NFLPA: League ceded power to punish pre-CBA actions

Appeal filed on bounty suspensions
espn.go.com

The NFL Players Association has filed a grievance challenging the authority of NFL commissioner Roger Goodell to suspend four players for their involvement in the New Orleans Saints’ bounty program.

The grievance claims Goodell is prohibited from punishing players for player conduct prior to Aug. 4, when the current collective bargaining agreement took effect.

“In connection with entering into the 2011 CBA, the NFL released all players from conduct engaged in prior to the execution of the CBA, on August 4, 2011,” the grievance says.

The grievance also claims that the actions in question were “on the playing field” and under the jurisdiction of hearing officers Ted Cottrell and Art Shell, not off-the-field actions handled by the commissioner.

CBA, Schmee-B-A. The Ginger Hammer has a brand to protect, rules be damned.

D-Mac: Broncos targeted DeCastro at 25, whiffed on Martin with trade back from 31

REFLEX DECISION: Why Elway decided to draft Brock Osweiler
www.milehighsports.com

They were hoping that Dontari Poe, Michael Brockers or Dre Kirkpatrick would fall into their laps…the Steelers, one pick in front of the Broncos, snatch David DeCastro…Desperation.

Trade the pick back to 31 and reload…we’re gonna get our best running back – Doug Martin at 31! Phone rings. Tampa Bay wants to move up. The Broncos will get 36. Okay, not as much money – do it – we can probably now get a steal on Doug…SMASH!!!!! TAMPA TAKES MARTIN!!!!

D-Mac's column is a difficult read, what with the rapid, unannounced jumps between fact, speculation and opinion, and his frequent run-ins with the CAPS LOCK key. Yet it's no surprise to us that Pittsburgh's selection of David DeCastro prompted Denver's first move down the board, and D-Mac's sloppy retelling casts clear doubts upon EFX's claims that they had A) stuck to their plan B) gotten precisely whom they'd intended C) not screwed up the draft.

Here's what it comes down to: if you're going to trade back, priority #1 is to still land the player you'd intended, and barring that, you'd best get a commensurate return, meaning more than simply improving your position in the middle of the draft. Denver entered with seven picks and departed with seven players, and if we're to believe McKee's take, the only time Denver got their guy was also the only time they used their own choice. (h/t Alden Brown)

The Daily Lard 5-4-12

Happy Friday, Broncos fans! There is a growing dispute over the quality of evidence the NFL holds regarding the Saints' bounty scandal. Former US Attorney Mary Jo White says the NFL has some powerful evidence against New Orleans, perhaps referring to DE Anthony Hargrove's reported written statement detailing the bounty system and acknowledging his role in it.

That would probably qualify as strong-to-quite-strong evidence, right? Well, an NFLPA lawyer doesn't think so, and Mike Silver says the NFL must publicize whatever evidence they do have, stressing that there appears to be no proof of money changing hands, or of any players actually suffering injuries resulting from hits delivered with intent to harm.

Meanwhile, suspended LB Jonathan Vilma requested a meeting with the NFL prior to the announcement of his suspension, but he then decided not to go on advice from his lawyers.

Continue reading "The Daily Lard 5-4-12"

Kurt Warner played football so his kids won’t have to

Kurt Warner would prefer his sons not play football
profootballtalk.nbcsports.com

“They both have the dream, like dad, to play in the NFL,” Warner said. “That’s their goal. And when you hear things like the bounties, when you know certain things having played the game, and then obviously when you understand the size, the speed, the violence of the game, and then you couple that with situations like Junior Seau — was that a ramification of all the years playing? And things that go with that. It scares me as a dad. I just wonder — I wonder what the league’s going to be like. I love that the commissioner is doing a lot of things to try to clean up the game from that standpoint and improve player safety, which helps, in my mind, a lot. But it’s a scary thing for me.”

Asked if he would prefer that his sons not play football, Warner answered, “Yes, I would. Can’t make that choice for them if they want to, but there’s no question in my mind.”

Warner's comments recall those from Troy Aikman in February:

Aikman does not have a son, but said, “if I did, I wouldn’t tell him he couldn’t play football. If he wanted to, I would say ‘OK, great.’ But I don’t know if I would be encouraging him to play. Whereas, with the other sports, you want your kids to be active and doing those types of things.”

“I believe, and this is my opinion, that at some point football is not going to be the No. 1 sport. You talk about the ebbs and flows of what’s popular and what’s not. At some point, the TV ratings are not going to be there.”

Christmas Ape says it's easy for them to say, although his suggestion that one has to play a long time or reach the NFL to have their life ruined by head injuries couldn't be farther from the truth.

Terrell Suggs likely done for the year

Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs, the reigning AP NFL Defensive POY, is expected to miss the entire 2012 season due to a torn Achilles suffered possibly while playing basketball (or, not?) in Arizona. The former 10th-overall pick is due to make $4.9M this season and is expected to undergo surgery next week.

The Broncos will head to Baltimore for a Week 15 matchup that will look significantly more winnable if the Ravens are without Suggs, who accumulated 14 sacks, two interceptions, seven forced fumbles, and six passes defensed, and 75 tackles in 2011.

Continue reading "Terrell Suggs likely done for the year"

RIP Junior Seau Lard 5-3-12

Good Morning, Broncos fans. We've continued to add quotes and links to our story on the death of Junior Seau, and will continue to do so. Some poignant words about player safety and the future of football from the man himself are worth emphasizing here, via Jim Trotter:

In March, we spoke about the perception that commissioner Roger Goodell was making the game too soft with his enhanced enforcement of player safety rules. "It has to happen," he said. "Those who are saying the game is changing for the worse, well, they don't have a father who can't remember his name because of the game. I'm pretty sure if everybody had to wake with their dad not knowing his name, not knowing his kids' name, not being able to function at a normal rate after football, they would understand that the game needs to change. If it doesn't there are going to be more players, more great players, being affected by the things that we know of and aren't changing. That's not right." (h/t Judy Battista)

RIP, Junior. You will be missed.

Continue reading "RIP Junior Seau Lard 5-3-12"

Seau’s death ruled suicide; family will allow researchers to study brain

Originally posted 5/2/12 at 2:16 pm ET; latest update 5/4/12 at 7:52 am ET

Former Chargers, Dolphins, and Patriots linebacker Junior Seau was found dead at his home in Oceanside, California Wednesday morning, at the age of 43.

Police investigated Seau's death as a suicide, and the autopsy performed on Thursday confirmed it. Bennett Omalu, the forensic pathologist who made the initial discovery of CTE, participated in the autopsy, and on Thursday evening Seau's family announced they would allow CTE researchers to study Junior's brain.

Drafted fifth overall in the 1990 Draft, Seau played 20 seasons - 13 in San Diego,  three in Miami, and four in New England.  His best seasons came with Chargers, however, and often, his best games came against the Denver Broncos.

Continue reading "Seau’s death ruled suicide; family will allow researchers to study brain"

Four current and former Saints punished; Porter spared

The NFL has announced that for his part in the Saints' bounty scandal, linebacker Jonathan Vilma will be suspended for the entire 2012 season.

Additionally, defensive end Will Smith was suspended for four games, DE Anthony Hargrove (who signed with Green Bay in March) got an eight-game penalty, and linebacker Scott Fujita (now with the Browns) was hit with a three-game suspension.

Cornerback Tracy Porter, who signed a one-year deal with the Broncos after four seasons with the Saints, was never publicly implicated in the scandal, and he was not punished.

According to Albert Breer, the NFLPA is planning to defend the four suspended players on the grounds that the NFL lacks evidence to implicate them, and all four players are expected to appeal their punishments.

Continue reading "Four current and former Saints punished; Porter spared"

The Daily Lard 5-2-12

Good Morning, Broncos fans! Part of the predraft smokescreen emanating from Denver was the notion that the Broncos were considering Coby Fleener at #25. It didn't make sense then, and it doesn't make sense now, what with the team having already signed two free agents at the position in Joel Dreessen and Jacob Tamme to add to youngsters Virgil Green and Julius Thomas.

But having watched plenty of Stanford games last season in the hopes that Denver would Luck their way into the #1 pick, I had grown quite fond of Fleener's skills, and was excited about the possibility of the Broncos adding him. A few readers pointed out the silliness of that notion, and here's a tip of the hat to them. Now that we're back to reality...

Bill Barnwell writes that aside from quarterback (too easy), tight end is the position which got the biggest upgrade in Denver:

While Tamme is another ex-Colt, he's one of the few members of the Manning offense who isn't past his prime and might actually flourish in his new digs. Denver also made a nice investment by adding Joel Dreessen, who's consistently been an effective, efficient player behind Owen Daniels in Houston. Even if the Broncos hadn't added Manning, signing Tamme and Dreessen would have been a wise move; by doing so, the Broncos now have one of the five best one-two punches at tight end in football.

Well now, that's some hefty praise. We'll take it.

Continue reading "The Daily Lard 5-2-12"

From 80 yards away, everyone looks like Peyton Manning

Packers' seventh-round pick QB Coleman is a mini Manning
www.jsonline.com

“If you put B.J. in a Colts uniform or a Bronco uniform now and put him about 80 yards away from where all the media was standing, you’d think it was Peyton Manning,” Satterfield said. “Now, he hasn’t won a game yet. He’s not anywhere close to where Peyton is. But just the way he moves his body with his play-action fakes and his throwing motion, everything looks just like Peyton Manning.

I once saw Daryl Gardener standing 50 yards away from me in the parking lot of an IHOP, and you know what?  He looked just like Reggie White.

Then I got the hell out of there before the staring pissed him off.

B.J. Coleman was drafted in the 7th round.  Objects in the rearview mirror may appear closer than they are.

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