Late For Work 2/15: Why A Delay In Harbs’ New Deal?

Plus, analysts say extension was a sound move and Foxworth says he could play right now.

Posted by Sarah Ellison on Tuesday, February 15th, 2011 at 9:30 am | Categories: Late For Work, Sarah Ellison

Why A Delay In Harbs’ New Deal?

After a few weeks of anticipation, Ravens Head Coach John Harbaugh received the contract extension the Ravens publicly promised at the season’s end.

Terms of the deal were not released by the team, including Dick Cass and Coach Harbaugh, but there are unconfirmed reports that set the length at three years worth $12 million dollars. That means with one year remaining on his original deal, Harbaugh is now slated to remain in Baltimore at least through the 2014 season.

John Eisenberg wondered why it took a month to finalize the deal when Owner Steve Bisciotti said at the season-review press conference that Harbaugh would get an extension.

The writer quickly ruled out money as the reason for a delay.

“Harbaugh was making between $2 million and $2.5 million a year from his original contract, and while he was obviously in line for a hefty raise, Bisciotti wasn’t about to match the insane $5 million-a-year deal that Harbaugh’s brother Jim received from the San Francisco 49ers,” wrote Eisenberg.

Eisenberg said the two sides found a sweet spot in the middle.

That left the extension length as the possible holdup. Eisenberg reminded readers that Bisciotti had to pay the remainder of Brain Billick’s contract after he received a four-year extension in 2006, but was released the next year.

“Bisciotti knows a coach gets more respect in the locker room when he is under contract for multiple years, and he wanted Harbaugh to have that, but knowing from experience that things can change in a hurry in the NFL, he didn’t want to go . . . too crazy,” wrote Eisenberg.

“It seems they found the sweet spot again, giving Harbaugh three more years for a total of four beginning with the upcoming season. It’s the right move to make.”

 According to the Baltimore Sun’s Jamison Hensley, Harbaugh’s deal is similar to Steelers Head Coach Mike Tomlin’s.

That seems about right considering that ever since Harbaugh joined the Ravens in 2008, only Tomlin has more wins among all NFL head coaches, including the post season. But Harbaugh has won at least one playoff game in each of his three seasons, something that Tomlin, Bill Belichick and Sean Payton have not done, says ESPN Stats and Information.

“This is a smart move by the Ravens,”
wrote ESPN’s James Walker.

“Harbaugh was a relative unknown in 2008 when Baltimore hired him as a former secondary and longtime special teams coach of the Philadelphia Eagles. But Harbaugh quickly instilled discipline and kept Baltimore’s winning tradition going with three consecutive playoff appearances.”

Foxworth Could Play Right Now

Ravens starting cornerback Domonique Foxworth has frequently been in the news as of late, working diligently toward a new labor deal as an Executive Committee Member of the NFL Players Association.

But he’s been equally hard at work rehabbing the torn anterior cruciate ligament he shredded during a non-contact practice one day before the start of training camp.

Foxworth recently spoke with National Football Post’s Aaron Wilson and shared some optimistic news about his knee.

"I’m doing a lot better, and I could play right now if I had to," Foxworth told Wilson.

"Could I have played if we had made it to the Super Bowl? I don’t know if I would have been better than the people we had, so I don’t know how great I would have done. Sometimes, you think you’re doing better than you are. I’m doing really well, though. The knee feels great."

Fox said he is able to sprint, squat and run during his workouts in the Owings Mills practice facility. If there are offseason minicamps, depending on the outcome of the labor dispute, the University of Maryland product said he would be able to participate “without any major restrictions.”

Stallworth Makes A Promise

After chiding ESPN’s Adam Schefter for his re-tweets over the weekend, Ravens receiver Donte’ Stallworth made a promise not to respond to negativity on his Twitter account ever again.

Schefter had re-tweeted a fan’s remark, stating the difference in prison sentences given to Stallworth and former Giants receiver Plaxico Burress for their separate crimes was a “travesty.” Stallworth responded by asking Schefter to keep his name out of the ESPN analyst’s tweets.

Monday, Stallworth returned to his Twitter account to give his final words on the situation, stating that he understands everyone is entitled to their opinion.

Here is his combined five-tweet message:

“Twit fam, thanks for all your positive tweets,” wrote Stallworth. “I’ve said it many times that you have been an integral part of helping me get through my days. … Everyone’s entitled to their opinion, I get it. It would be asinine to think everyone will forgive me of my past transgressions like God has.

“In what I feel has been an attempt by him 2 perpetuate indignation towards me by juxtaposing my situation w/friend Plax on SEVERAL occasions. … In a rare occurrence, I let my emotions engulf my rational thought when I have ALWAYS ignored him and many others. For that fam, I apologize. … God knows I’ve been sincerely contrite. I am human but I promise you I will not react to negativity on my timeline EVER again. Love y’all.”

NFL Filed Unfair Labor Practice Claim Against NFLPA

In an effort to prevent the NFLPA from decertifying if a collective bargaining agreement isn’t reached by March 4, the NFL has filed an unfair labor practice claim against the union through the National Labor Relations Board.

If the union were to successfully decertify, the NFL could not proceed with a lockout. And according to Pro Football talk, the league claim is the “clearest evidence yet that a lockout is planned.”

The players association responded to the NFL claim with this press release on their website:

 ”The players didn’t walk out, and the players can’t lockout. Players want a fair, new and long-term deal. We have offered proposals and solutions on every issue the owners have raised. This claim has absolutely no merit.

Clayton: Next Move Belongs To Owners

Claim or no claim, both the league and the union have expressed hope a new CBA would be in place by the March 3 deadline.

So what’s the next step in accomplishing that goal?

ESPN’s John “The Professor” Clayton believes the next move belongs to the NFL owners, who should respond to the NFLPA’s opening proposal.

“The NFLPA lived up to the faith I had in both sides by making what I consider the perfect proposal,” wrote Clayton. “That offer of a 50-50 split of all revenues wasn’t going to bring immediate harmony, but it showed what I thought all along — that the players want to get a deal done.”

He added, “Even though they’re not ready to make a deal, the owners need to make a counter that addresses their needs and acknowledges the movement of the players. No counter would show what players have feared for a long time — that owners want to use a lockout to win the talks.”

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