We’ll learn the viability of ‘The Atlanta Plan’ today

Jeff Saturday, Indianapolis Colts center, arrives Friday's labor talks in New York. Saturday, an Atlanta native, played at old Shamrock High. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

Jeff Saturday, Indianapolis Colts center, arrives Friday's labor talks in New York. Saturday, an Atlanta native, played at old Shamrock High. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

By the end of business today, we will likely know the viability of  “The Atlanta Plan.”

The NFL and NFLPA will have to announce the old “agreement in principle” today.

The NFLPA appears set to re-certify and vote on Wednesday. The NFL then could vote when they have their special league meeting at the Atlanta Airport Gateway Marriott on Thursday.

If the players approve the deal, the league would need 24 of 32 owners to ratify a new collective bargaining agreement and avert its first real work stoppage since 1987. (Locking the players out in the offseason was seen as a favor by some veterans!)

The Associated Press is reporting that  executives from all 32 teams would get briefed here on Thursday and Friday on how the terms would affect league business.

During lengthy negotiations last week, players and owners came up with the framework of a CBA that addresses most of their differences.

Areas they’ve figured out include:

— How the more than $9 billion in annual league revenues will be divided, with somewhere from 46.5 to 48.5 percent going to players, depending on how much the total take from TV contracts and other sources rises or falls;

— A structure for rookie contracts that will rein in soaring salaries for high first-round draft picks;

— Free agency rules that allow most four-year veterans to negotiate with any team;

— A cap of about $120 million per team for player salaries in 2011, with about another $20 million per team in benefits.

 Atlanta Falcons' Tyson Clabo enters a Manhattan law office, Wednesday, July 13, 2011, in New York. NFL owners and player representatives arrived for another round of labor talks as the negotiations hit a critical phase. (AP Photo/ Louis Lanzano)

Atlanta Falcons' Tyson Clabo enters a Manhattan law office, Wednesday, July 13, 2011, in New York. NFL owners and player representatives arrived for another round of labor talks as the negotiations hit a critical phase. (AP Photo/ Louis Lanzano)

— Each team must spend at least 90 percent of the salary cap in cash each season, a higher figure than in the past.

Some of the key topics at the Atlanta meeting will include the league’s business calendar, free agency, rookie salary system and rules and regulations for player transactions.

The Falcons are set to handle their 11 free agents, then jump into the free agency market for a defensive end, sign the drafted rookies and then add a group of undrafted rookie free agents.

If this timetable holds, look for the Falcons to hold a rookie minicamp before they call in the veterans later next week.

–D. Orlando Ledbetter, The Atlanta Falcons beat blog

Get instant updates on Twitter at AJCFalcons and you can join the Facebook Fan page at AJC Falcons.

60 comments Add your comment

Stinky Pinky

July 19th, 2011
5:41 am

I see you got started early this morning D.O.L. Just keep the football news coming. Have any “Insiders” gave you a clearer hint of who we might target in Free Agency? Any surprise picks that the national media has picked up on yet? They just need to get the d@mn deal done!!!!

[...] could approve labor deal as early as ThursdayLos Angeles TimesBoston Globe -USA Today -Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog)all 1,051 news [...]

SeenThisB4

July 19th, 2011
7:13 am

Good! Then we can get back to talking Xs and Os instead of this inane trash talking! Get ready to get beat twice by the Saints again this year! GEAUX SAINTS!

Mitch (the one in Rome)

July 19th, 2011
7:38 am

It’s crazy how much I’ve read to keep up with when this crud would be over with. I’m ready for some football and taking my 3 boys to Falcon’s camp at the Branch. They all three keep asking, “when will they all go back to work so we can see football?”. Great question from three little Bird fans. Hopefully soon.
DOL, do keep the 411 coming. We’ll celebrate up here in Rome when this thing is over.

Mitch (the one in Rome)

July 19th, 2011
7:43 am

This labor mess even makes SeenThisB4 a welcome relief. Wow, can’t believe I just said that. I’m sure the misspelled cajun rambling over the aints will get old, but right now it’s kind of nice to trash talk over football and not wonder if we will have football.

TommyP

July 19th, 2011
7:47 am

Pretty sure that undrafted FA’s won’t be last. From everything I’ve read, teams will sign the undrafted FA’s after handling their own FA’s.

D. Orlando Ledbetter

July 19th, 2011
8:09 am

Stinky Pinky — I’m starting to look at the Running Backs group. If the Falcons lose Norwood and Snelling, then Antone Smith, Gartrell Johnson and Jacquizz Rodgers would be fighting to be the top backup spot. I would suspect they’d like to add an established veteran into the mix.

Mitch — Hope to have some news for your and the boys soon!!! (Some enjoy Seen, others have tuned him/it out).

TommyP — You’re right. The rookie FA’s are probably already done. Teams can talk to agents during the lockout so I’m sure they have a pretty good feel for who they are signing.

Mitch (the one in Rome)

July 19th, 2011
8:44 am

Thanks for your work DOL. Let’s play some football!

TC

July 19th, 2011
10:14 am

Stinky Pinky????? :O

I am pumped for some football baby!!

Rikus

July 19th, 2011
10:31 am

What happens if we don’t get Ray Edwards? Add some Kiwi flavor?

We have to resign Snelling. C’mon man!

404

July 19th, 2011
10:36 am

All this “Lock-Out” stuff is just a bad joke.

The predominant trend in ALL Pro Sports is: DOWN.

Attendance in EVERY SINGLE Pro sport is going DOWN.

Total revenue in ALL of Pro Sports has already “peaked” and is going DOWN.

90% of pro athletes end up bankrupt after leaving thier league
because their intelligence is going DOWN.

One-third of MLB franchises are on Life Supprt.
Without “revenue-sharing” 11 current MLB franshises would close tomorrow.

Several NBA franchises are on Life Support.

Pro sports lost its way a very long time ago,
and its overall decline cotinues each day that passes.

Adam

July 19th, 2011
11:02 am

I still say we sign Snelling and then get a trade done involving Turner

seattle falcons fan

July 19th, 2011
11:11 am

I was wondering about if teams could talk to agents. I had to think they could because of teams like the Seahawks, who have only one quarterback on the roster that is not starter quality. I’m so excited to see what the Falcons are going to do. I hope we can resign at least 2 of the 3 OL, resign Snelling, Peterson, Grimes, Weems, Nicholas, and Bryant. Then hopefully Blank is willing to spend enough to get a DE, and a corner.

DLed- When do expect Free Agency to begin if the lockout ends Thursday? I’ve heard Greenbay told their players to be ready to go on Saturday.

Barry

July 19th, 2011
11:17 am

Hey Y’all:

I can hear it. “THUMP!!! IT’s Getting LOUDER!!!!!!! THUMP!!! THUMP!!! THUMP!!! ……THUMP!!!!

LET”S GO FALCONS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WE ARE DOWN WITH THIS.

THE “PROCESS” CONTINUES ON OUR WAT TO A SUPER BOWL!!!

I CAN’T WAIT TO THIS STUFF GET”S STARTED. THUMP!!!!! IT’S GETTING LOUDER!!!!!

SSSSSSSSSSSHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
This is a SECRET from a FALCON FAN. TELL EVERYBODY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

………………………………………………”ONE HEARTBEAT, BABY!!!!!!!……………….

darren

July 19th, 2011
11:23 am

Great thought D. I see it going like this ! We will lose Snelling, some other team will pay him starter money and we will not. He is not a starter. He is a little slow and runs to high. We need a veteran like Brown from Miami or Barber from Dallas. These guys are great backups. The two clowns we carried last year Gartrell and Smith are headed to Canada or Arena football. The two should never have been on a NFL Roster. I think we let Blaylock go which will result in a 4th round compensation pick next year since he was a second round pick. Clabo will get starter money from another team and we will replace him with Garrett and Blaylock with Johnson. Dahl I am not so sure. I think he may get a multi year deal with us but maybe only a Transistion player tag resulting in a one year deal. I don’t think we want to change 3 lineman in one year. Two is scary. I think next year Hawley will take over for Mcclure. A new DE is possible but a corner makes more sense and moving Grimes to Nickel. Grimes is a restricted free agent with a first round tender. We will most likely lose Nicholas because someone will pay him starter money. I have news for the uninformed. Dent was drafted to play OL and will be starting by mid season. I think we should go after Leonard Pope from Kansas City. His stats don’t reflect it but he has excellent receiver and him and Palmer could be groomed to take over for Gonzalez. Pope was drafted buy Arizona that did not throw to the TE and Kansas City was the same. I think he could be a 50 catch guy in Atlanta and a Endzone threat with his height. He would be really inexpensive.

My Thoughts !

yo mama

July 19th, 2011
11:46 am

Darren is smoking crack y’all. the dude acts like he knows what he is talking about. Blank will re sign Nicholas, and Clabo, and Blaylock, and maybe snelling. you dont re sign peterson and let nicholas go. thats why you dont know football Darren!

looks like during the lockout, many fans lost their brains.

Ken Strickland

July 19th, 2011
11:59 am

SEENTHISB4-I’m with you on finally being able to get serious about football again. But what exactly are your beloved AINTS going to defeat us with period, let alone doing it twice? We’ve just added a premier WR and RB to our OFF, so tell me what you’ve added to your SORRIER THAN SORRY DEF to stop us? Do you expect to improve by bringing back that ANCIENT AGE FS DSharper, or that over the hill DE SBrown, or that matador run defending DL, or that weak pass rush?

Your OFF is no longer good enough to overcome your SORRIER THAN SORRY DEF and its numerous shortcomings. Any additions/improvements you make will only serve to keep the AINTS from getting worse. Your OFF and DEF, especially your DEF, have far too many problems for you to rectify through the draft and FA in just one season.

You want to talk serious football for a change, well why don’t you quit the BS and start talking seriously about the unaddressed issues facing your BELOVED AINTS. Both teams have to deal with their own FA issues, and both teams have OL issues. The Falcons have far more OL depth and talent than the AINTS and can better afford to lose a couple of their OL FA’s.

Defensively, our run DEF is solid, unlike the AINTS, and our pass DEF is only missing another pass rushing DE, unlike the AINTS. And you know we’ll sign one of the several that’s available. At the very least, the AINT DEF needs a FS, OLB, DE, and DT. Stop ignoring or deflecting any mention of the numerous issues facing the AINTS. Your next response, if you offer one, should be very revealing.

DLEDBETTER-I agree with you on us adding a vet RB if Snelling isn’t resigned. However, unlike a lot of our fans, I don’t think the Falcons traded up to draft RB JRogers because they saw him strickly as a complimentary RB coming off the bench. Although his only 5′6″ tall and not exceptionally fast, he’s over 200lbs, he proved in college to be very durable and capable of carrying a heavy load, which makes him the complete opposite of JNorwood. His durability and overall abilities just might cause the Falcons to let Snelling walk.

Remember, not resigning FA OT TClabo, OG HDahl and RB JSnelling will give the Falcons 3 high suppplemental picks next yr. These picks will replace 3 of the 6 picks we gave up in the draft day trade for JJones.

D. Orlando Ledbetter

July 19th, 2011
12:56 pm

Rikus — Take Kroy off special teams and cut him loose. Also, see if Sidbury can get to the QB.

Adam — You don’t trade 1,300-yard backs.

Yo mama — Be nice to Darren!!!! You don’t have to agree with him.

Ken Strickland — I love Quizzz. But you’re hoping to get great value out of the 5th round. He slipped because he didn’t have blazing speed. He ran a 4.64 at the combine. I’d feel more comfortable with a veteran on the roster if Snelling and Norwood leave.

tim

July 19th, 2011
1:04 pm

They need an agreement quick before most of the thugs are in jail. 3 more NFL thugs arrested yesterday……….

Mystikal

July 19th, 2011
1:24 pm

If lockout ends with a rookie wage scale being introduced, then how good does the Julio Jones Draft Day trade look after saving $20 some odd million bucks???

J. J.

July 19th, 2011
1:42 pm

I am ready for the problems to be SOLVED…THE FANS ARE GETTING ANTSY….I have decided to focus on COLLEGE FOOTBALL AND CANADIAN FOOTBALL…
THE NFL HAS BROKEN MY HEART AND SPIRIT WITH THIS DRAMA…
“Fans are ready for football; get it on.”

bigeasy830

July 19th, 2011
1:57 pm

D.O.L. I agree with you on ” I love Quizzz. But you’re hoping to get great value out of the 5th round.”, but I think Quizz is a steal. He will be a great 3 down back because of his ability to catch the ball out of the backfield. If the Falcons get another pass rusher, they will be a legit contender this season.

Lesa

July 19th, 2011
1:57 pm

Just get it done, already, so we can start looking forward to football season!!!!

J.J.M.

July 19th, 2011
2:01 pm

Big Ray

July 19th, 2011
2:09 pm

I’d keep a vet in the stable of RBs as well, but would choose Snelling over Norwood any day (reliability).

As for Quizz, all he needs to do is catch the ball and be shifty, as well as hit the holes/spots quickly. Straight line speed is great, but quickness gets you to the right places to gain yardage. That, and like Warrick Dunn, he’ll be hard for a defense to track.

BelieveItWhenISeeIt

July 19th, 2011
2:11 pm

This whole “agreed to in principal” thing doesn’t hold water with me. I will believe we will have football when both parties SIGN the new CBA. And with the new rookie wage scale, how long does JJones hold out for more “signing bonus” to supplement his new base salary that is capped by the new wage scale??? Does it sound like I am cynical? Yes, Yes I am. Like the name says, I will believe it WHEn I see it.

Nique

July 19th, 2011
2:16 pm

I thought that since they put a tenure on Snelling, that was a pretty sure sign that they were planing to resign him, is that not the case? Also, what do you think about the prospects of signing a vet to play the nickle back slot, say Carlos Rodgers? To say a two year deal & allow Owens to grow at a slower rate because he showed he’s not quit ready yet

J.J.M.

July 19th, 2011
2:25 pm

Ken Strickland

July 19th, 2011
2:26 pm

DLEDBETTER-I think you’re putting too much emphasis on what round JRogers was drafted. After all, wasn’t MTurner, our starting 2 time Probowl RB, also drafted in the 5th rd? And wasn’t JSnelling, the backup RB now being discussed, drafted in the 7th rd?

Why should being drafted in the 56th round suddenly be an issue with Rogers? I agree with your idea of us bringing in a vet RB. There’s no way we’re going into the season with Rogers as our primary backup RB, along with inefFective RB’s GJohnson and ASmith.

tim-There are literally hundreds of NFL players who have never been arrested and continue to be solid citizens and community activists. Why would you choose to ignore this fact and focus on the arrest of 3 NFL players and then try to paint all NFL players with the same brush. Your attitude and approach is more of a reflection on you than anything else.

Ken Strickland

July 19th, 2011
2:35 pm

NIQUE-placing a 2nd rd tender on JSnelling only means any team signing him would have to give up a 2nd rd pick as compensation, assuming he’d remain a RFA under the new CBA. There’s no doubt about the Falcons desire to resign him, but for how much.

Nique

July 19th, 2011
2:59 pm

Yeah Ken, i figured as much, but i was taking them, placing such a high tenure on him as them saying, that outside of him loosing his mind & demand Turner $, that he’d be back, well that or another team offering him that sort of &, or even starter $ plus being willing to part with a second rounder as well, which i don’t see happening.

what do ppl think of what do you think about the prospects of signing a vet to play the nickle back, say Carlos Rodgers? To go with Robinson & Grimes, because i highly doubt we pay to get Nnamdi with what he’ll demand, & with Owens on the field play last year period, but especially in the GB loss, plus now his off the field issues, i think that’s cause enough for concern, especially with a win now type team.

I say a win now type of team seeing that Gonzo’s about to retire, McClure’s on the end of his rope, Abe will start to slow down soon, Peterson’s about done. Now don’t get my wrong wee will be really good, i mean perennial contenders for years to come barring injuries & we get some D end help & O-line stability, but despite all of that, we are still a win now team.

Remarkable

July 19th, 2011
3:13 pm

D Led, “Locking the players out in the offseason was seen as a favor by some veterans!” How!

hairydawg78

July 19th, 2011
3:33 pm

The Falcons need a pass rush. We would have been fine against GB if Aaron Rogers had actually gotten hit a few times. We just spent big(too much) money on Robinson and will have to pay Grimes too much this year. Let Norwood and Snelling go and look for a cheaper option. We really need two DEs because lets face it Abe isn’t getting any younger and this will probably be his down year anyway. I like CJohnson or Edwards but we have to get one of them. As we saw from GB last year RB is no longer a premium position just look for the right guy to give you a spark when needed.

hairydawg78

July 19th, 2011
3:35 pm

oh and as long as we remember to put the stickum on Turners hands before every offensive series we should be fine at running back

SeenHimHateB4

July 19th, 2011
3:59 pm

SEENTHISB4 ITS TIME FOR THEM AINT’S TO GET THAT A** WHIPPED RISE UP!!!! THIS THE YEAR OF THE FALCONS!!!!

Are most of these players really intelligent enough?

July 19th, 2011
4:37 pm

There’s only one truism to any of these negotiations…..The fan will always get screwed in ticket price gouging….
More money for players? OK we’ll just pass it along to the fan…Not good enough…lets raise the price of a hot dog to $20…
want a coke? Raise that another $2….
Hey players, Want to get fans on your side completely? Tell the owners you want what you want with guarantees the owners don’t raise a single price for parking, tix, concessions or merchandise for the length of any contract you negotiate.
But then you wouldn’t get your obscene contracts even more obscene, would you.
It’s all about the money and players certainly don’t give a crap about the fans either.

ln29576

July 19th, 2011
4:58 pm

Enter your comments here

ln29576

July 19th, 2011
5:02 pm

Enter your comments here
Mitch (the one in Rome) haven’t you heard the Aints are no more, we won the SUPER BOWL, Falaints aint never won a super bowl. So glad that football will be starting up soon. Falcaints or Falaints, which do you prefer, just having a little fun

Mitch (the one in Rome)

July 19th, 2011
5:12 pm

Love it In29576!

It’s hard to bash a team when they have won the big one except that it’s the sAINTS. Rivals.

I just hope the Mannings, Brees, Bradys etc. don’t derail this process. The Viking’s punter tweeted earlier calling these guys “that guy” that might ruin it for everyone else by trying to get more. Here is that story http://eye-on-football.blogs.cbssports.com/mcc/blogs/entry/22475988/30717818

I hope we can keep trashing rather than wondering if there will be football.

ln29576

July 19th, 2011
5:27 pm

Mitch (the one in Rome) Keep the faith, Go Saints and Go Falcons. Here’s to trashing. Looking forward to a fun season.

Paddy

July 19th, 2011
5:27 pm

Mitch (the one in Rome)……….Seen this B4 said he would never be on this blog again because he hated the Falcons. He lied, didn’t he. Can trust anything he says. Still do not know why he still appears here? He is such a Maroon!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Paddy

July 19th, 2011
6:05 pm

Paddy is a guliable.

I never once said that I would never be on this blog again. STB4

Mystikal

July 19th, 2011
6:06 pm

I didn’t get clarification, but with the new rules would we have a chance at sigining Edwards or is he still considered restricted???

Paddy

July 19th, 2011
6:17 pm

@Kenneth: You know Kenny, you amuse me. This is after all, a public blog, not a college debating forum. Here, everyone is entitled to post their opinion while simultaneously being subjected to ridicule and challenge, for those opinions. I like to keep it short and to the point. Most of it is just senseless trash talking, which is normal in any off season, and exacerbated moreso during a locked-out, off season. You however, are one of those posters who loves to challenge me with 10,000 words, most of which sounds good, but makes little sense. Though, at least you make an attempt to analyze the game and keep it civil. For that, I yield you, a margin of respect.

You drafted a WR and RB! Big bahoobas! Neither of them have ever been in the lineup for a professional snap, or even had the benefit of participating in a rookie camp, or OTAs. Quizz just got out of school and doesn’t even have his own copy of the playbook, (alledgedly). Do you think two rookie offensive players are going to be the back breaker against a veteran defensive team? Really?

As for OL depth, we’ll sign our veteran offensive linemen, and we have capable back-ups in reserve to take the place of any we may lose to FA, if any. Your team on the other hand has a much greater exposure to losing one or two key OL starters. Good luck with that (not really). Your team sustained only a few injuries last year, while my team had an IR list almost as long as the original roster. We had 5 running backs on IR, our 7th and 8th running backs on the active 45 for the last game, Julius Jones and DeShawn Wynn, with Joique Bell on the inactive list. That epidemic of injuries to our running back corp is unlikely to happen again. And even if we lose Reggie to FA (bet we don’t lose him), we got Ingram to pick up some of that slack. You have two dinosaurs, Turner and Gonzalez, that should help our slow defense, in it of itself! There are two other advantages we have on offense over your team, one: Drew Brees is wearing the black and gold, and two: Malarkey is wearing the black and red!!!

Free agency is going to be an exercise in organized chaos, and it’s short time period, getting shorter by the day, is only going to helpful for the Saints signing all of their own FA they choose to sign, and it will only hinder the falcan’ts ability to sign a quality DE.

I look forward to the season!!!

SeenThisB4

July 19th, 2011
6:20 pm

Sorry Kenneth, and you too Paddy, forgot to change my name back.

By the way, I don’t pretend to post using other people’s name, but Paddy, I just wanted to show you that somebody else said that I would not post here again, not me.

GEAUX SAINTS!

STB4 –

I’m out.

This Gets Old!

July 19th, 2011
6:57 pm

Stop interacting with loser Saints fans.

Falcon Friend

July 19th, 2011
7:00 pm

Good luck to all of you who like an can afford to go to NFL games. My guess is that at some point down the road all professional sports leagues will have to downsize.
Economics and good business sense rules. Owners and players greed is overwhelming too many fans.

Paddy O

July 19th, 2011
7:04 pm

Only criticism I have thus far of this deal is that teams attempting to sign current players should be able to exceed the cap for team stability – otherwise, you’ll see more baseball like player chaos.

Riser Upper

July 19th, 2011
7:20 pm

Ray Lewis was right about one thing: without pro football, arrest numbers went up. Just look at the Bengals ;)

Greg Mendel

July 19th, 2011
7:59 pm

The English word “go” translated into French is “allez.” There is no word in French spelled “Geaux.” In either language “geaux” could accurately be pronounced only by vomiting.

Juste disant.