Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti is confident that offseason labor talks will result in an agreement that will enable the NFL to avoid a work stoppage in March.
“I just have to have hope that a bunch of smart people on both sides of this argument are going to get it done,’’ Bisciotti said yesterday. “I still believe that we’re going to have a full season next year.’’
Bisciotti said the key issue is “the revenue split is not working for the owners,’’ adding that he and his peers are forced to spend more money than they’re taking in.
“Everybody keeps talking about the health of the league because they keep seeing revenues go up. They don’t know that expenses are rising at a higher rate than those revenues,’’ Bisciotti said. “If you were a public company, your stock would be going backward. That’s what we’re trying to protect against.’’
He remains certain that both sides can hammer out an agreement.
“We’ve got some work to do, there’s no doubt about it,’’ he said. “But it doesn’t do me any good not to be optimistic. I know how intelligent and committed our group is to getting a deal done.’’
Team president Dick Cass said the Ravens have devised a plan to refund money if any games are canceled. He said the refund would come with interest and that if there is a season, the team would not increase ticket prices.
Asked why prices would remain the same, Cass replied, “One factor was the uncertainty over labor, for sure.’’
DeOssie to Pro Bowl Giants long snapper Zak DeOssie was chosen for the Pro Bowl. It will be the North Andover native’s second Pro Bowl. He also played two years ago. DeOssie will work with Cowboys punter Mat McBriar and Eagles kicker David Akers in Hawaii a week from Sunday . . . Packers cornerback Tramon Williams has been added to the Pro Bowl roster after the Eagles’ Asante Samuel was unable to play because of an injury. Williams had a breakout season, starting all 16 games and leading the team with a career-high six interceptions and a career-best 23 passes defensed . . . Drew Brees was named the recipient of the 2011 Bart Starr Award. The award honors players who demonstrate good character in the home as well as leadership on their teams and in their communities.
Coaching news Vikings coach Leslie Frazier tabbed Falcons quarterbacks coach Bill Musgrave to run his offense. Frazier also announced that former Panthers offensive coordinator Jeff Davidson was joining the staff as offensive line coach . . . Seahawks coach Pete Carroll hired Darrell Bevell as his offensive coordinator. He had the same job with the Vikings the last five seasons . . . New Broncos coach John Fox is bringing Jeff Rodgers, his special teams coordinator with the Panthers, with him to Denver. In addition, Fox said Adam Gase, who was coaching Denver’s wide receivers, will now coach the Broncos’ quarterbacks . . . Titans coach Jeff Fisher has decided not to keep Chuck Cecil as his defensive coordinator after two seasons in which the Titans ranked among the NFL’s worst in yards allowed . . . The Browns interviewed former NFL and Pitt coach Dave Wannstedt to be their defensive coordinator. Browns coach Pat Shurmur met yesterday with Wannstedt, who spent six seasons coaching Chicago and four-plus in Miami. Wannstedt was forced to resign after going 7-5 this season, his sixth at the school. Shurmur talked with Dick Jauron about running his defense Wednesday . . . The Panthers hired John Matsko as offensive line coach a day after he was fired by the Ravens. Matsko is the second offensive assistant hired by new coach Ron Rivera, joining offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinski.