Good Morning, Broncos fans! It sure was nice to go a few weeks without having to think about the incompetence of Roger Goodell, wasn't it?
Well, the latest chapter of the Ray Rice story ensures that Goodell and his bumbling will remain at the forefront for some time to come.
Convenient for the NFL that news of Rice's arbitration win slipped out on a Friday afternoon, and on Black Friday to boot.
Here's a taste of what's being written about Goodell and the league's conduct policy. More will surely follow in the weeks and months ahead.
Juliet Macur, New York Times:
Goodell has made so many mistakes in the case that it is hard to keep track of them. He has been breaking the rules that he has been making up as he goes along. The owners either see that and don’t care because Goodell has made them so much money, or they continue to wear blinders...
The league is now at the mercy of arbitrators to clean up its messes. Another one next week will hear the case of Adrian Peterson, who was suspended at least until April 15 for hitting his 4-year-old son with a stick and leaving wounds. It is another chance for Goodell to fall even deeper into a hole that has now turned into a canyon...
But, hey, perhaps we’re giving the N.F.L. security team too much credit. It only has enough former detectives, police officers and G-men to keep a medium-size city safe.
For now, though, the public might be able to see Goodell’s mistakes in action every Sunday, in the form of Rice, and maybe also Peterson, running up a field.
Judy Battista, NFL.com:
In the short term, the NFL and its 32 franchises might now have to manage the fallout if a team chooses to sign Rice. That might seem to be a longshot for now. The season is entering its final month, and there are only a handful of teams both in need of running back help and desperate enough in a playoff race to risk the likely criticism and avalanche of attention that will accompany bringing Rice aboard.
In the long term, the NFL and Goodell have a bigger and messier challenge. It is not just to rebuild their reputations as stewards of the sport, but also to reset the moral compass that is supposed to be guiding them.
As for the near-term impact, Mike Florio says the players' union fears a unilateral overhaul of the personal conduct policy will give the league even more power over player discipline.
Finally, Jason Hirschhorn discusses potential landing spots for Rice, including San Diego and New England, while Lindsay Jones & Co., like Jason La Canfora, hear that Indy is Rice's likeliest destination.
If Aqib Talib and Quinton Carter are out tomorrow, Jeff Legwold figures Omar Bolden and Tony Carter will see more action; Brandon Marshall (concussion) says he already felt fine after last week's game.
Although most of us know Virgil Green is a great blocker, perhaps it's his lack of receiving stats that make Woody Paige consistently undervalue him.
Andrew Mason responds to Twitter questions.
KC stuck with young kicker Cairo Santos despite his early struggles, and he's rewarded them with 13 straight made field goals.
As Teicher recalls, the Chiefs had a lot of important things go right for them in their Week 2 loss at Denver.
Chicago placed LB Lance Briggs (groin) on IR; Atlanta activated safety William Moore from IR and cut tackle Cameron Bradford; Miami claimed safety Don Jones off waivers from New England; Seattle placed LB Kevin Pierre-Louis (shoulder) on IR and claimed DB Loucheiz Purifoy off waivers from Indy.
Albert Breer says the pricetag for a possible RG3 trade figures to be a mid-round pick.
Greg Cosell compares the play of quarterbacks Russell Wilson and Colin Kaepernick.
Mike Freeman sees a bright future for Houston, if they can just get themselves a quarterback.
Chase Stuart considers the AFCN's nearly perfect record against the NFCS so far this year.
PFT Commenter thinks Dallas is on its way to yet another 8-8 finish.