PANTHERS, JAGUARS FIND SURPRISES IN THEIR STOCKINGS
At the league meetings in Dallas, the Panthers and the
Jaguars received "unexpected generous news" from the NFL
management council's executive committee (CEC). The CEC will
"recommend to league owners that the expansion teams be awarded
an extra pick in all seven rounds" of the '95 draft. It was
believed the teams would be given only one additional pick in the
first two rounds combined. Owners "are expected to spend today
discussing the plan" and approval could come late this afternoon.
Cowboys Owner Jerry Jones: "It would surprise me if they don't
get their vote." The Panthers and Jaguars will also get seven
extra picks in the '96 draft, with none in the first two rounds.
In February '95, there will be a veteran allocation draft in
which NFL teams will expose six players, but can only lose two.
To "alleviate fears that the Panthers and Jaguars could raid the
free agent market," they must keep 30 players on their roster
from this draft, and/or $14M in salaries paid to those players
(Charles Chandler, CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 9/28).
ALSO ON THE DOCKET: Realignment is the other top issue
before the owners. Browns Owner Art Modell: "There are five or
six scenarios being recommended. But I don't know if it will even
get off the ground. There are entrenched positions in the
league" (Gordon Forbes, USA TODAY, 9/28). Approval of the
Redskins move to Laurel, MD is expected to pass with no
opposition (Baltimore SUN, 9/29). Team reps will also discuss
Deion Sanders' signing with the 49ers and "inquire about the
possible involvement of a third party in the deal" after reports
that Nike "might have played a role." The Saints and Falcons are
"sufficiently concerned to make it an issue." Saints Exec VP Jim
Miller raised the following scenario to show why the league
should deal with the issue: "Say next year or in future years
Barry Sanders becomes available and Proctor & Gamble all of a
sudden wanted him to be its national sponsor and play in
Cincinnati. So they tell him they will pay him $5 million a year
if he plays with the Bengals" (Clark Judge, San Jose MERCURY,
PIRATE BUSTERS: The NFL has hired Secure Signals of Reston,
VA, to check sports bars in an effort to crack down on pirating
NFL TV games (Rudy Martzke, USA TODAY, 9/28).