NFL NEWS & NOTES: REALIGNMENT; UPSHAW IN DENVER
Steelers President Dan Rooney has come up with his "fourth,
and final" realignment plan to be voted on by owners when they
have their fall meeting in Chicago on November 1-2. Rooney's
latest plan has the Seahawks (NFC West) and Buccaneers (AFC East)
switching conferences and the Falcons (NFC East), Cardinals (NFC
West), Colts (AFC Central) and Oilers (AFC West) switching
divisions. That would put the Panthers in the AFC Central and
the Jaguars in the NFC Central (Timothy Smith, N.Y. TIMES,
UPSHAW IN DENVER: NFLPA Exec Dir Gene Upshaw stopped in
Denver as part of his tour of NFL cities explaining the salary
cap system to the rank-and-file. Upshaw: "It's a performance-
based system. If you do well, you'll get paid. If they don't
want to pay you, you can go somewhere else and play" (Rick
Morrisey, ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS, 10/23).
JONES VS. THE LEAGUE: In Boston, Will McDonough reports
that Cowboys Owner Jerry Jones "has been calling up some of the
newer owners in the league" -- such as the Patriots' Robert Kraft
and the Eagles' Jeffrey Lurie -- "trying to enlist their aid" in
Jones' push to change the rules on the division of profits from
NFL Properties. Jones wants to divide the money in proportion to
sales per team (BOSTON GLOBE, 10/23). Speaking at the
Smithsonian Associates series on the NFL's 75th Anniversary last
week, former Cowboys GM Tex Schramm took exception to Jones'
plan: "The League has been built down through the years by
people who put the League first and their own franchise second.
... You are getting different people in the League today. Now, I
don't know what's going to happen, but I know what I would do if
I were Wellington Mara or Chicago, let's say. I would tell
Jerry, 'You know, you got a darn good idea. You keep the
Properties' money, but we'll keep New York's share of the
television money'" (THE DAILY).