The Boston Globe and the Boston Herald* * both report that the NFL owners voted unanimously to opt-out of the current collective bargaining agreement with the player union yesterday. The league's salary cap will remain in place for the 2008 and 2009, but will leave 2010 as an un-capped year. At the heart of the reason owners chose to opt out of the agreement is revenue spent on player costs. Owners claim that 60% of their revenues are being spent on player costs and with tough economic times, they say it has taken a hit on their profit margins.
The Boston Herald offers a story on Patriots safety Brandon Meriweather. Meriweather noted in an interview with the media yesterday at Gillette Stadium that he is thankful for the guidance he received last year from safeties Rodney Harrison, James Sanders and Eugene Wilson.
"They steered me in the right direction," Meriweather said. "I was just able to focus and listen to them and listen to my coaches."
Meriweather also discussed that he has spent a great deal of time this offseason working on his ball skills with assistant coach Pepper Johnson.
The Boston Globe offers a piece on Patriots wide receiver Chad Jackson. Jackson spent the offseason in Foxborough working out and studying his playbook. It showed in yesterday's passing camp as both his route-running and focus were noticeably sharper. In two injury-plagued seasons, Jackson has caught only 13 balls for 152 yards and three touchdowns. He missed the first nine games last year while he recovered from a torn ACL and was active for just two of the remaining seven regular-season games and used only as a kick returner. Jackson hopes to prove he can be a capable pass-catcher for the Patriots as he competes for the spot vacated by Donte' Stallworth.
"I think it's an important year for me," said Jackson. "This is what they drafted me for. I'm going to come out there and show the coaches what I can do and show the fans what I can do and help out this team any way I can."
The Boston Herald offers a similar story on Chad Jackson.
Patriots linebacker Victor Hobson also spoke with the media following passing camp yesterday at Gillette Stadium. Hobson, who is the subject of a Providence Journal piece, noted that it was the chance to play for coach Bill Belichick that made the his decision easy to cross the line from the Jets to the Patriots.
"I think he's a great coach in general, but with linebackers, he's developed a lot of talent at the position," Hobson said.
Though he has never played inside linebacker with any regularity in his career, Hobson is expected play inside primarily in the Patriots scheme.
The Boston Globe's Patriots Blog notes that NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has no plans to conduct an independent investigation of the Patriots' videotaping procedures. The blog also offers practice notes from yesterday's passing camp session that was open to the media.