Optimism is bubbling across the NFL, as it looks like a near certainty the two sides will have a full training camp and preseason. But even with that, there has been very little football news to report in the last week. Because of that, this Two-Minute Drill gets into a little bit of everything after circling through some NFL tidbits.
1. Brett Favre has already filed his retirement papers, so why does he need to say, "I can still throw the ball as well as I ever have"? Well, you know the answer to that.
2. I've been asked why I didn't call out players who didn't show up to the Patriots' workouts at Boston College two weeks ago. While I'm confident in my attendance numbers to say who was and wasn't there, it's not fair to vilify a player for not showing up when I don't know his situation.
3. There are plenty of reasons for them not showing up — some good, some questionable. They could have had prior commitments, been under the weather or were worried about injuring themselves at a non-sanctioned workout.
4. And then, there's the perfect example. Cornerback Jonathan Wilhite, who wasn't at the workouts, was getting married that week, a tidbit that didn't hit the news stream until a few days ago. So, congratulations to him.
5. So, by now, you've heard about Patriots safety Bret Lockett and Kim Kardashian. The reaction on Twitter from Lockett's teammates was absolutely hilarious. They were downright giddy. Here's just one example.
6. Here's an interesting story about how one play in the regular season can have a major effect on the NFL draft.
7. One example: If Drew Brees didn't force a late false start on the Bengals to spur a Saints victory, the Bengals would have drafted sixth instead of fourth, and there's a possibility the Falcons wouldn't have worked out a massive draft-day trade with the Browns. The Bengals might not have had the chance to take Andy Dalton in the second round, either.
8. I recently saw a report that said Vikings rookie quarterback Christian Ponder tried to organize a set of player workouts, and the attendance was minimal. A number of key veterans, including Adrian Peterson, Visanthe Shiancoe and Percy Harvin, were not present.
9. I wonder if it was even a good idea for Ponder to attempt to orchestrate these workouts. I applaud his desire as a leader, but the veterans might have shrugged their shoulders at a player who hasn't proven anything and doesn't know a thing about the Vikings' offensive system.
10. The consensus seems to be that the Vikings overdrafted Ponder. It might have been different if it was a guy like Sam Bradford, who was much more heralded in college and was entering a young locker room, but the Vikings have a good contingent of veterans who are about 17 months removed from the NFC Championship game.
11. Then again, if they rolled their eyes at him, that's also an indictment on the team's leadership. Still, it might have been a better tactical move for Ponder to reach out to Peterson and ask him if he would help orchestrate the workouts.
12. I think it's a very good sign that the lawyers are back in the negotiating room. From what I'm hearing, the lawyers aren't there to negotiate; they're present to fine-tune the language in the contract. And that means the two sides are reaching some agreements.
13. There's a pessimistic way to look at things, but I'm not subscribing to that notion, at least not yet. The lawyers aren't popular figures in the room, which was a major reason for their dismissal from the negotiations. Since there is still a lot of work to be done with so many moving parts in play, it's possible that any little thing could trigger a powder keg and end the discussions. Therefore, some might be wary of the lawyers' presence, or the presence of anyone who isn't vital toward reaching an agreement.
14. I've said it before, and I'll say it again: I think it's a big mistake for Terrelle Pryor to enter the supplemental draft for a number of reasons. Also, it's not really a news conference when you refuse to answer questions.
15. Random NHL thought: I covered college hockey for six years, and Canucks backup goalie Cory Schneider was on a very short list of the top goalies in the country over the last decade. He's going to be a starter in the NHL, and he should be one of the hottest names on the trade market this offseason.
16. Random baseball thought: It should be really cool seeing what type of reception Anthony Rizzo gets from the Fenway crowd next week.
17. Random golf thought: The U.S. Open has always been my favorite tournament of the year because of its difficulty level. It's not so much that I enjoy watching them struggle, but it's always interesting to see who can be the most mentally tough player in those grueling conditions during the four-day marathon.
18. Random NBA thought: If you're the Cavs, who have the first and fourth picks in the draft, why don't you select Arizona's Derrick Williams at No. 1 and then take one of the three point guards (Kyrie Irving, Brandon Knight, Kemba Walker) who fall to No. 4? Is Irving head and shoulders above the other two to the point where the Cavs should pass on Williams? I say no.
19. I'm going on vacation next week, so this will be my last Two-Minute Drill until mid-July.
20. You can fully expect the lockout to end while I'm gone. That's just how these things work.