SBD/Issue 76/Leagues & Governing BodiesPrint All
Smith's Letter Touches On
Rookie Salary Cap, Blood Testing
STILL HOLDING OUT HOPE: Packers President & CEO Mark Murphy said he is "hopeful that we can reach an agreement with the players" before the salary cap is removed for the '10 season. Murphy: "It's not going to be easy, but at the end of the day, I'm hopeful we'll create a way." In Green Bay, Tony Walter noted any developments on the labor situation "likely will remain under the public radar." Murphy: "I don't think fans will notice anything in the short term, except maybe in some of the (player) signings." He added that it will "seem like business as usual on the football front" (GREEN BAY PRESS-GAZETTE, 1/2). In Pittsburgh, Prine & Brown reported 439 NFLers will "hit the market as unrestricted or restricted free agents" this offseason. It remains to be seen if "big-market franchises ... could 'buy' a championship by plucking a handful of the best remaining talent from lower-revenue clubs" during an uncapped year. However, the final eight playoff teams "only will be able to sign a free agent for every one they lose." Each NFL team will receive an "extra 'transition' tag to allow them to keep the rights of another valuable player" (Pittsburgh TRIBUNE-REVIEW, 12/31).
THE SILENCE BEFORE THE STORM? ESPN’s Adam Schefter last week on “Mike & Mike in the Morning” predicted there would be a work stoppage in the NFL in ’11, and today he said, “What was alarming to me about that is usually when you say something that can be construed as semi-controversial or inaccurate, you very quickly hear from people. They call you right away and say, ‘You may want to correct this on air. That’s not right.' I never heard one word about the fact that we were mentioning that there may not be football in 2011, that as it stands today, there won’t be football. Nobody said anything about it, and that struck me as odd and peculiar and unnerving and unsettling” (“Mike & Mike in the Morning,” ESPN2, 1/4).
Goodell Looking For Solution To Playoff-Bound
Teams Resting Starters At End Of Regular Season
PLAYING CRUCIAL TO GAME'S INTEGRITY: Goodell appeared in the broadcast booth during CBS' coverage of Steelers-Dolphins yesterday and said the "integrity of our game is the most important thing we do." Goodell: "We want our players to play, and our teams to win. I think we have to do more structurally to incent people to win and to play. ... How do you incent people to do it or reward them? I don't think you can punish people for not playing. The other thing that has to happen is you have to make it clear to the public that you're not going to be playing somebody, just like we do with our injury reports." But Goodell added he does not blame the Colts for resting their starters in Week 16 against the Jets, a game that could have made the Colts 15-0. Goodell: "I understand exactly what they did, but we've got to create that incentive" (Steelers-Dolphins, CBS, 1/3).
NOT WORTH THE INCENTIVES? The Saints rested starters for yesterday's game against the Panthers after clinching the No. 1 seed in the NFC, and Saints coach Sean Payton said the No. 1 seed is "something that teams earn." Payton: "The idea of getting a draft pick and having your quarterback not healthy for a divisional playoff game doesn't sound real appealing to me" (New Orleans TIMES-PICAYUNE, 1/4). Dungy said he does not believe "there’s enough compensation" to keep starters in games after teams' playoff seeds have been set. Noting the season-ending injury to Patriots WR Wes Welker during the team's game yesterday against the Texans, Dungy said, "Look at the injuries today. ... How many draft choices am I going to get to lose Wes Welker in a meaningless game? It wouldn’t matter to me as a coach" (“FNIA,” NBC, 1/3). CBS' Charley Casserly said during his stint on the Competition Committee, the committee "could not ever figure out a rule where you could enforce to tell the teams, 'You've got to play the players.'" Casserly: "It's just not enforceable." But Casserly added, "I think you could incentivize teams playing harder at the end of the season by ... reseeding the playoffs based on the best record" ("The NFL Today," CBS, 1/3). In San Diego, Nick Canepa writes the idea of giving teams that have made the playoffs draft picks to play their starters is "so idiotic, it's stupid." Canepa: "The have-nots are going to OK giving the haves more draft choices so they can get better and beat their brains in some more? The NFL is too smart to be so silly" (SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE, 1/4).
THE TEAM'S PREROGATIVE: Titans coach and Competition Committee member Jeff Fisher said teams "have a right to do what they choose or see fit from the standpoint of what's best for the club" when it comes to making the Super Bowl. Fisher: "I think that's always going to be the case" (BOSTON GLOBE, 1/3). In Pittsburgh, Scott Brown wrote, "Teams like the Colts, Patriots and Bengals have earned the right to do what they please in their final game -- or games in the case of Indianapolis" (TRIBLIVE.com, 1/3). In San Diego, Tim Sullivan wrote under the header, "Risking Starters Not Worth Gamble" (SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE, 1/1). However, one AFC coach feels the Jets may have gotten an "unfair advantage by playing two teams in the last two weeks that already had playoff spots secured and weren't playing the way they'd play a regular game." The coach said, "It's a matter of fairness. I don't know what can be done, but I'd like to see every team that plays a game with playoff implications have to play their best players" (SI.com, 1/4).
Welker's Injury Could Cause More Teams To
Take A Tentative Approach With Week 17