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Club owner says Quanis Phillips wasn't kicked out of the party

Posted by Mike Florio on July 1, 2010 2:01 PM ET

One of the theories making the rounds regarding the events culminating in the shooting of former Bad Newz Kennels co-owner Quanis Phillips suggests that Phillips tried to gain access to the party, that he was turned away, and that a brouhaha ensued.


This theory, if accurate, would tend to dispel the notion that Eagles quarterback Mike Vick was "associating" with a convicted felon at his 30th birthday party. Instead, these facts would suggest that Phillips tried unsuccessfully to "associate" with Vick.


One of the owners of the restaurant/nightclub where the party occurred appeared on 97.5 The Fanatic in Philly to talk about the situation. And Allen Fabijan explained that there were no incidents at the club that evening, and that Phillips was not escorted out of the establishment.


"We don't have any reflection of that on video," Fabijan said, pointing out later that 16 surveillance cameras have been installed on the premises.


Fabijan also reiterated that shots rang out at 2:09 a.m. ET, only two minutes after Vick's vehicle pulled away from the club. The shots came from the same direction in which Vick's vehicle was headed.





The other Steve Smith makes a bad decision, Facebook style

Posted by Mike Florio on July 1, 2010 4:19 PM ET

Last week, Panthers receiver Steve Smith made a bad decision to play flag football with adults.


This week, Giants receiver Steve Smith made a bad decision to play funny man regarding adultery.


In the wake of news that Tiger Woods will pay his ex-wife hundreds of millions in a divorce settlement, Smith (the New York one) had this to say on his Facebook page: "Big up to Tigers wife all she had to do is open her legs and say 'I Do' and now she's one of the richest people in the world lol."


For starters, his comment isn't humorous. The bigger problem? Smith is suggesting that she somehow trapped Tiger in the hopes of cashing in. But she's not the one who repeatedly and brazenly violated the marital vows; he did.


Tiger's not the victim here. If he didn't think he could honor his promises to his wife, he never should have gotten married. Especially when he knew that failure to do so would result in giving her a large chunk of his financial empire.

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Collusion concerns could speed up rookie signings

Posted by Mike Florio on July 2, 2010 11:00 AM ET

On the surface, the clouds are gathering for some potentially lengthy first-round holdouts. Though a rookie salary pool still applies in the uncapped year, the fact that teams have not spent significant money on unrestricted or restricted free agents could make agents try to ask for even more money in round one, in the hopes of getting from the teams some of the money they didn't spend in March through June.


Moreover, most NFL observers believe 2010 will be the last year of the "free money." So why not blow it out and get as much money as possible during the last dance?


Then there's the fact that teams just don't seem to be spending, possibly to make a point to the players as the labor deal enters its final months of existence.


But we've recently detected a sense that things won't move as slowly as feared when it comes to getting first-rounders signed. With NFLPA Executive Director DeMaurice Smith declining to dismiss our recent report that the union is exploring a collusion claim, the case would likely encompass every shred of evidence that potentially supports the notion that the league has deliberately curtailed player expenditures in the hopes of squeezing the players.


"We'll take a look at the objective information, the amount of player movement, the [restricted free-agent] tenders and all of the other anecdotal information we have available to us as well as other information and evaluate it and make a decision," Smith recently told Alex Marvez of FOXSports.com. "It's an issue."


Another issue that could move things along is the fact that the specific value of the rookie deals signed in 2010 won't matter when the time comes to recruit the next crop of incoming players, since a rookie wage scale would make moot the details of the contracts negotiated by the agents. Moving forward, the only real factor will be the ability of the agent to help position the client to be taken as high as possible in the draft, via the quality of the agent's pre-draft training and preparation -- and his or her overall ability to sell the player to teams with the top picks.


Arguably, the NFL realizes that a slow pace of rookie negotiations could bolster a collusion case, and that a quick pace could dispel the notion that teams are tapping the brakes in the hopes of breaking the union. Indeed, the league has posted at NFLLabor.com an item trumpeting the fact that the pace of signings in 2010 has increased 17 percent over last year at this time.


That said, no first-round pick has signed in 2010. There's a vague belief in league circles that at least one first-rounder could sign soon, possibly over the holiday weekend or Monday at the latest.


We'll be tracking it all weekend. Sure, it's a holiday. But every day is a holiday when your job entails sitting at computer and working a telephone while writing and talking about the greatest sport on the planet.


So if you're bored at the barbecue, step into the air-conditioned comfort and see what we've been up to while you've been ignoring us.






Federal investigation of NFLPA could be accelerating

Posted by Mike Florio on July 1, 2010 7:02 PM ET

As if the ongoing tug-o-war between the NFL and the players' union didn't already have enough layers and hurdles, a federal investigation regarding the potential collusion of former NFLPA management with ownership appears to be moving forward, according to Liz Mullen of SportsBusiness Journal.


Mullen explains that the Department of Labor has been exploring "whether former player leaders conspired to give information to the NFL that would give the league an advantage in collective-bargaining negotiations." She reports, citing an unnamed source, that as least one subpoena has been served on the union.


Former NFLPA president Troy Vincent and others allegedly met with NFL owners and officials "to undermine the union's collective bargaining position." Complicating the situation is the fact that Vincent now works for the NFL.


Though the investigation possibly was instigated by former NFLPA executive Mary Moran, who claims that the union retaliated against her, current NFLPA Executive Director DeMaurice Smith has strong connections in the Department of Justice, which would be responsible for any eventual prosecution. To the extent that the situation creates a distraction and/or places pressure on the NFL, Smith has no reason to do anything to scuttle it.

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