Posted on: March 6, 2012 7:01 pm

Loyalty? No such thing in the NFL.

The NFL is a nasty business. There is no such thing as loyalty -- on either side.

I hate the word.

It doesn't apply.

See: Peyton Manning.

It doesn't matter what you have done, what stadiums you helped built, what Super Bowls you brought to a sleepy little city, if you're breaking down and the price is too high, you are expendable.

The Indianapolis Colts are parting ways Wednesday with Manning, a decision helped along by a $28-million roster bonus he is due and the uncertainty about his health after suffering a neck injury. 

Even so, it should be a message to the rest of the NFL players that there is no loyalty. If Peyton Manning can go, so can you.

Get what you can when you can. There is a "me" in team.

Posted on: March 21, 2011 7:03 pm
Edited on: March 21, 2011 7:05 pm

NFL helmets too loose

NEW ORLEANS -- We hear an endless amount of talk of ways to make the NFL safer.

Here's a good idea: Make players wear helmets that fit.

It's amazing the number of helmets that come off during games. Luckily, the NFL is aware of it.

Ray Anderson, the NFL's executive vice president of operations, told me that the league officials have talked with helmet manufactures about the design of the helmet with the idea to make it tougher to come off.

Anderson said there has been an increase in the numbers of helmets coming off during games.

"There's more in college too," Anderson said.

Could loose helmets be contributing to more concussions? That's hard to say, but it is something the NFL is ware of and plans to discuss more with the helmet manufacturers.

The old-time helmets used to be tough to get off, mainly because of the ear padding. They weren't comfortable, which could make it tough to get players to change.

If the helmet companies come up with a model that fits tighter, maybe the league should make it mandatory.

Category: NFL
Tags: NFL
Posted on: March 3, 2011 9:42 pm
Edited on: March 3, 2011 9:44 pm

Signing Sanders a good move for Chargers

I love the San Diego Chargers' signing of Bob Sanders to a one-year deal.

Sanders, if healthy -- and, yes, that's a big if -- is a quality player. So why not take a chance on a one-year deal?

If Sanders can stay on the field, San Diego has upgraded the back end. If not, it won't cost them much -- if anything.

When Sanders is on the field, he is a disruptive force who can help the San Diego defense. He could team with free safety Eric Weddle -- provided he doesn't leave in free agency -- to give San Diego a nice 1-2 punch at safety.

Sanders, who has played nine games in the past three seasons because of injuries, is worth the risk. 

Kudos to A.J. Smith for taking it.

Category: NFL
Tags: NFL
Posted on: March 3, 2011 6:09 pm
Edited on: March 3, 2011 6:11 pm

Owners blink

They blinked.

 That's what the 24-hour extension tells me about the NFL owners.

Player sources have indicated the NFL owners have done little in terms of negotiating, but the 24-hour extension says they might be ready to do so.

I've maintained all along that a deal would get done sooner rather than later, but I've lost some of that optimism the past couple of weeks after talking with player, union and league sources.

Now we have a glimmer of hope. This is a good sign.

Not a great sign. A good one.

But at this point, we'll take anything.

Category: NFL
Tags: NFL
Posted on: March 3, 2011 2:47 pm
Edited on: March 3, 2011 3:03 pm

Players call postponed

The NFL players' scheduled conference call Thursday afternoon to discuss the labor situation was postponed, according to a player source.

The postponement of that call. which was to update players on the current talks, could be a sign that there is a potential for the possibility of extending the talks past the 12 a.m. Friday deadline.

According to the source, the owners have done little negotiating in the meetings so far, and optimism isn't abound from the players' side, but this call could be to extend the talks -- which would be the first real good sign for both sides.

The union is considering decertifying, but they would have to do that by 4 p.m. today. That would seem like a last resort.

An extension of the talks would help generate some dialogue between the two sides and might prevent a lockout, which has seemed inevitable the past month or so.


Category: NFL
Tags: NFL
Posted on: March 1, 2011 9:02 pm
Edited on: March 1, 2011 9:03 pm

Ruling big win for players -- and you

You pay your mortgage, right?

It's easier to do with money coming in, right? Now imagine you're NFL owner with a huge mortgage on a stadium you helped finance.That owner pays the mortgage on that debt, just like you.

That's why the ruling Tuesday that NFL owners can't have access to the $4 billion in television revenue they were expecting if thee's a lockout next season is huge.

 District Jugde David Doty, who has been a thorn in the league's side in the past with other rulings, overruled special master Stephen Burbank in declaring the league couldn't have access to the TV money next season.

The reason that ruling is a big is because many of the big-power owners, men like Jerry Jones (Cowboys ), Bob Kraft (Patriots) John Mara (Giants) and Woody Johnson (Jets), have big debt service on their stadiums.

They have monster mortgage payments.

Without that money, it becomes tough to pay those notes.

The NFL will appeal the ruling to a higher court, but for now this is big win for the players and maybe a big hit for the fans.

A survey of a handful of players showed them to think this was important for their push.

Without that money, you can bet the owners will want a quicker resolution to these talks.

The lockout insurance -- the TV money -- was a bullet in their gun.

Now they have more empty chambers than they thought.



Category: NFL
Tags: NFL
Posted on: February 28, 2011 3:48 pm
Edited on: February 28, 2011 3:49 pm

Portis: Another used-up back

The cruel reality of being an NFL running back slapped another Monday when the Washington Redskins did the expected and released Clinton Portis.

Each and every year, the same lesson is hammered home about backs in this league: Run them to death and then discard them like an old pair of underwear.

Portis missed 19 games the past two seasons as injuries kept him off the field. But he's also 29 years old, which means 30 is coming.

That's a magic number for backs. Few of them can still play at a high level at that age.

Portis was scheduled to make $8.2 million this coming season. But don't think money was the main issue. If he could still run for 1,5000 yards, he gets it.

We know better.

Backs break down quickly. 

That's why teams run them to death and then send them into retirement.


Category: NFL
Tags: NFL
Posted on: October 25, 2010 6:08 pm
Edited on: October 25, 2010 6:09 pm

Monday Musings


---So much for all the uproar over the helmet-to-helmet headshots. There were four flags Sunday for personal fouls on hits by defensive backs. Did the memo and talk last week change the way people played? Maybe a little, but I also think there was way too much made of what went on last weekend.
The threat of being fined and suspended might have caused some players to pull off. Steelers linebacker James Harrison said he pulled up on one play because of his being fined $75,000.
For the most part, I think the NFL got its message across, and that's all that matters. The kill shots weren't as evident.
That's a good thing because we sure don't want to see anybody die on the football field.

---You have to give the Cleveland Browns coaching staff a ton of credit for how prepared they were at New Orleans. They pulled out all the stops in upsetting the Saints. I was impressed by the Browns defense. They picked off Drew Brees four times. It's time Rob Ryan, the Browns defensive coordinator, starts getting some talk as a potential head-coaching candidate. Does he have a mouth and attitude like brother Rex? Yes. But that's OK. Ryan will get some interviews this January.

---The Eagles are going back to Mike Vick at quarterback. It's hard to argue with that. Kevin Kolb had a chance to make an argument he should be the guy, but he failed in the second half against the Titans. Vick, healthy now, will be the starter from here on out -- unless, of course, he doesn't play well. I just hope the Eagles don't make him play looking over his shoulder. If he's the guy, he has to stay in there no matter how he's playing during a stretch.

--Doesn't it seem like Saints corners Jabari Greer and Tracy Porter are always hurt? They missed Sunday's loss to the Browns. The Saints need those two to make a Super push again.

---Is Reggie Bush being missed or what? The Saints aren't the same offense without him, that's for sure.

---Kenny Britt had a huge game with seven catches for 225 yards and three touchdowns for the Titans. He has that type of ability. But he hasn't always put the work in. He sometimes shows up to work out of shape and he had an off-the-field incident Friday at a bar that led to an arrest. If Britt stays focused, he could be one of the elite receivers in the game.

---His plight actually reminds me of Atlanta's Roddy White. When he came into the league, he wasn't focused. He's told me many a time that he liked the nightlife too much. Some thought him to be a bust. Now White might be the best receiver in the NFC. He had had 11 catches for 201 yards and two touchdowns in the Falcons' 39-32 victory against Cincinnati.

---Mike Singletary said he thinks the 49ers can still go the playoffs at 1-6. What is he thinking? Not a chance.

----Darren McFadden has star ability. I've been saying that for a while. We saw that against Denver. The Oakland running back ran for 165 yards and scored four times, once on a reception. He has the home-run ability you need in a back. His problem has been staying healthy.

---The Steelers lost defensive end Aaron Smith for the season with a torn triceps Sunday. That's a big problem. He's one of their best defensive players. When he went down last season, the unit suffered. Ziggy Hood, a talented second-year player, will take over for him. Smith is one of the more underrated players in the NFL. But he sure isn't underrated inside the Steelers locker room.

---The Jaguars have lost their four games by an average of almost 25 points per game. That has led to a lot of talk that if they get blown out again in Dallas this week, coach Jack Del Rio could be fired, especially with a bye coming up the next week. I don't think owner Wayne Weaver will make the move. Del Rio isn't exactly dealing with a loaded roster.



Category: NFL
Tags: NFL
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