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NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell Meets with Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton To Discuss Stadium Issue

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Just days after the Minnesota legislature rejected the proposed $975 million stadium plan in committee, Roger Goodell and Pittsburgh Steelers president Art Rooney met with Gov. Mark Dayton and other lawmakers. After the meeting, Goodell said:

There were no implied threats or any threats at all. What we talked about is the importance of creating a solution….

I think the legislative leaders and the governor understand the time is now.

Here’s 4 reasons why Goodell’s non-threat is a threat

  1. The top dog of the NFL makes a special trip to meet with the top dog of the state of Minnesota days after a state legislature committee rejects a plan to build a new stadium. Just a friendly ‘how y’all doing’ visit? Don’t think so.
  2. Lawmakers interviewed after the meeting said Goodell made it clear that the time to act is now. This was summed up by Republican House Speaker Kurt Zellers who said, “This is a two-minute drill and things will have to be moving a bit more quickly.”
  3. Though Goodell never threatened that he would move the team to Los Angeles, references to the the city were brought up in the meeting. Basically the fact that the NFL and the city of L.A. want a franchise team there. And oh, by the way, the Vikings contractual obligations to the city of Minneapolis will be up in 2013.
  4. It is rumored that the private jet of Vikings owners Zygi and Mark Wilf was spotted in Southern California today

So if it acts like a threat (special trip to Minnesota) and sounds like a threat (yes, L.A. is an option for the team) it’s a threat.

What If The Indianapolis Colts Pick RG3

The NFL offseason can play tricks with your mind. For instance, today, in one of those obscure offseason moments, the scariest thought just popped up from nowhere: What if the Indianapolis Colts choose Robert Griffin III instead of Andrew Luck. YiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiAyyyyyyyyNooooooooooo-oooooooo.

Okay, Redskins fans, are you back yet?  But really, it could happen. No, yeah, really it could. Five reasons the Colts may select RG3

1. Jim Irsay is not a man of great stabilityor vision.
Two days after cutting ties with QB Peyton Manning, the Indianapolis Colts jettisoned about 80% of their 2011 offensive production with the release of RB Joseph Addai, TE Dallas Clark, QB Curtis Painter, LB Gary Brackett, DE Melvin Bullitt and the loss of WR Pierre Garcon to free agency. Add to that the unexpected firing of the Vice Chairman for 14 years Bill Polian and Head Coach Jim Caldwell (though not unexpected), you are left with a team in a very fragile state. So with this severe gutting of the team, what difference will it make to Irsay whether he starts over with RG3 or Luck? Either way, they are a few years away from real contention.

2. The Irsays are synonymous with bold moves
At any gathering of two or more Baltimore area football fans, it is very likely that the events of March 29, 1984 will come up and spur heated discussion. That was the day that Jim Irsay’s father, Robert, carried out his plan to sneak his Baltimore Colts out of town to Indianapolis. With 15 Mayflower moving trucks they scurried off in the dead of night to ‘escape’ the wrath of fans and city officials. Once they got to the Indiana border, they even had a State Police escort to ensure they met with no trouble. It was a move that left a heartbroken city (my dad included) and now, even years later, many are still bitter. Jim Irsay was a young executive for the Colts at that time and though his father was the owner and probably called the shots, the name Irsay is not beloved in the Baltimore area. Unpredictability and bold moves may be in the blood and the selection of RG3 would just be a byproduct of Irsay DNA.

3. Jim Irsay revels in attention-seeking behavior.
During the whole Peyton Manning affair, it seemed that Irsay was loving ever bit of the media attention he was getting, or some might say, causing.  What better way to have every sports TV, radio and newspaper media outlet focused on you than if you pick RG3 over Luck? Especially when every mock draft, every NFL analyst, every pundit, every fan, even every schoolkid is saying that Andrew Luck will be the Colts #1 draft pick.

4. Jim Irsay has a mean streak (okay, maybe this is a stretch, but….)
But what if he does. Picking RG3 is a way to thumb his nose once again at the fans in this area. After all, the insults that were hurled at the team for moving were so intense and so venomous, they may have been the sole cause of the weakening ozone. And though D.C. is not Baltimore, the area is closely connected and many Redskins fans do live in Maryland. Besides,his handling of Peyton took an ugly turn at times, even if it was ‘just business.

5. Because he can.
The simplest reason of them all. Alpha males (or alpha males wannabees) often behave dangerously and don’t care what others think of them. (And yes, I have designated Irsay some type of alpha male.) Having the number one draft pick carries with it a certain amount of power and even though Spiderman knows that with great power comes great responsibility, I somehow think that concept will be lost on Irsay. He has that power and he will do what he wants with it, not what everyone thinks he will do. Heck, he might not even pick a quarterback at all!

Okay, so forget everything I just said. Seriously, I do think the Colts will go with Luck. But somewhere in the back of my mind and maybe yours too Redskins Nation, you’re wondering what if. At any rate, we will all be sitting on pins and needles on April 26th, a little after 8 pm when Roger Goodell says, “The Indianapolis Colts are on the clock…..”

Rule Changes Adopted By NFL Owners

A brief outline of the new rule proposals adopted by the NFL owners yesterday, March 28, at their annual meeting.

 

  1. Overtime rule for the regular season will now be the same as the postseason OT rule
  2. All plays resulting in a turnover will automatically be reviewed
  3. Too many men on the field will now be a dead-ball foul with the clock stopping
  4. Loss of a down for kicking a loose ball
  5. Defenseless player rule expanded to include recipient of a crackback block
The fate of other proposals:

 

REJECTED:

  • Proposal to extend the 15 yard penalty for horse tackles to include quarterbacks in the pocket
  • Proposal to have instant replays reviewed by the booth officials rather than officials on the field

TABLED UNTIL MAY MEETING:

  • Proposal to allow concussed players to be replaced (under certain circumstances)
  • Proposal to allow a player to return from the injury reserved list the same season (under certain circumstances)
  • Proposal to extend the trade deadline from the 6th week of the regular season to the 8th week

32 NFL Owners meet to discuss issues and rule changes

After a tumultuous week highlighted by unprecedented suspensions, the Annual NFL Owners meeting began today, March 25, 2012 in Palm Beach, Florida. Some of the issues owners will be discussing are:

  1. Extending postseason overtime rules to the regular season
  2. Automatic review of all plays that result in a turnover
  3. All replay rulings viewed and made by the booth official instead of by the referee on the field
  4. Increasing offseason/training camp rosters from 80 players to 90
  5. Extending 15-yard penalty for horse-collar tackle (pictured above) to include quarterbacks in the pocket
  6. Extending trade deadline from 6 weeks into the regular season to 8
  7. Under some circumstances, allowing a player to return from the injured reserve list the same season
  8. Using college rules for 12 men on the field penalties — making it a dead ball foul as opposed to losing yardage and taking time off the clock
  9. Allowing for concussed players to be replaced.
  10. Possible announcement of opening weekend games/teams

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Photo: horse collar tackle by DE Cliff Avril, Lions on QB Carson Palmer, Raiders on 12/18/11. Avril was fined $10,000 for the illegal tackle. Source

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Annual NFL Owners’ Meeting Begins today at the Breakers, Palm Beach

Annual NFL Owners' Meeting  Begins today at the Breakers, Palm Beach

The NFL Owners meeting begins today, March 25 and runs through Wednesday, March 28. In the backdrop of the luxury resort The Breakers in Palm Beach, Florida, the 32 owners gather at their annual meeting to discuss relevant issues. The schedule (from here) includes:

* Sunday: Owners and coaches arrive; committee meetings; and informal meetings with reporters

* Monday: League Meetings officially begin; Commissioner Roger Goodell press conference at noon

* Tuesday: AFC Coaches meet with media in a.m.; more league/committee meetings in p.m.

* Wednesday: NFC Coaches meet with media in a.m. where Sean Payton is expected to appear; Competition Committee will vote on rule changes; Roger Goodell holds final news conference

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