In DC, Mark Maske wrote the NFLPA has “asked agents to provide any evidence they can to support suspicions that teams might be colluding to restrict players’ salaries on the free agent market this offseason.” NFLPA Exec Dir DeMaurice Smith wrote in a memo to agents, “We have heard reports of a concern that teams are working in concert to ‘peg,’ ‘rig’ or ‘set’ market prices on player contracts. If you believe or have information that the teams have been colluding during this free agency period, you have a responsibility as an agent of the NFLPA to come forward and share that information with us.” The NFL “denied that collusion is taking place” (WASHINGTONPOST.com, 4/3).
SOONER OR LATER: USA TODAY’s Bob Nightengale writes the designated hitter “eventually will be adopted by the National League, too.” There will be NL owners "fighting it, knowing their payrolls will swell.” But it is “inevitable that change is coming.” No decision has “been made, or even formally discussed, but it’s going to happen, most likely after MLB Commissioner Bud Selig leaves office” in ’14. Cubs President of Baseball Operations Theo Epstein said, “I think we’re going to see the DH in the National League. Hopefully we’re just a few years away.” There are “four full-time designated hitters earning at least” $10M this year. That field “will only be inflated in the future” with Angels 1B Albert Pujols, Reds 1B Joey Votto and Yankees 1B Mark Teixeira “all earning in excess of” $20M a year (USA TODAY, 4/4).
EXPANSION PLANS: The AP reported the NASL is “focused on expanding to California" as early as ’15. NASL Commissioner Bill Peterson said that S.F., L.A. and San Diego are “potential cities.” The seven-team league “will begin its third season" on Saturday. Peterson “insisted the league’s owners didn’t feel pressure to expand within a certain time frame.” The N.Y. Cosmos “will join the NASL for the fall.” The Puerto Rico Islanders “suspended play for this season but are expected to return next year.” Indianapolis, Ottawa and Virginia also “are planned new teams” for ’14 (AP, 4/2).