football news and perspective from the other sideline

Posts tagged ‘National Football League’

Free Agent Running Backs Still Available

As the NFL becomes more of a passing league, the running back position has become de-valued. Though some teams like the Houston Texans (Arian Foster/Ben Tate) and the San Francisco 49ers (Frank Gore/Kendall Hunter) still rely heavily on the run game, other power houses like the New England Patriots and the Green Bay Packers do not.  Two months into free agency still finds some decent RBs without a job including Ryan Torain and Jackie Battle as well as those listed in the pictograph above. Age, injuries, or diminished play are key factors holding teams back from selecting these remaining RBs. It will be interesting to see if and where they end up. For me, I think it’s no doubt that Benson, Hightower and Grant will find a home.

Note: LaDanian Tomlinson told SI recently that he is “95% retired.” But I think he’d play if the right situation came along.

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Roger Goodell Channels Wyatt Earp

Actually, Roger Goodell is not new, he’s been the NFL Commissioner since September 2006. But we certainly have witnessed some new and unprecedented rulings handed down by the Commish lately. Perhaps the boldest so far has been the one-year suspension given New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton for his role in the Saints’ bounty scheme. This week another NFL policy came to light regarding unruly fans. If you are ejected from an NFL game, you will have to pay $75 to take an online code-of-conduct test. And you must pass the test with a minimum score of 70% before you will be allowed at another game. It seems that the rules may vary by stadium, but a few teams like the Jets, Giants and Patriots have already begun enforcing the policy.

I really don’t know how much of a hand Goodell played in this policy, though I assume any NFL policy must be signed off by him. One thing I do know though, Goodell is starting to remind me of Wyatt Earp. Earp was a lawman in the Wild West and he had a somewhat dubious reputation. In dispensing justice, he often became a law onto himself. Much like Goodell and the NFL. While we applaud his efforts to ensure player safety and control unruly fans, we are also aware of the arbitrariness of some of his decisions. For instance, Goodell makes a ruling as in the case of the Saints suspensions and at the same time he is the one who hears the appeal. Not very likely that he will overrule himself folks. Goodell has a tough job. He has the unenviable task of trying to change a culture steeped in broken bones, blood and concussions. One hundred years ago, Wyatt Earp brought law to lawlessness sometimes in a lawless way. Will Goodell have success taming the NFL Wyatt Earp-style?

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell denies appeal of New Orleans Saints’ Sean Payton, Mickey Loomis and Joe Vitt

Who Dat? Well, Roger Goodell, says Me!  No surprise here — Roger Goodell handed out the suspensions and Roger Goodell heard the appeal. While I agree that some punishment was necessary for the Saints’ bounty for hits policy, I think it’s also safe to say that the concept of democracy has not found its way to the hallowed halls of the NFL. Goodell did say he would consider reducing financial penalties: “If they embrace the opportunity and participate in a constructive way.”

Goodell also said that he would consider modifying the penalty to have the team forfeit their 2013 second-round draft pick. Head Coach Sean Payton’s suspension will begin Monday, April 16th, while GM Loomis’ and Asst HC  Vitts’ suspensions will begin after the preseason ends.

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