.  It means that clubs can’t impose additional discipline by claiming back signing or roster bonus monies after a suspension, either by a club or the league.  The CBA clause they argued from in this case was not intended to apply to suspensions, but instead to cases where a player is holding out from training camp or otherwise refusing to perform.  We are very pleased that Mr. Burbank agreed with our position.”

And as anticipated, the league released a statement that conveyed a very different message:

“Today’s decision by Professor Burbank again underscores a serious flaw in the current system.  It continues an unfortunate trend of permitting players who are suspended due to serious misconduct to nonetheless retain large bonus payments from their NFL teams.  When clubs pay upfront bonuses as part of a long-term deal, they do it on the assumption that the player’s ability to play will not be limited by his own unlawful activities.”

As someone that wants the league to fight for more incentive based contracts — especially for rookies — this ruling just further highlights the problem with the current CBA.  The players association talks about how teams should not be able to take back money unless a player is holding out or otherwise refusing to perform.  That’s great and all, but how is getting arrested or shooting yourself in the leg much different from holding out?  In both cases you are preventing the team from utilizing the services you were paid so handsomely for.  It just does not add up.

gilbert1The Chiefs will workout San Jose State’s Jarron Gilbert before the league deadline for pre-draft visits of April 17th.  Gilbert has already visited or is scheduled to visit the Cowboys, Lions, Patriots, Saints, Steelers, Chargers and Redskins.

Scouts Inc. ranks Gilbert as the 5th best defensive tackle and 59th best overall prospect in the draft with a score of 82.  His biggest red flag is a lack of overall bulk for his position.

Gilbert is another prospect the Chiefs are working out but have little to no chance at drafting the way things currently stand.  They could just be playing the game and covering their bases, but the list of projected mid-first and second round picks that are visiting Kansas City seems ridiculously long.

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