• With a natural disaster hopefully offering a bit of perspective and putting financial squabbles in their proper place, maybe an even further sense of motivation will be seen today in Washington. Every quote will be analyzed from multiple angles throughout a potentially historic day in the NFL. As Jason La Canfora reports, there have already been subtle hints leading to optimism.
  • Another extension still remains a possibility, which would make that original deadline of March 3 an even greater joke. As Yahoo’s Jason Cole wrote earlier this week, some members of the media can’t wait for the courts to get involved, and for the inner-workings of the NFL’s finances to be revealed publicly. Others aren’t nearly as enthusiastic about the economic ripple effect that will follow a lockout, especially in Sin City.
  • The looming deadline for the players to decertify and file an antitrust lawsuit blocking a lockout is 5 p.m. ET, but union leader DeMaurice Smith announced on Twitter last night that he’ll have an update for the players by 2 p.m.
  • The prospect of an 18-game season has dwindled over the past few days, although it’s not officially and formally off the table yet. During all the debate and discussion about slotting two more games into the schedule, one important item hasn’t received much attention: the record books.
  • A stubbornness by the owners to open their books and share audited statements with the players’ association remains the major hurdle in today’s discussions. The reason for their hesitancy is likely quite simple. Pointing to the shady accounting practices unearthed when some MLB teams cracked open their books, 18 to 88 says the owners are afraid.
  • Sports Illustrated’s Peter King explains a scenario where free agency and trading may take place during a lockout.
  • To ensure depression doesn’t take a firm grip too early in the day, let’s move away from the lockout talk to see where the chips are falling on the draft board. A surprise team has entered the Cam Newton discussion, Mel Kiper doesn’t think the Dolphins’ coaching staff and management has enough time to develop another quarterback, and there’s hope in Cleveland that with the No. 6 pick the Browns will land Auburn defensive tackle Nick Fairley.
  • Newton continues to be targeted at multiple points early in the draft. Warren Moon will reach out to new Titans coach Mike Munchak and advise him to take the mobile quarterback with Tennessee’s eighth overall pick. That’s assuming–and hoping–that Newton’s still around when the Titans are on the clock.

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