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CHRISTMAS IN SEPTEMBER FOR NFL EXPANSION TEAMS
Published September 29, 1994
In what Jaguars owner Wayne Weaver termed an "emotional" meeting, NFL owners approved the NFL Management Council Executive Committee's (CEC) recommendation for an expansion stocking plan. The plan awards the Panthers and Jaguars 14 extra draft picks in '95 and '96, including additional selections in each round of the April '95 draft. It also allows the teams to start signing free- agent players not on NFL rosters on December 15, 11 days before the end of the regular season. In February '95, a veteran allocation draft will occur from which the two teams will select between 30-42 players from the 28 existing rosters (Charles Chandler, CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 9/29). IS EVERYONE HAPPY? Panthers President Mike McCormack: "We're pleased with it. There are some things you don't like. We didn't get everything we wanted. But it's a plan we can live with." Panthers GM Bill Polian called the extra draft picks "huge" (Charles Chandler, CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 9/29). Wayne Weaver: "Having 10 picks in the first three rounds, that is really big" (Gordon Forbes, USA TODAY, 9/29). Chiefs GM Carl Peterson called it "an extremely fair and generous stocking plan": "I think both expansion teams should be very happy" (WASHINGTON TIMES, 9/29). REALIGNMENT EXAMINED: The realignment "logjam" continued, "furthering the likelihood" the Panthers will be slotted in the NFC West and the Jaguars in the AFC Central, "with no movement of existing teams." McCormack said owners "are all for it until they have to move." Cowboys owner Jerry Jones feels because of the "complexities involved with realignment," he foresees no changes (CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 9/29). The league is examining six plans ranging from slotting the two teams in the current 4-team divisions to having nine teams total changing divisions, including four conference changes (Gordon Forbes, USA TODAY, 9/29). In Tampa, Pat Yasinkas sees the chances of the Bucs moving to the NFC or AFC East "on the rise" (TAMPA TRIBUNE, 9/29). COOKE CLEAR TO MOVE: The owners approved the Redskins' request to move from RFK Stadium in DC to a proposed new 78,600- seat stadium in Laurel, MD. The vote was "not unanimous, with several teams, including the Rams, abstaining." Commissioner Paul Tagliabue emphasized that the vote would have no impact on Baltimore's plans to get a team (Leonard Shapiro, WASHINGTON POST, 9/29).