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Tag:lockout
Posted on: December 14, 2011 3:50 pm
 

NFL approves 9-year TV deals with CBS, Fox, NBC

By Will Brinson

The NFL is a booming business and one that's set to continue growing exponentially over the next decade, thanks to the latest CBA providing 10 years of labor peace.

The business of growing began in earnest on Wednesday at the NFL owners meetings when the league announced a nine-year extensions of television agreements with CBS, FOX and NBC.

"NFL clubs have approved 9-year extensions of TV agreements w/CBS, FOX, NBC thru 2022," NFL spokesman Greg Aiello tweeted. "NFL stays on broadcast TV."

The new television deals will provide some changes to current coverage. For instance, CBS will begin broadcasting NFC and AFC games for the first time in the history of the partnership.

“CBS has been broadcasting the NFL for 52 years, and we are extremely pleased to extend our long-term partnership,” said Sean McManus, Chairman, CBS Sports. “This commitment is further proof of the valued relationship CBS shares with the NFL and of the overall strength of CBS Sports. The opportunity to add quality NFC games greatly enhances our television package. We look forward to continued growth as we broadcast the NFL for many more years to come.”

As a result of the extended agreement, CBS will broadcast Super Bowl L in 2016, Super Bowl LIII in 2019 and Super Bowl LVI in 2022, in addition to Super Bowl XLVII in New Orleans in 2013. Fox and NBC will also televise three Super Bowls over the course of the agreement.

The Thanksgiving night game, aired on the NFL Network since its inception, will be moved to NBC beginning in 2012, giving each major broadcast network a holiday game.

Additionally, the deal also provides for an expanded Thursday night package on NFL Network and the possibility for "flexing" games between Fox and CBS, the latter beginning in 2014.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter, Like Us on Facebook, subscribe to our NFL newsletter, and while you're add it, add our RSS Feed.
Posted on: October 13, 2011 10:46 am
Edited on: October 13, 2011 5:26 pm
 

VIDEO: LeBron James to the NFL, 'Madden' style

Posted by Will Brinson



In these desperate NBA times, we've seen a superstar like LeBron James discuss jumping to the NFL. While the league wouldn't comment on it when we asked them, and while it's unlikely that 'Bron actually ever makes that jump (for any number of reasons, really), Pete Carroll is courting him to Seattle pretty, pretty hard these days.

And it got me wondering what exactly LeBron would look like in the NFL. So, in an attempt to really make Mrs. Brinson think I'm a dork find out, I fired up Madden 12, created a LeBron James character for the Cleveland Browns and played a game. No, seriously: there's video proof below.

But first, a couple pieces of information that are helpful. One, I edited the video. Duh. (You don't want to watch me playing Madden for 20 minutes, even with LeBron.) Two, I put him on Cleveland because I wanted to deal with an average quarterback. And also, Cleveland deserves something. Three, I started out on "Pro" level, but cranked it up to "All-Madden" after the first series. Four, LeBron rates out, based on the characteristics I gave him (see below), to an 83 as a tight end, a 71 as a wide receiver and a 74 as a fullback. Five, he would be a LOT higher, except his route running is shoddy as is his pass- and run-blocking footwork.

Six, he is a beast.


OK, so you probably want to know how we got here. Well, for starters, I brought in Eye on Basketball's Matt Moore to persuade me that LeBron's better than I believed on the football field. That bought the king a pile of points, as Moore's substantially more in love with his ability to transition to the NFL than I am.

The result of inputting the various particulars made LeBron the 10th best tight end in the NFL. Which is pretty ridiculous considering he has no practice on anything.



Here are the full characteristics I plugged in, and I'm totally willing to concede that some stuff is off; if you've got beef with a rating leave it in the comments or holler at me on Twitter @WillBrinson. Trucking, for instance, could be higher. And catching could be lower. (See Moore's influence above.)

Strength: 90
Agility: 88
Speed: 91
Acceleration: 93
Awareness: 65
Catching: 90
Carrying: 70
Pass blocking: 50
Run blocking: 50
Jumping; 99
Trucking: 77
Elusiveness: 85
Stiff arm: 79
Spin move: 85
Juke move: 90
Impact blocking: 65
Run block strength: 85
Run block footwork: 50
Pass block strength: 85
Pass block footwork: 50
Spectacular Catch: 90
Catch in Traffic: 85
Route Running: 55
Release: 55
Injury: 85
Stamina: 90
Toughness: 65

Ed. Note: Here's the YouTube for anyone having trouble with the vid above.



For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter, subscribe to our NFL newsletter, and while you're add it, add our RSS Feed.
Posted on: October 12, 2011 3:01 pm
Edited on: October 13, 2011 11:39 am
 

LeBron James jokes about jumping to the NFL

Posted by Will Brinson

UPDATE: We spent all of Wednesday night creating LeBron in Madden, playing with him and recording it. Watch the video here.

The NBA is in a state of lockout sadness that never hit the NFL -- the first two weeks of the NBA season were cancelled by David Stern and no one knows what to do. Well, other than watch football in the mean time. Or, if you're LeBron James, maybe play football.

James hopped on Twitter Tuesday and created quite a stir in discussing the possibility when he asked John Clayton of ESPN when the deadline to sign free agents was.


Pete Carroll then made jokes about how much James would make as an undrafted rookie free agent (it's not much!). LeBron then pointed out that it's more than he makes.

This is true. It's also true that every single NFL team would KILL to get LeBron on their team right now. Not only is he a 6'8", 250-pound athletic freak with great hands, but he would crank the value of that team's tickets through the roof, and merchandise sales would be absurd.

Where would he play? My choice would be tight end, because he's like a lovechild of Antonio Gates and Jimmy Graham, but with better jumping ability and experience playing football. Or something.

He'd be special. It would be fun to watch. But it's probably not happening -- there's like a semi-reasonable chance that LeBron could suffer a career-ending injury playing for a non-guaranteed contract in football, which would likely nullify his current contract with the Heat. And that's just bad business.

There's also the issue of whether the NFL would let him play, as that might be a bit touchy with their compatriots at the NBA. We reached out to get a comment from the league but they hadn't responded at the time of this posting.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter, subscribe to our NFL newsletter, and while you're add it, add our RSS Feed.
Category: NFL
Posted on: August 6, 2011 12:21 pm
Edited on: August 6, 2011 1:14 pm
 

Don't forget Canton's getting hosed this weekend

Posted by Will Brinson

If anyone does a list of lockout winners and losers, the city of Canton, Ohio has to top the list.

That's because Canton will end up losing many millions of dollars and many wasted hours of volunteer work while the Hall of Fame induction takes place.

That's a direct result of the lockout and the fact that the Rams and Bears aren't playing the (now) traditional Hall of Fame Game, which, according to the NFL, brings in $30 million for Canton in terms of an economic impact.

"We are unfortunately going to have to cancel the Hall of Fame Game this year," NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said recently. "The time is just too short and we feel that it’s important for all 32 teams to be operating with the same number of preseason games and also starting camp at the same date or near the same date."

There will still be money spent, but it won't be the same -- instead of thousands of Bears/Rams fans pouring into Canton, freely dropping coins and buying swag and pumping cash into the local economy, there will be some fans and a slew of family members for those people being inducted.

In fact, per Bob McGinn of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, the city's losting $3 million in revenue from the game alone. The NFL has apparently pledged to "compensate the committee" for its losses from that revenue.

That's nice and all but it's not going to fill up hotels, it's not going to send thousands of people to local restaurants and it's not going to fix the city's now-wrecked budget line.

Sorry for being pessimistic and pedantic and whatnot, but this is important, because we (myself included) have now been successfully trained to believe that with the lockout over and 10 years of labor peace on the books, no one was harmed by the NFL's labor strife.

That's obviously not true, and Canton's being nice about the whole process.

"The trickle-down effect is just the confusion," Joe Horrigan, VP of communications and exhibits at Canton, said recently. "If the world talks about the Hall of Fame Game being canceled, then if it's not played, a lot of people assume nothing else is happening. And that's not the case. It's the last day of a 10-day festival."

That's the nice way of handling things, and Horrigan's comments came before the game was actually canceled. You best believe that behind closed doors, the message is a lot less kind.

There's not a whole lot the league can do, though. Donate $30 million to Canton to make up for the lost money? Ha. How does "we'll let you keep the Pro Football Hall of Fame" sound?

About right, yes? That's the nature of this business and it's fine.

Well, not fine. A small city that depends on a part of the NFL is suffering financially this weekend.

And despite how much fluff is given to the ceremony because of the big names -- Deion Sanders and, ahem, NFL Network analyst Marshall Faulk -- they won't be making the same amount of money as they would if the ceremony were going full-steam and featuring the first preseason game of the year.

It's great that we have football back, of course. And it's great that we're going to avoid a lockout for 10 years. But that shouldn't make us forget that everything's not sunshine and rainbows in Canton, where a community that's the perfect representative of the average NFL fan is going to be a lot less financially enthralled this year.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed.
Posted on: August 4, 2011 11:52 am
Edited on: August 4, 2011 11:57 am
 

Top 10 CBSSports quotes from insane NFL 10 days

Posted by Tim Cary

(Ed. Note: Tim's our social media editor here at the Eye and he did a fantastic job of compiling the 10-best quotes from our stable of stupendous NFL writers over the past 10 days. His post -- and the collection -- is below. But, Tim, really, No. 9?)

Has there ever been a crazier time in NFL history?

CBSSports.com has been bursting at the seams the last couple of weeks as football came back with a bang – from lockout stakeouts…to the free agency frenzy…to training camps opening with half-full rosters…the NFL beat has been anything but slow since the CBA vote.

Unless reading our site is your full-time job, I can pretty much guarantee that you weren’t able to read everything our NFL staff wrote. (Actually, reading CBSSports.com is my full-time job and I’m sure I missed a story or two somewhere.)

So to help you out, we recap the wildest 10 days in NFL history (starting after the owners approved the CBA in Atlanta) with the top 10 quotes from the dozens of articles, blogs, and columns we published between July 22 and August 1.

Without further ado…

10. Story: Randy Moss retires. Hall of Fame awaits, hopes to avoid full moon on induction night.
Quote (Pete Prisco): “Once again I have to remind my righteous peers that it isn't the Life Hall of Fame. It's the Pro Football Hall of Fame, and there is no denying [Moss] should be there, no matter what you think about him.”

9. Story: Jets enlist movie star to recruit Nnamdi Asomugha. Asomugha apparently doesn’t like movies, signs with Eagles.
Quote (Will Brinson): “Is Adam Sandler really the most famous Jets fan that Ryan could call on?”

8. Story: Decade of guaranteed labor peace makes everyone except UFL commissioner happy.
Quote (Pete Prisco): “Lockout is now officially the most-hated word for NFL fans, surpassing officiating.
It's also a word that doesn't have to matter for another 10 years. By then, Peyton Manning will have broken all of Brett Favre's records, DeMaurice Smith might be running for the Oval Office and the NFL might have rules fining players just for tackling.”

7. Story: After more than a month of hearing that “a deal is close”, the deal is finally done. Merriam Webster immediately and permanently removes all synonyms of “close” from the dictionary (including “near”, “almost”, “on the verge”, “virtually”, “on the cusp”, “practically”, “imminent”, “around the corner”, “basically”, “at the brink of”, and 206 other variations).
Quote (Mike Freeman): “Do the owners and players deserve credit for saving themselves? I don't know. Does a man deserve credit for throwing himself into a swimming pool knowing he can't swim?”

6. Story: NFL owners approve deal. NFL players take their good old time. Because they can.
Quote (Pete Prisco): “After scanning the details of the NFL owners' proposal for a new labor deal, I have some advice for DeMaurice Smith.
Race to get that thing approved.
When [the deal gets done], Smith should put on the championship belt. He knocked the snot out of the owners with a nasty right hook to the head.”

5. Story: Lockout ends. Much hugging ensues. David Stern purchases new best-selling book by Jeffrey Kessler entitled “How To Decertify A Union And Still Make It Home For Lunch”.
Quote (Clark Judge): [Lawyers for the NFL and NFLPA] scored a bigger haul than Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II. Based on the billing hours accrued for over 130 days of a lockout, I figure each attorney has enough money now to make a down payment on the state of Texas.

4. Story: While NFL general managers prepare for free agency to open by consuming roughly twice their body weight in caffeine, visions of dollar signs begin to dance in agents’ heads.
Quote (Pete Prisco): “Here's one of the toughest questions facing NFL general managers and coaches as they ready for the next four weeks, which will be a virginal path the NFL has not taken in August in past years: How do you truly find out if a guy's heart pumps Kool-Aid?”

3. Story: NFL players start signing mammoth contracts. NFL punters (yes, there is a difference) start signing ridiculous contracts. The national debt expands.
Quote (Mike Freeman): "If you are an NFL player, immediately do the following: Get on a plane, train or hop inside your Lexus. Head to Washington. Best possible speed. Go inside the offices of the National Football League Players Association. Brush by the secretary. Find DeMaurice Smith. Wheel him around in his chair and kiss him. On the cheek. Mouth. Ring. Whatever your comfort level. Just kiss him.”

2. Story: As a prank, Jets coach Rex Ryan sneaks into Bill Belichick’s office and replaces 2011 calendar with 2006 version. This proves extremely successful.
Quote (Pete Prisco): "New England needed speed. Not another possession receiver. My thoughts on this [Ocho-Slow-O] trade: Child, please."

1. Story: Patriots sign “Fat Albert” Haynesworth. In related news, Bill Cosby becomes a Patriots fan.
Quote (Mike Freeman): "Belichick will have his work cut out for him. Ochocinco is difficult to harness and Haynesworth is so larded up his blood type is strawberry Pop Tart."
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.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed.
Posted on: August 3, 2011 12:59 pm
Edited on: August 3, 2011 1:12 pm
 

Players 'doubt' CBA will be ratified by Thursday?

Posted by Will Brinson

Football's been back for more than a week now. Well, kind of -- there's still the whole pesky notion of an actual CBA getting ratified in time for the beginning of the league year on Thursday, August 4.

Per the language in the NFL's official 2011 NFL Calendar on August 4, "All 2011 contracts signed on or after July 26 become effective at 4:01 p.m. ET, assuming NFLPA has ratified the CBA." (Emphasis mine.)

Reached for comment on Wednesday, the NFL also added emphasis to the language above.

"The League Year would start after the CBA is ratified by the players," NFL spokesman Greg Aiello told CBSSports.com.

It's been assumed by most folks that such a ratification is as good as done (though if you were smart and subscribed to the CBS Football Podcast, you'd already know it wasn't guaranteed after our convo with NFLPA spokesman George Atallah).

But Steelers player rep Ryan Clark, according to Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, spun a different story at Steelers' training camp on Wednesday.

Bouchette notes on Twitter that Clark "doubts" the CBA will be "ratified in time for those vets not practicing to join teams" by the start of the league year on Thursday.

Clark, according to Bouchette, says the "major holdup" with the ratification of the CBA "is Roger Goodell's disciplinary power." Bouchette doesn't note whether Clark's concerned with Goodell disciplining players who broke the personal conduct policy or whether the players are concerned with the actual disciplinary process going forward, but both could be considered obstacles in negotiation.

Adding fuel to the fire? Steelers' cornerback William Gay, who signed a one-year deal with Pittsburgh this offseason after hitting free agency, tweeted on Wednesday that he "probably wont be able to practice to tomorrow as accepted."

He likely means expected, but spelling's not the issue here -- the problem is that right now the public thinks football's moving full steam towards starting the league year at 4:01 p.m. ET on Thursday and there is apparently still a speed bump or two to clear first.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed.
Posted on: July 30, 2011 1:51 pm
 

TV execs weren't sweating lockout

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Even if you were sweating the question of whether the NFL and the NFLPA would get a new CBA complete before the start of the regular season, the TV executives apparently weren’t.

They just figured there was too much money to lose for the NFL not to play games and have them shown on TV.

“There’s so many benefits to so many people that I was always relatively confident they’d get the deal done,” Sean McManus, the chairman of CBS Sports, told the New York Post.

So, the fact that a deal actually WAS consummated is a pretty good feeling for CBS, NBC, ESPN and DirecTV (especially since the NFL was supposed to have received money from the latter anyway, even if there was no season (although we never did get a ruling from Judge David Doty in how much of that cash the owners would have to give the owners after bargaining with the networks in what amounted to lockout insurance).

CNBC reporter Darren Rovell explains why football is so important to the networks and why the end of the lockout is such a big boost.

“The NFL is the most popular sport in the history of sport,” CNBC sports business reporter Darren Rovell said. “No sport at any time has been as popular as the NFL is now based on the percentage of people who watch in this country and the amount of time people spend consuming just the NFL.”

And also this: “Sports is the only thing on television that is not TIVO-able meaning it’s either live or it’s garbage,” Rovell said. “That’s really the value of sports and that’s what makes the advertising so valuable. Whether you go to the bathroom or not for the most part the ads are going to be on because you are watching live. … We’ve seen a tremendous amount of TV rights deal with sports go 10, 12, 14 years because no matter how we consume we know it’s going to be consumed live. So, no matter how the networks sell it, it is going to be of greater value.”

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed.
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com