Archive for May, 2010

Ask – 37 Restricted Free Agents remain unsigned

Following is the answer to a recent question in the mailbag. To submit a question, send an email to

I’ve been reading that there are a number of key June dates for restricted free agents. What are the implications of those dates? How many of those players have not signed contracts?

Dallas Cowboys unsigned RFA WR Miles Austin

For the 37 RFAs who have not signed contracts (as of May 27), the original clubs retain exclusive rights to sign the player. All RFAs can sign by June 1 the contract their original club tendered before March 5 — the first day of the 2010 league year. If a player does not sign by June 1, the original club can extend the qualifying offer and thereby retain exclusive rights to the player.

If the original qualifying offer is greater than 110 percent of the player’s 2009 base salary and the player does not sign that contract by June 15, the team can substitute the June 1 tender with a new June 15th tender of 110 percent of the RFA’s 2009 base salary and continue to retain exclusive rights to the player.  If the player does not sign by Week 10, he cannot play in 2010.

Below is a list of the 37 Restricted Free Agents who have not signed contracts as of May 27 (based on official notification to the NFL office).

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Commissioner Goodell to grads: “Your voice is important”

Commissioner Roger Goodell (left) yesterday addressed the graduating Class of 2010 at the University of Massachusetts-Lowell and accepted an honorary doctorate on behalf of his father – the late New York Senator Charles Goodell.

Relating what he learned from his father, Goodell told the graduates, “It was my father’s principles, integrity, and character that left an important legacy. Remember, it’s not what you do, but how you do it. Have the courage to do what you believe in.’’ 

“Your voice is important,” added Goodell, who was introduced to the more than 2,300 graduates by New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft. “Get all the information and then listen, especially to those you disagree with.”

“Create your own pressure,” Goodell concluded. “Listen to yourself. Push yourself.”

To watch the complete video of the Commissioner, click here.

For the complete Boston Globe story, click here.

For the complete Boston Herald story, click here.

Cowboys Stadium “shows versatility” creating tennis event

Jeff Mosier of the Dallas Morning News writes under the header “Venue shows its versatility with Tennis Slam” after Cowboys Stadium announced the creation of the new Cowboys Tennis Slam.

“Cowboys Stadium (right) has gained fame since opening last year by setting attendance records left and right for multiple sports,” Mosier notes. “Now it’s continuing to prove its flexibility…the stadium has already hosted football, basketball, soccer, boxing and bull riding.”

“This will be an exciting event for us to hold at Cowboys Stadium,” said Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones.  “We have seen the flexibility our new stadium has for holding spectacular events of all kinds and this event should be like no other. Being able to attract some of the best tennis players in the world under one roof for a night like this will be something special.”

The July 10 event features best-of-three set matches between No. 1 ranked Serena Williams and former No. 1 Maria Sharapova on the women’s side and former No. 1 Andy Roddick and John Isner in the men’s match. The court will be set up across the end zone at Cowboys Stadium, creating an intimate seating configuration for 20,000 fans.

For the complete story, click here.

Commissioner Goodell “innovates in increasingly competitive marketplace”

In a recent Los Angeles Times story, national NFL writer Sam Farmer put into context the decision by NFL clubs to award Super Bowl XLVIII to New York-New Jersey.

“In a larger sense, the league’s willingness to try something new…is reflective of Commissioner Roger Goodell’s push to be innovative in an increasingly competitive marketplace,” Farmer wrote.

Among the examples Farmer cited: moving the NFL Draft into prime time and stretching it over three days; making the Scouting Combine a television event; international regular-season games; renewed emphasis on player conduct and concussion studies; re-scheduling the Pro Bowl to the week before Super Bowl; and the modified sudden death postseason overtime rule.

For the complete story, click here.

Green Bay Packers work with players on life after football

Green Bay Press-Gazette sports editor Mike Vandermause recently spoke with Packers player development director Rob Davis (right) about preparing players for their post-NFL careers.

“We certainly try to get them to be proactive in their approach to life after football,” Davis told Vandermause. “That’s the part I see so many retired players struggle with because they don’t have the confidence to do anything outside of football.”

Writes Vandermause: “The Packers offer players educational material for life after football, and Davis attempts to arrange internships and other career opportunities.” 

“One of saddest things I hear from players is, ‘All I know is football.’ That’s a very, very dangerous statement,” said Davis, an 11-year long snapper for Green Bay. “Football is kind of like La La land, where guys don’t get a true definition or true description of what the real world is all about.”

“I don’t think a 35-, 38-, 40-year-old guy should just lay around on the couch and play golf,” Davis added. “I think he should be doing something on a daily basis that’s going to give him that drive, that passion, that confidence that he can hold a conversation, be in a different setting other than the football field, and still feel confident. I’m not sure most guys feel that way once they get out of the football arena.”

For the complete story, click here.

Commissioner Goodell spring meeting press conference

Attached below is the transcript from Commissioner Roger Goodell’s press conference at the Spring Meeting in Dallas yesterday. The topics discussed include the selection of the Super Bowl XLVIII host city, the enhanced season, and labor.

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NFL’s Jeff Pash on American Needle: “This case was never about labor”

NFL Executive Vice President of Labor/League Counsel Jeff Pash spoke with media following Monday’s American Needle ruling. 

Asked how the decision impacts labor and the collective bargaining talks, Pash said:  “This case was never about labor. We never ever, ever argued that this had to do with labor. We argued to the court that it didn’t have anything to do with labor, and I think the court’s opinion doesn’t address labor – not in any way shape or form.”

“We have a collective bargaining relationship. It is an active relationship. We’re going to continue to operate in a way that is consistent with the labor laws. We’re going to continue to press for a resolution through the collective bargaining process, and I don’t think the antitrust laws are going to apply at all. And this case, today’s decision, doesn’t change that at all.”

“We’re as interested in getting a collective bargaining agreement with the union as we were 24 hours ago. And if the decision had come down 9-0 in our favor, we would be every bit as interested in getting back to bargaining as we are today.”

Below is the complete transcript.

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Boston Globe: New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft “investing in the future”

Reporting from the NFL Spring Meeting in Dallas, national NFL writer Albert Breer writes in the Boston Globe under the header, “Kraft investing in the future.”

Breer notes that owner Robert Kraft (left) and the New England Patriots will announce improvements to Gillette Stadium, including high-definition video boards in each end zone.

“They’ll give us the opportunity to show a lot more replays, we’ll be showing the RedZone channel in-stadium… it’ll continue to improve the in-game stadium experience,” Kraft said. “Everything where we’re touching our customers, we’re trying to customize it… I believe our in-stadium experience is among the best you can have in the country.”

On the topic of the collective bargaining agreement, Kraft told Breer: “We’re going to have a labor deal eventually. It’s a question of when.”

“Since the last labor deal, we generated $3.6 billion in new revenue, and $2.6 billion went to the players,” Kraft explained. “Ownership collectively had $200 million greater expenses on this last revenue drawn. We can’t continue that and continue to invest in the business.’’

For the complete story, click here.

Houston Texans owner Robert McNair: “Five million people own the team; it’s their team.”

At his recent induction into the University of South Carolina Sports Hall of Fame, Texans owner Robert McNair discussed the fans of Houston embracing the team.

“In Houston, I’ve got five million people who own the team,” McNair told the Associated Press. “It’s their team. When we win they’re excited and when we lose they’re not very happy.”

“We’ve got to get over the hump and that means getting in the playoffs,” McNair acknowledged following last year’s first winning season (9-7) in Texans’ history. “That’s what we’re working hard to do.”

McNair also discussed the labor situation. “We’re optimistic and all of our people handling negotiations are optimistic,” he said. “Our attitude is we’re going to get a deal. We all want to avoid any interruption. It would be quite harmful to fans, players and everybody.”

For the complete story, click here.

New York/New Jersey selected to host Super Bowl XLVIII

New York/New Jersey was selected as host of Super Bowl XLVIII which will be played in February 2014, it was announced today at the NFL Spring Meeting in Dallas.

Super Bowl XLVIII will be the first played in New York/New Jersey region.  New York/New Jersey was selected on the fourth vote of member clubs.