Courts should let players, owners settle NFL labor debate

April 29, 2011|Peter Schmuck

News item: The 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in St. Louis restored the NFL lockout Friday, granting the owners' request for a temporary stay.

My take: I don't have a dog in this fight, but I think the courts ought to stay out of the collective bargaining process. The dispute between the players and owners needs to be settled at the bargaining table, and removing leverage from either side upsets the balance of power that allows the system to work properly.

News item: The Ravens chose Colorado cornerback Jimmy Smith with the 27th pick in the NFL draft, strengthening their defensive backfield at a time when the status of several veteran cornerbacks is up in the air because of the labor situation.

My take: Smith brings a lot of baggage with him to Baltimore, but his upside is so high that he was well worth the risk.

Bonus take: Don't interpret the Ravens' unsuccessful attempt to trade down as a lack of enthusiasm for their new cornerback. They were still confident they would get Smith — and the Chicago Bears' fourth-round pick — three slots later.

Related news item: The NFL announced Friday that it is looking into the botched trade attempt that cost the Ravens that fourth-round draft choice.

My take: If the league isn't going to award the Ravens the Bears' fourth-round pick Saturday — and NFL officials apparently aren't seriously considering that — what's the point of an investigation? The Bears have already admitted they were responsible for the communications breakdown that scuttled the deal.

News item: The Carolina Panthers surprised no one Thursday night when they used the first pick in the 2011 NFL draft to choose Auburn quarterback Cam Newton.

My take: How could they resist after Newton's father told them he could guarantee that Cam would sign for $180,000.

News item: Chicago White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen has been suspended for the first two games of the Orioles series after getting ejected from Wednesday night's game against the Yankees and posting two messages on Twitter soon afterward.

My take: @MLB: You ignored steroids for more than a decade, but you're cracking down on Twitter?

News item: Outfielder Ben Zobrist drove in 10 runs against the Minnesota Twins in a doubleheader sweep Thursday night as the Tampa Bay Rays continued to surge back after a frightening 1-8 start.

My take: Zobrist has been the key offensive performer with a major league-leading 25 RBIs, but manager Joe Maddon ought to get a medal for keeping the Rays from panicking after Evan Longoria got injured and Manny Ramirez was forced into retirement.

News item: Injured pitcher Brian Matusz has proclaimed himself pain-free, but the Orioles are not going to accelerate the timetable for his return from a troublesome intercostal strain.

My take: The team is doing the right thing with one of its most valuable young players. The trick will be staying close to the pack in the American League East until he can rejoin the rotation in mid-May.

News item: Cleveland Browns running back Peyton Hillis has been selected by fan vote to grace the cover of "Madden NFL 12."

My take: This is a win-win for the NFL and EA Sports, because they get to have somebody named Peyton on the cover of the video game and don't have to worry about losing Peyton Manning to the Madden curse.

News item: Jets coach Rex Ryan has rankled some football fans in the Big Apple by saying in a new book that the Jets — not the Giants — are now the dominant team in New York and will remain so for the next 10 years.

My take: Yes, I'm as shocked as you are that Ryan would make a wild prediction and put a monkey on his own back. He never does that kind of thing.

Listen to Peter Schmuck on "The Week in Review" at noon Fridays on WBAL (1090 AM) and

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