The buzz coming out of the NFL these past few days is that while both sides of the current labor dispute continue to meet on a regular basis, there is no news on when (or if) an agreement between the league’s owners and their players will actually be reached. All signs remain positive that the two sides will be able to come together on a new collective bargaining agreement in enough time to avoid any disruption of training camp and the preseason schedule, but the conflict is now destined to carry into the month of July.
With the 4th of July Holiday this weekend, many experts believe that an agreement will be reached somewhere around the 10th of the month. One encouraging sign that the two sides are close is NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and NFLPA Executive Director DeMaurice Smith travelling together to a rookie symposium that was held this Wednesday in Sarasota. The two then returned to Minneapolis to continue their ongoing negotiations.
The highlight of the symposium was a motivational speech given by former NFL player and head coach Herm Edwards. He clearly detailed the pitfalls that await these rookies as they enter the league if they fail to use common sense to their approach to life in the NFL both on and off the field. Unfortunately, you already know there are bound to be some causalities from the class of 2011, as there will always be few guys who cannot change their olds ways and stay out of trouble.
Speaking of rookies, Bodog.com has released odds for ‘Defensive Rookie of the Year’ and CB Patrick Peterson, who was drafted by Arizona with the fifth overall pick, is the favorite to win at 6/1. Given the fact that the Cardinals were ranked 29th overall in the league on defense and 23rd against the pass, Peterson should get a chance to make an impact right from the start. This guy was a ‘playmaker’ at LSU and has the skills to be one in the NFL.
The second favorite to win this honor are both DT Nick Fairley and LB Von Miller at 13/2. Fairley was drafted by Detroit with 13th overall pick and will join their No.1 pick from last year Ndamukong Suh, anchoring the middle of the defensive line. Suh was last year’s ‘Defensive Rookie of the Year’ after recording 10 sacks and 66 tackles. The addition of Fairley will give the Lions one of the most formidable defensive fronts in the league, but playing alongside Suh will most likely prevent him from generating the necessary numbers to win this award.
Miller was selected by Denver with the second overall pick after an outstanding collegiate career at Texas A&M. Much like Peterson, he will have a chance to shine right from the start on a defense that was ranked last in the league in both total yards and points allowed. Miller was chosen primarily for his pass rushing skills and will be in a position to rack up a bunch of sacks which would garner a lot of attention for winning this award.
The fourth favorite at 15/2 is DT Marcel Dareus, who was drafted by Buffalo with the third overall pick. He was taken primarily to help stop the run in light of the fact that the Bills gave up an average of 169.6 yards per game on the ground last year which was the most in the NFL. Dareus will definitely help to bring this number down, but tackles are not a glamour stat, which could work against his chances to win rookie of the year.
DJ is a freelance writer that concentrates on his true passion in life; the world of sports. He produces a number of articles each week for BangTheBook.com as well as a select group of other websites that specialize in providing the most up-to-date information for the sports gaming industry. His goal is to write insightful articles on a wide variety of sporting topics that can provide an edge to today's sophisticated online player.