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Tag:Roger Goodell
Posted on: August 16, 2011 6:51 pm
Edited on: August 16, 2011 7:17 pm
 

NFL postpones supplemental draft, Pryor benefits

Posted by Ryan Wilson

The NFL notified all 32 teams Tuesday that the supplemental draft, originally scheduled for Wednesday, has been postponed. No new date has been set.

During a normal offseason, such news would be met with a yawn -- if that -- by most fans, but this year is different. For starters, we've just endured a four-month lockout, which pushed the supplemental draft back from its usual mid-July date on the NFL schedule to the middle of August. But there's also the matter of one name trying desperately to be eligible for this year's supplemental draft: Terrelle Pryor.

Quick refresher for those of you just back from Mars: Pryor promptly left Ohio State in June amid a scandal that cost Jim Tressel his job. He then hired superagent Drew Rosenhaus, who convened a PR event and called it a press conference to inform the world that Pryor was a first-round pick (among other things). Pryor later admitted that he didn't care where he was drafted just, he just wanted an opportunity.

As things seemed to be falling into place (several teams had expressed interest in the former Ohio State QB), Pryor last week had to cancel his pro day because he wasn't on the NFL's supplemental draft list.

CBSSports.com's Will Brinson explained at the time that, "This uncertainty for Pryor actually is in line with all the reports we've heard since he decided to bounce out of Ohio State after their program got a not-so-friendly visit from the NCAA. In fact, that aforementioned visit probably has a lot to do with the NFL's decision -- they don't want to grant eligibility to someone who doesn't actually meet the requirements for the supplemental draft."

On Sunday, reports surfaced that Pryor was trying to meet with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell to determine his standing in the eyes of the league. As Brinson noted in his post, a statement from Pryor's attorney, David Cornwell, made it sound like Pryor would be eligible for the draft.

"We have been in discussions with the Commissioner’s office over the past week to address the NFL's concerns," Cornwell wrote. "I am confident that once the NFL has a full understanding of the facts, Terrelle will be part of Wednesday’s supplemental draft."

Well, there will be no supplemental draft on Wednesday, but whenever it's rescheduled, it seems that Pryor might now be apart of it.

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Posted on: August 15, 2011 9:27 pm
 

Pryor still hoping to land in supplemental draft

PryorPosted by Josh Katzowitz

Terrelle Pryor still doesn’t know whether he’s eligible for the NFL supplemental draft, but according to ESPN’s Chris Mortensen, commissioner Roger Goodell is reviewing the facts of the case and could (emphasis on COULD) decide to delay the draft temporarily.

For now, the draft is scheduled for Wednesday and has not been moved, but Pryor also is seeking a meeting with Goodell so he can plead his case in person.

"We have been in discussions with the Commissioner's office over the past week to address the NFL's concerns," David Cornwell, one of Pryor’s attorneys, told ESPN on Sunday. "I am confident that once the NFL has a full understanding of the facts, Terrelle will be part of Wednesday's supplemental draft."

Yet, even if Cornwell is wrong and Pryor isn’t allowed to participate, our friends at the Eye on College Football blog have an interesting idea on how Pryor should spend his time until the 2012 NFL draft.

Writes Adam Jacobi: “However, if for whatever reason, Goodell decides that Pryor's circumstances aren't currently worthy of NFL supplemental draft inclusion, we may get the first instance in NCAA history where a student-athlete petitions to have his previous semester's grades lowered. ‘No no, you've got to give me an F instead of a C! I promise I cheated! Please believe me!’”

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed.

Posted on: August 9, 2011 11:05 am
Edited on: August 9, 2011 5:03 pm
 

Talib ready to move on with season

TalibPosted by Josh Katzowitz

It’s been quite an interesting offseason for Buccaneers CB Aqib Talib (all of which you can read in our handy related box in the middle of this post). But to sum up, Talib was arrested and faces charges of attempted assault with a deadly weapon, and though many of us assumed Tampa Bay would release Talib the first chance it got, that obviously hasn’t happened.

Since he’s still in a Bucs uniform, Talib says he will focus only on his on-field performance.

"Straight football,'' Talib told the Tampa Tribune. "I'm focused only on the stuff I can control. If I can't control it, I'm not going to focus on it. It's about setting that alarm, waking up, making it to meetings, coming out here on the practice field and making (wide receiver) Mike Williams better. It's about seeing Calvin Johnson early, Sept. 11th, when it all starts.''

Talib's Timeline
That last sentence, of course, assumes that commissioner Roger Goodell won’t suspend Talib for his supposed actions. And as we’re all aware, Goodell isn’t shy about pressing the “suspension” button whether a player has been found guilty or not (ask Ben Roethlisberger if you even need to be INDICTED in order for Goodell to make his decision).

Talib won’t go to trial until next spring, so he won’t miss any football this fall because of the legal system.

He also can count on coach Raheem Morris for support apparently.

"That's my dog,'' said Talib. "If anybody's got the real true story of what happened, Rah does.''

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Posted on: August 4, 2011 9:00 pm
 

Eye on Football's free agency winners and losers



Posted by Will Brinson

Free agency isn't done yet (you can follow the latest updates at our 2011 NFL Free Agency Tracker) but wow, what a freaking week that initial run was, huh?

We saw big names sign big contracts in surprising places, we saw various players value drop tremendously and we saw the Carolina Panthers spend eleventy billion dollars*. Well, a full week in, it's about time for some knee-jerk winner/loser reactions, yes?

WINNERS
Philadelphia Eagles: There's no way around it -- the Eagles are the biggest winner in free agency. The last-second signing of the biggest free agent cornerback, Nnamdi Asomugha, guarantees that, especially when coupled with their ability to pawn off backup Kevin Kolb for Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and a second-round pick and then pick up Vince Young to replace him. Also, they signed everyone else available. Or that's what it feels like.

Carolina Panthers: Well, maybe "Charles Johnson/DeAngelo Williams" is a better way of putting it, because they got straight paid. So did Thomas Davis, by the by. But in general, the Panthers stepped up in a big way by bringing back a ton of their players and convincing Steve Smith to hang around and kick off the Cam Newton Era. (Yes, it warrants mentioning that Newton's reduced contract is how they're able to afford all these guys.) Even if they don't win their division -- and it's unlikely they will -- they're still reinvigorating a fanbase that was pretty complacent after last year.

Rams/Lions: Everyone who roots for these teams keeps asking why they're not spending money, and that's exactly why they're winners -- they recognized that now's not the time to go out and blow up the plan by spending a pile of cash on a big-name free agent. Both teams landed quality guys (Eric Wright for Detroit, Harvey Dahl for the Rams, to name a pair) and I'd add the Buccaneers in here but anyone who spends $19 million on a punter isn't winning.

Houston Texans: The fact that Houston was able to pick up front-seven defensive help in the draft (J.J Watt) and then swoop in on Johnathan Joseph is huge. Even more impressive? That they realized when it was time to cut bait on chasing Nnamdi and nab Joseph, therefore giving them a top-flight cornerback and a serious chance to compete and/or win the AFC South.

Roger Goodell/DeMaurice Smith: After teetering on the brink of becoming the two most-hated men in a world that features no football, Goodell and Smith rallied their troops, repaired their relationship and got a deal done that will provide labor peace for the next decade. As a result, traffic, interest and excitement for football picked up right where it left off after an amazing 2010 season. They really should just pair up for a US presidential run in 2012.

LOSERS
Rookie quarterbacks: Christian Ponder and Jake Locker were supposed to be starters coming out of the gate. Um, not so much -- it sure looks like they're going to be sitting behind Donovan McNabb and Matt Hasselbeck during 2011. The only two rooks who have serious shots at taking early snaps are Andy Dalton and Cam Newton, and that's only because they are actually the best quarterbacks on their team.

Oakland Raiders: It would be one thing if they just lost Nnamdi. But they also lost tight end Zach Miller, who had previously been franchised. Topping it all off? They lost Miller because they shelled out $48 million for Kamerion Wimbley. Every time you think things are changing in Oak-town, they stay the same. /Googles "Weekend at Bernie's" clips

Linebackers: Well, linebackers not named Paul Posluszny, anyway. Poz is a nice addition to the Jaguars but I'm not entirely sure they should have given him $7 million a year over six years with $15 million guaranteed, especially with other available talent on the market. That available talent -- Nick Burnett, Stephen Tulloch and Manny Lawson, most notably -- ended up getting one-year deals as a result of the market swing after the Jags' overpaid.

New York Jets: The Jets made a lot of moves and nearly grabbed Nnamdi, but losing him isn't why they're on this side of the list. They're here because they paid a lot for Santonio Holmes and still saw the overall quality of their receiving corps drop drastically. In addition, they had to give $32 million to Antonio Cromartie in order to shore up the other side of their secondary. They'll probably end up going to the AFC Championship Game (again) and we'll hear plenty of Super Bowl guarantees, but this is an offense that could struggle in 2011.

Miami Dolphins: The Fins made a splash by trading for Reggie Bush, but, um, yeah, about that quarterback situation. When was the last time you heard fans chanting for Kyle Orton? Things are going to get ugly before they get pretty in South Beach, and if their chances at landing someone who can compete for the starting QB gig went so poorly that Brett Favre has to come in, well, you don't need me telling you whether they won or lost.

* Approximate. OK, I made that number up but either way, the Panthers dropped a lot of coin.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed.
Posted on: August 4, 2011 6:40 pm
Edited on: August 4, 2011 8:00 pm
 

NFL players ratify new CBA: We have football

Posted by Ryan Wilson

After a brief scare Wednesday, when it appeared that the new collective bargaining agreement wouldn't be ratified on time, CBSSports.com's Mike Freeman reports that the players ratified the agreement with the owners as planned Thursday afternoon, which (theoretically) guarantees labor peace for the next decade.

"While Roger Goodell had some of his on-field control curtailed, a high ranking union official told me, he maintains his power over the personal conduct policy," Freeman wrote Thursday.

"Also, the two sides agreed to implement an [human growth hormone] testing policy making the NFL the first professional American sports league to test for HGH with union consent. It is expected that testing will begin once the season starts."

We mentioned previously that the league was on board with HGH testing even if NFLPA spokesman George Atallah said as recently as Tuesday that “The players have not agreed to any comprehensive drug testing proposal.”

Clearly, the two sides found middle ground.

In terms of what a ratified CBA means for actual football, those players who signed contracts on or after July 26 (and were subsequently forced to watch practices from the sidelines until the new league year officially began with the ratification), finally joined their teammates on the field Thursday afternoon.

Also worth noting: the Steelers voted "no" to CBA ratification "to make statement," according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's Ed Bouchette, and it wasn't a complete surprise. On Wednesday, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review's Scott Brown reported that "Steelers players, frustrated over the lack of movement on the NFL conduct policy, may not ratify" the CBA due to "several issues, including the latitude NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has in levying fines, which could not be negotiated until the players re-certified as a union."

The Steelers player representative, Ryan Clark, was outspoken on the matter Wednesday.

"A big issue for us is Roger Goodell having absolute control over the fines system, judge, jury and appeals," Clark said. "I think for a lot of teams it wouldn`t be as big a deal but for us it is. We`re the team that gets fined the most and we play a brand of football that, sometimes, subjects us to his opinion. That`s something that really hasn`t been talked about this. "For us, with Roger Goodell having total control over the fine process, that`s a deal breaker for us in that situation."

And if the CBA hadn't been ratified today? "The settlement of the players’ antitrust lawsuit against the owners would have been voided and the owners could have shuttered the league again," writes Bloomberg's Curtis Eichelberger.

So, yes, welcome back, football. We missed you.

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Posted on: August 3, 2011 4:20 pm
Edited on: August 3, 2011 4:22 pm
 

NFL says it's closer to testing players for HGH

Posted by Ryan Wilson

Days before the players agreed to the new collective bargaining agreement, but after the owners had already voted to ratify their version of it, NFL attorney Jeff Pash told the New York Daily News that the league not only plans to institute random blood testing for human growth hormone during the 2011 season, but that the NFLPA fully supports it.

"We expect that we will have testing for HGH," Pash said on July 21. "I think that both sides believe that's important for the integrity of the game and that we should continue to be leaders here. I think that's a view that's strongly held by the players as it by us. "

On Tuesday, Judy Battista of the New York Times reported that "The NFL, whose new collective bargaining agreement is expected to be completed and ratified by Thursday, could begin blood testing for human growth hormone as soon as September, according to a person briefed on the negotiations who was not authorized to speak publicly, making it the first major North American sports league to conduct such testing on its top players with the union’s consent."

The potential bump in the road? Assuming that the new CBA will be completed and ratified by Thursday. CBSSports.com's Will Brinson wrote earlier Wednesday that some players "doubt" a CBA will be ratified in time, although CBSSports.com's Mike Freeman hears that there's nothing to worry about and everything is still on track.

The NFLPA has long opposed testing, citing concerns about reliability and calling the process "invasive," but Battista writes that both NFLPA Executive Director DeMaurice Smith and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell "have long seen a need for growth hormone testing and want to cast the NFL as a leader in combating drugs in major sports. … Details to be worked out include how many players will be tested for performance-enhancing drugs and how they would be randomly selected when drug testing resumes. There was no drug testing of any kind conducted during the lockout."

In July, Pash suggested that while there were some issues that needed to be ironed out, "we would hope that [testing] could be ramped up by the start of the season." On Tuesday, he sounded similarly encouraged, even if the testing is pushed back a few weeks. “I think both sides have a commitment to being leaders in this area and to having the best possible program and they recognize that having testing for growth hormone is part of having the best program."

NFLPA spokesman George Atallah, however, reiterated that “The players have not agreed to any comprehensive drug testing proposal,” although Freeman notes Wednesday that "One of the things the two sides have been doing is working on HGH testing. Once that is wrapped up the CBA will be finalized."

And then, hopefully, we won't have to hear the words "lockout" and "collective bargaining agreement" for at least a decade.

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Posted on: July 29, 2011 12:56 pm
Edited on: July 29, 2011 1:09 pm
 

Sadly, Harrison apologizes to Goodell

HarrisonPosted by Josh Katzowitz

You remember what Steelers LB James Harrison told Men’s Journal, yes? Harrison now would like you to know that he's very, very sorry about that, telling reporters that his comments might have been just a bit out of line.

You’ll recall that he called commissioner Roger Goodell a “crook” and a “devil” (and ahem, a gay slur, "stupid," "puppet" and "dictator"), and he said other nasty assorted things about QB Ben Roethlisberger and RB Rashard Mendenhall.

But obviously this was the best line in the article regarding Goodell: "If that man was on fire and I had to piss to put him out, I wouldn't do it. I hate him and will never respect him."

So, obviously, we couldn’t wait to hear what Harrison had to say when he first talked to reporters Friday during the opening of Steelers training camp. What other bodily functions would Harrison choose to use as metaphors when diiscussing Goodell?

Instead, Harrison went soft, saying, basically: um, hey guys, that's my bad.

"The interview that I did and the comments that I made about Roger Goodell were inappropriate, at the least," Harrison said, via ESPN.com. "They were way out of line, and I was speaking out of anger and frustration at the time. Any comments that I made that offended anyone, I apologize."

Despite talking trash about some of his teammates, he hasn’t apparently created any long-term problems. In fact, team president Art Rooney said any discipline directed at Harrison won’t go as far as a suspension from team activities.

"That's all behind us," Harrison said. "Those comments [toward teammates] were taken out of context with a long conversation. It's not anything I haven't talked to those guys about or my teammates about."

And though Harrison was apologetic, I wouldn’t expect the muzzle to stay on too long (the guy DID just debate the merits of taking a leak on the commissioner). Nor would we have that any other way.

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Posted on: July 27, 2011 10:25 am
 

Goodell, Smith will make back all money they lost

Smith and GoodellPosted by Josh Katzowitz

There was plenty of talk early in the lockout about how NFL commissioner Roger Goodell had reduced his annual salary to $1 and how NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith took it a step further by slashing his take to zero.

While neither guy has to worry about money -- they’ve got plenty of it in their respective bank accounts; Goodell’s salary is around $10 million, while Smith pulls in a hefty $1.8 million per year -- the symbolic move, though a blatant PR move, was probably the right one.

And like many of the teams who are returning money to the employees who had their pay reduced during the work stoppage, Goodell and Smith also will have their salary -- and the back pay that comes with it -- reinstated.

That’s according to the Biz of Football, which reports that Goodell will get $3.7 million returned to him while Smith will pocket the $670,000 that was owed to him.

As for bonuses for the two who helped broker a new CBA and 10 years of labor peace?

According to the story, that’s a distinct possibility.

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com