Even as the CBA deadline is ominously approaching with no apparent solution on the horizon, despite the federally mediated talks and all the apparent efforts of those directly involved in them, teams do their best to secure their roster and to optimize their finances. The Green Bay Packers released linebacker AJ Hawk the other day, but rumors immediately emerged that they would sign him for 5 more years and that the move was one made out of financial considerations. Hawk was supposed to earn $10 million through the 2011 season, and the team made no secret of the fact that they thought that was a bit high. According to Packers general manager Ted Thompson, the move was indeed a business-motivated one, and Thompson expressed hope that the Packers could continue to work with Hawk. Two other players were released from the Champs’ stable as well: TE Donald Lee and safety Derrick Martin. There was no word on whether or not the Packers would like to continue to work with these guys too, although there’s a good probability that they wouldn’t. Lee was supposed to earn $2,2 million in the 2011 season, while Derrick Martin would have had to settle for a more modest $750k.
In other news: labor talks are set to resume on Thursday, even as the clock is ticking away in the 11th hour. Talks on Wednesday lasted for a massive 12 hours yet they produced no results whatsoever, the new CBA still way too illusive a matter for the two sides involved. It now appears as though the league is set to lock out the players, although there’s also the possibility that the NFLPA will decertify, giving its members the chance to sue the league individually on an anti-trust basis. The deadline itself could also be extended as pointed out by league chief negotiator Jeff Pash.
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