There have been quite a few stories recently about how teams are better prepared for the presumptive start to signing undrafted free agents this year, because scouts have now had considerable time to study the prospects, rather than be subjected to the feeding frenzy that typically ensues when the draft concludes.
Here's another twist: Several player agents have told The Sports Xchange in recent days that they have used the "down time" during the lockout to prepare for contract negotiations for their draft prospects by more closely scrutinizing team trends, spending and signing policies, and the habits of the individuals with whom they will be bargaining.
There will be a cluster-fudge to get drafted players under contract once the lockout ends, and the preparatory work taking place now might actually speed the process a bit. Of course, if a rookie wage scale is part of a new CBA, and takes effect immediately, much of the current work being done could be rendered extraneous. Still, it's somewhat heartening to see that some agents are making productive use of this slow time.
Britt brutal: To suggest that Tennessee officials, including first-year coach Mike Munchak, are upset with third-year wide receiver Kenny Britt after the former first-round pick's latest arrest last Wednesday would be understatement.
Said one Titans' official, who said he could not speak for attribution: "We're beyond pissed off with the situation. There will be consequences."
Arrested for the sixth time since joining the Titans in the 2009 draft – this time for alleged evidence tampering, obstruction of a government function and resisting arrest, after he is said to have smashed a cigar containing marijuana when he was stopped for a traffic violation – Britt is expected to face team-issued punishment even before commissioner Roger Goodell takes action, the Titans official said.
Noted the team official of Britt, who was arrested in his hometown of Hoboken, N.J.: "It's the same old story. He can't pull himself away from his buddies. That's not to (absolve) him of any blame, but he's got to get away from some people."
Just last week, in fact, Britt's father noted the same thing, saying he hoped his son would get away from New Jersey and go train with his Tennessee teammates for a while. When the lockout ends, the Titans are likely to strongly suggest, perhaps even demand, that Britt undergo some sort of counseling. They might even take a page from the Atlanta Falcons' handling of wide receiver Roddy White a few years ago. As noted in this space last week, the Falcons declined to sign White to a new deal until he distanced himself from certain friends who were living at his house.
Once White complied to the satisfaction of Atlanta officials in 2009, the club rewarded him with a new six-year, $50 million contract. Given that Britt is under contract for three more seasons, the Titans can't do exactly the same thing, but there might be some financial moves they consider.
NFL Notebook: Agents studying teams
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