Is a wider field a safer one? Lard

Good Morning, Broncos fans! From former CFL, Bills, and Colts exec Bill Polian, via Dan Pompei, comes an intriguing idea for potentially improving the safety of the NFL game.

In the opinion of Polian and Warren Moon, who of course began his pro career up north (because he's black), the CFL's wider field lends itself to smaller, faster players, and fewer big collisions, especially in the middle of the field:

“The farther a player has to run in terms of contact, the less ferocious the contact is going to be,” Polian said. “We know the most ferocious hits come from guys who are ten yards apart and lay each other out. You have fewer higher power collisions in the Canadian League than here.”

A wider field almost certainly would lead to more scoring, and a shift in the offensive-defensive balance of the NFL. Schemes would be affected. This might not be a bad thing for the NFL. But it would be a radical thing, to use Polian’s word.

This would indeed be a drastic change, and one that demands tireless research to determine its value, before instating. But if it helps preserve the game and the quality of life of the men who play it, then we're all for the idea.

Broncos

Von Miller says he's still upset about the loss to Baltimore, but agrees that J.J. Watt was deserving of being named DPOY over him.

Mark Kiszla offers some draft ideas for the Broncos at running back, guard, safety, linebacker, and wideout. Although he makes some good points, his stances on Rahim Moore (who turns 23 tomorrow and graded out tenth among all safeties according to PFF) and Eric Decker (who played the fourth most snaps and had the ninth best catch rate among all WRs in the league) are unreasonably harsh.

In a Woody Paige-style brain dump, Mike Klis brings up the Broncos' 2013 strength of schedule and suggests the team may need to give raises to its veteran free agents. FWIW, every salary report we've seen on Justin Bannan, Keith Brooking, and Jim Leonhard had them at lower figures for 2012 than did Klis, and we disagree with the suggestion that those players would only return at higher pay.

News

The Lions are hoping to lock QB Matthew Stafford up with a long-term deal this offseason.

There had been some speculation that the Browns and Mike Lombardi could pursue a deal for Patriots backup QB Ryan Mallett, but expectations in Cleveland are that they won't.

Oh, look - it's another billionaire NFL owner looking to get a hefty chunk of sports welfare from taxpayers, and in this case, those being taxed won't even been the people who actually root for the team! Dolphins owner Stephen Ross is seeking almost $200M in public assistance to renovate SunLife Stadium.

A bizarre episode involving San Diego team doctor David Chao has ended in an independent panel ruling that he's fit to continue in his role with the Chargers.

Analysis

There's thankfully some movement toward changing the blatantly racist name of Washington's football squad, even at team-centric blog Hogs Haven. PFT's Mike Florio agrees this is something that needs to happen, and suggests that it may require a push from none other than RG3 for Dan $nyder to finally take such a change seriously.

Via Pompei, here's an excellent column from Dan Le Batard about the selective moralizing over PED use in sports.

Florio thinks the glut of veteran tackles hitting the market this offseason could suppress their salaries, making a big deal for Ryan Clady seem less wise for Denver.

Kevin Acee figures the Chargers' approach to free agents Louis Vasquez and Antoine Cason will provide a useful hint at the team's near-term plans.

Former Eagles/Browns/Ravens scout Daniel Jeremiah has Denver taking North Carolina DT Sylvester Williams at #28 in his latest mock.

Chase Stuart's excellent trivia question for today concerns yards per target for wide receivers.

It's suggested that widening the NFL field (ala the CFL) would make for a safer game. If true, would you support such a change?

Doug is IAOFM’s resident newsman and spelling czar. Follow him on Twitter @IAOFM

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