SBD/March 27, 2012/Franchises

NFL Franchise Notes: Dan Rooney Makes First Appearance At NFL Meetings Since '09

Rooney said it was "great" to be at meetings, but that his job is in Ireland
Steelers Chair Emeritus and U.S. Ambassador to Ireland Dan Rooney appeared at the NFL's annual meetings yesterday "for the first time since 2009." Rooney "said not to read anything into it, but he has been active, even speaking out on an issue during the first meeting of owners" yesterday morning. Eagles Owner Jeffrey Lurie said, "It's great to have him back. He has such a sense of history of the league, he puts things in perspective. I'm just happy to see him." Rooney said, "I'm not back. Don't say that. I'm not back. I don't even have a date that I'm going to be back" (PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE, 3/27). Rooney added, "It's great to be here, but my job is in Ireland. I take it very seriously" (PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW, 3/27). It was reported in January that Rooney was set to leave his post as Ambassador "some time this year" (THE DAILY).

POWER PLAY
: In L.A., Sam Farmer cited NFL sources as saying that Eagles coach Andy Reid was "ready to walk away from the Eagles if he didn't get more personnel control, and now he has it" (L.A. TIMES, 3/22). In Philadelphia, Phil Sheridan noted Reid was "given full control of player personnel" in '01, when Lurie and Eagles President Joe Banner gave him the additional title of Exec VP/Football Operations, replacing Tom Modrak. The names "have changed over the years, from Modrak to [former GM] Tom Heckert to [GM] Howie Roseman, but the bottom line has not." Sheridan: "Reid has final say over personnel decisions. Period" (PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER, 3/26). Also in Philadelphia, Les Bowen wrote the Eagles' front office hierarchy is "anything but transparent." Reid reportedly "ceded some control to Banner and Roseman back when he took that sabbatical to deal with his sons' legal problems in 2007, and the landscape was permanently changed." It also "needs to be said that while Roseman and Reid have been in the spotlight, and Banner has kept an extremely low public profile lately, Reid has given no hint of dissatisfaction with anything" (PHILLY.com, 3/26).

TAPPED OUT: In San Diego, Nick Canepa wrote Chargers Chair & President Dean Spanos is “cash-flow poor.” Spanos said, “We just spent a lot of money in free agency ($21.7 million in cap space). I have enough to cover it.” He added, “We spend at the cap every year. We were one of two teams (Houston being the other) with no money left over to transfer to this year.” Spanos continued, “At some point in time we’ll reach the end of the line. Economics will drive it more than anything. Can we generate enough revenue (to compete)?” Canepa wrote Spanos “takes advantage of the fans and his season ticket sales are tobogganing.” But Spanos said, “We haven’t raised season ticket prices for five years. How’s that? And we’re still spending as much or more to be competitive. I’d say our season ticket sales are pretty much the same, maybe off a little bit” (SAN DIEGO UNION-TRUBUNE, 3/25).

BIRDS OF A FEATHER
: Ravens Owner Steve Bisciotti said he has “never talked” to Orioles Owner Peter Angelos about potentially purchasing the MLB team. Bisciotti added that he has also “never expressed" interest to Baseball HOFer Cal Ripken Jr. in joining an investor group toward the same end. Bisciotti: “I certainly would love to help that happen, but I have my hands full as far as how much interest and time and money I have dedicated to sport already.” He said of speculation that Angelos is ready to sell the Orioles: “I have not heard from him that there is any intention. From what I understand, his sons are as involved in the organization as they ever have” (Baltimore SUN, 3/27).
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