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NFL OWNERS MEETING HAS FULL PLATE OF STOCKING AND REALIGNING
Published September 27, 1994
NFL owners meet tomorrow and Thursday in Dallas to vote on a stocking plan for the two expansion teams and to continue discussions on realignment. STOCKING PLAN: The executive committee of the NFL Management Council is scheduled to meet tonight to finalize its stocking plan for the Panthers and the Jaguars. It is expected that the 28 existing teams will have to expose only 5-7 players each in the expansion draft. And, instead of getting "as many as 21 additional draft picks over the next three years, as was originally considered, Carolina and Jacksonville may get only 10 to 14 extra picks apiece over that span." Mark Richardson, Director of Business Operations for the Panthers, "fears the Panthers will field a poor product not because of any front- office shortcomings, but 'we're not going to have access to talented players.'" The exposed lists will probably consist of older players with higher salaries, or players with injury problems (Jim Thomas, ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, 9/27). REALIGNMENT: There probably will be no resolution on realignment, but it is beginning to look like the Panthers and Jaguars will be "plugged into the four-team division," with the Panthers in the NFC West and the Jags in the AFC Central (Gary Myers, N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 9/27). In Tampa, Pat Yasinskas notes that because of the Jaguars and the Bucs overlapping TV rights, the two teams most likely will not be placed in the same conference. There has been talk that the Bucs and Colts might switch divisions so that the Dolphins and Bucs could play twice a year. Bucs VP Rich McKay said last week the team would like to develop the in-state rivalry but it is not "displeased" with the NFC Central. However the NFC Central may be "displeased" with the Bucs. Lions VP Chuck Schmidt: "Clearly, we want Carolina replacing Tampa." Schmidt noted that the Panthers would bring in more than double the division's average in visitor's shares. Schmidt said the NFC Central has the league's lowest average visitor's share -- $525,000 -- and the Bucs are part of the reason. NFL Dir of Communications Greg Aiello: "Financial benefits are a consideration that will be a part of the analysis for realignment" (TAMPA TRIBUNE, 9/27). USA TODAY's Gordon Forbes notes that the NFL might wind up with two moves: Atlanta and Arizona (9/27). CHARITY: Christmas in April USA, the nation's largest volunteer home rehabilitation initiative, will honor the NFL on September 30 at its national conference in San Francisco. NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue will accept the award on behalf of the league (THE DAILY).