Good Morning, Broncos fans! In its letter to the four players suspended in the Saints' bounty scandal, the NFL alleges that DE Will Smith helped Gregg Williams set up and fund the bounty system in New Orleans, that LB Scott Fujita also contributed to the fund during the 2009 playoffs, and that DE Anthony Hargrove was an active participant in the system.
In responding to the grievance filed by the union yesterday over the four players' suspensions, the league notes that the NFLPA did not challenge any of the facts in the case, nor the length of the penalties. In its statement, the NFL also alleges the NFLPA had never before suggested the players should possess immunity from punishment under the current CBA.
A legal expert says the issuance of suspensions by the Commish falls under the Ginger Hammer's best-interest powers to protect the league, and thus should pass muster with arbitrators.
Meanwhile, NFLPA counsel Richard Smith says the league has refused to provide the union with any of the evidence they requested, including player names, interview transcripts, or violation dates.
I’ve been writing about football for the last four years, and when I am occasionally taking myself really seriously, I remember that that makes me part of the Broncos media. Not the part of the media that feels the need to suck up to Jim Saccomano (I’ve seen that in action elsewhere), but still, we have a platform that tens of thousands of people have visited, and continue to visit, and we’re on a really rapid growth curve. Throughout the Broncos media, lots of words and thoughts are generated and consumed about the Broncos, and some of them are mine, which is kind of cool.
Given that IAOFM has a place in the media environment, I have always found it interesting to consider the content producers in other places within that environment. What are they bringing to the table? Who exactly are they serving with their content? Is any of it worthwhile, or is it a bunch of garbage?
I’ve always been fascinated by talk radio, for two reasons. For one thing, it’s really old media, but it continues to be a really highly-used form of communication. All kinds of new technologies have emerged over the last 80-90 years, and nothing quite kills the radio star. I mean, just in the sense of a normal product life cycle, radio should have been destroyed and replaced many times over by now, and in some ways, it’s more successful than ever. My main interest in radio as a medium is why that is.
Former Seau teammate Gary Plummer: 'He was crying out for help'
Said Plummer: “In the 1990s, I did a concussion seminar. They said a Grade 3 concussion meant you were knocked out, and a Grade 1 meant you were seeing stars after a hit, which made me burst out in laughter. As a middle linebacker in the NFL, if you don’t have five of these (Grade 1 effects) each game, you were inactive the next game.
“Junior played for 20 years. That’s five concussions a game, easily. How many in his career then? That’s over 1,500 concussions. I know that’s startling, but I know it’s true. I had over 1,000 in my 15 years. I felt the effects of it. I felt depression going on throughout my divorce. Junior went through it with his divorce.”
Plummer tells of players struggling to find direction in their post-NFL lives, and he proposes that all players receive mandatory counseling at the end of their careers. Ex-NFLers are too proud to seek help, says Plummer, and he stresses that Seau's example is not an isolated one.
Appeal filed on bounty suspensions
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.
REFLEX DECISION: Why Elway decided to draft Brock Osweiler
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)
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.
Kurt Warner would prefer his sons not play football
“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.”
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.
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.
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.