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Author Topic:   NFL - 2012/2013 Season

Posts: 871
From:Toluca Lake, California
Registered: Apr 2000

posted March 22, 2012 09:45 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for DavidChang   Click Here to Email DavidChang     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Saints coach suspended for season over bounties
By HOWARD FENDRICH, AP Pro Football Writer

The New Orleans Saints’ crush-for-cash bounty system already cost them head coach Sean Payton for all of next season and general manager Mickey Loomis for half of it, plus two second-round draft picks and a $500,000 fine.

Former Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams, who oversaw and contributed money to the illegal fund, was suspended indefinitely.

Unforgiving and unprecedented penalties Wednesday from an NFL determined to rid its sport of hits that aim to knock opponents out of a game.

Now Commissioner Roger Goodell will turn his attention to possible punishments for two dozen or so defensive players the league’s investigation found were involved in the extra payouts that he called “particularly unusual and egregious” and “totally unacceptable.”

“We are all accountable and responsible for player health and safety and the integrity of the game. We will not tolerate conduct or a culture that undermines those priorities,” said Goodell, whose league faces more than 20 concussion-related lawsuits brought by hundreds of former players. “No one is above the game or the rules that govern it.”

The league is reviewing the case with the NFL Players Association before deciding what to do about players who were part of the Saints’ scheme from 2009-11.

“While I will not address player conduct at this time, I am profoundly troubled by the fact that players—including leaders among the defensive players—embraced this program so enthusiastically and participated with what appears to have been a deliberate lack of concern for the well-being of their fellow players,” Goodell said.

Targeted players included quarterbacks Aaron Rodgers, Cam Newton, Brett Favre and Kurt Warner. “Knockouts” were worth $1,500 and “cart-offs” $1,000, with payments doubled or tripled for the playoffs.

According to the league, Saints defensive captain Jonathan Vilma offered $10,000 to any player who knocked then-Vikings QB Favre out of the 2010 NFC championship game. The Saints were flagged for roughing Favre twice in that game, and the league later said they should have received another penalty for a brutal high-low hit from Remi Ayodele and Bobby McCray that hurt Favre’s ankle. He was able to finish the game, but the Saints won in overtime en route to the franchise’s only Super Bowl.

“The bounty thing is completely unprofessional. I’m happy the league has made it known it won’t be tolerated,” said left tackle Jordan Gross, Newton’s teammate on the Carolina Panthers. “To think that something like that would happen—guys trying to hurt someone to make a few extra bucks—is just appalling. I mean we have a lot on the line, every single one of us. … You don’t want to see anyone taken out a game.”

All payouts for specific performances in a game, including interceptions or causing fumbles, are against NFL rules. The NFL warns teams against such practices before each season, although in the aftermath of the revelations about the Saints, current and former players from various teams talked about that sort of thing happening frequently—just not on the same scale as was found in New Orleans.

In a memo to the NFL’s 32 teams, Goodell ordered owners to make sure their clubs are not offering bounties now. Each club’s principal owner and head coach must certify in writing by March 30 that no pay-for-performance system exists.

Payton is the first head coach suspended by the league for any reason, while Loomis is believed to be the only GM to be. Goodell also suspended assistant coach Joe Vitt for the first six games.

Payton, whose salary this season was to be at least $6 million, ignored instructions from the NFL and Saints ownership to make sure bounties weren’t being paid. The league also chastised him for choosing to “falsely deny that the program existed,” and for trying to “encourage the false denials by instructing assistants to `make sure our ducks are in a row.”’

All in all, Goodell’s ruling is a real blow to the Saints, a franchise that Payton and quarterback Drew Brees revived and led to an NFL championship after decades of such futility that fans wore paper bags over their heads at home games.

Brees reacted quickly to the news on Twitter, writing: “I am speechless. Sean Payton is a great man, coach, and mentor. … I need to hear an explanation for this punishment.”

The Saints now must decide who will coach the team in Payton’s place—his suspension takes effect April 1—and who will make roster moves while Loomis is out. There was no immediate word from the Saints, but two candidates to take over coaching duties are defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo and offensive coordinator Pete Carmichael Jr. Spagnuolo has NFL head coaching experience; Carmichael does not, but has been with the club since 2006.

When the NFL first made its investigation public on March 2, Williams admitted to—and apologized for—running the program while in charge of the Saints’ defense. He was hired in January by the St. Louis Rams; head coach Jeff Fisher said Wednesday he’ll probably use a committee of coaches to replace Williams in 2012.

Goodell will review Williams’ status after the upcoming season and decide whether he can return.

“I accept full responsibility for my actions,” Williams said in a statement issued by the Rams. “I will continue to cooperate fully with the league and its investigation and … I will do everything possible to re-earn the respect of my colleagues, the NFL and its players in hopes of returning to coaching in the future.”

While some players who played for Williams elsewhere said he oversaw bounty systems there, too, the league said its interviews didn’t find evidence that “programs at other clubs involved targeting opposing players or rewarding players for injuring an opponent.” But Goodell could re-open the case if new information emerges.

After the NFL made clear that punishments for the Saints were looming, Payton and Loomis took the blame for violations that they acknowledged “happened under our watch” and said club owner Tom Benson “had nothing to do” with the bounty pool, which reached as much as $50,000 during the season New Orleans won its championship.

The discipline for the Saints’ involvement in the bounty scheme is more far-reaching and harsh than what Goodell came up with in 2007, when the New England Patriots cheated by videotaping an opponent. Goodell fined the Patriots $250,000, stripped a first-round draft pick, and docked their coach, Bill Belichick, $500,000 for what was known as “Spygate.”

Clearly, Goodell decided that attempts to hide the bounties were as significant a breach as the original rules violation itself.

As recently as this year, Payton said he was entirely unaware of the bounties—“a claim contradicted by others,” the league said. And according to the investigation, Payton received an email before the Saints’ first game in 2011 that read, “PS Greg Williams put me down for $5000 on Rogers (sic).” When Payton was shown that email by NFL investigators, he acknowledged it referred to a bounty on Rodgers, whose Packers beat the Saints in Week 1.

The league said that in addition to contributing money to the bounty fund, Williams oversaw record-keeping, determined payout amounts and recipients, and handed out envelopes with money to players. The NFL said Williams acknowledged he intentionally misled NFL investigators when first questioned in 2010, and didn’t try to stop the bounties.

Vitt was aware of the bounties and, according to the league, later admitted he had “fabricated the truth” when interviewed in 2010.

Loomis knew of the bounty allegations at least by February 2010, when he was told by the league to end the practice. But the NFL said he later admitted he didn’t do enough to determine if there were bounties or to try to stop them.



Posts: 871
From:Toluca Lake, California
Registered: Apr 2000

posted March 22, 2012 10:57 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for DavidChang   Click Here to Email DavidChang     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Peyton Manning Coming To Denver Isn’t A Slam Dunk For Business
Posted By: Darren Rovell | CNBC Sports Business Reporter
| 19 Mar 2012 | 03:52 PM ET
The news moved fast across the Twitterverse.

ESPN was reporting that Peyton Manning was exclusively negotiating to play in Denver with the Broncos.

And while fans of the team undoubtedly celebrated, making money off Manning will be difficult.


Well, start with the fact that Manning’s deal could average $18 million a year.

There’s not a lot of inventory to sell because the Denver Broncos are one of those teams that will have fans in the stands no matter how competitive they are. They’ve sold out every game since 1970.

Ticket prices around the stadium are locked in for 2012 and suite contracts are locked in for longer.

Selling more Broncos jerseys won’t matter. All teams split up the merchandise sales equally. National television money is also split equally, so it doesn’t matter how many games they play on the national stage. The team already negotiated a two-year deal with NBC affiliate KUSA-TV to be the official local TV partner, which runs through the end of this upcoming season.

Sure, there will be sponsorship money to make, but it’s not as if the Broncos were thin in that category either with Tim Tebow at the helm, who is owed only $1.57 million this year.

Fans, Broncos owner Pat Bowlen and Manning himself might not lead to a more robust economy in Denver. You can’t say the same for the losers in the process.

Manning going to the Tennessee Titans would have meant a lot more return on the investment. Their situation is so bad that people have returned PSL’s that they already purchased so that they don’t have to pay for tickets any longer. And although the San Francisco 49ers have sold out this season, there’s no doubt that momentum with Manning could mean a whole lot more money when the team moves into its new stadium in Santa Clara.



Posts: 871
From:Toluca Lake, California
Registered: Apr 2000

posted March 27, 2012 11:56 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for DavidChang   Click Here to Email DavidChang     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Sean Payton says he’s been honest, will return in 2013

Saints coach Sean Payton publicly answered questions for the first time since he was suspended for the entire 2012 season on Tuesday, telling reporters at the league meeting that during his two visits to the league office as part of the NFL’s bounty investigation, he told the truth.

“In the two trips to New York I made sure to do everything in my power to answer the questions honestly,” Payton said.

That would seem to contradict what NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has said about being lied to during the investigation, and that the lying continued into the past several weeks. However, in specifying that he tried to be honest during his two trips to New York, Payton may have been splitting hairs: Answering every question honestly while he visited the league office doesn’t preclude withholding some information in visits to the league office, or lying during questioning that took place outside the league office.

Other comments Payton made include:

– Payton says he’s “100 percent certain” he’ll be the Saints’ head coach in 2013.

– Asked if the bounty system implemented by former Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams was the kind of thing Payton was hoping for when he hired Williams to instill toughness in his defense, Payton answered, “Obviously not.”

– Payton said he has had no contact with Williams over the last few weeks.

– Payton said he has been touched by the outpouring of support he has received. “Our fans back in New Orleans have been amazing,” Payton said. “My peers, guys that I’m close with in this league, the players on our team, it’s like a family. That’s the thing that gets you through something like this.”

– Payton said that to his knowledge, no opponents the Saints put a bounty on were seriously injured.

– Asked if he might work on television this year, Payton said he’s keeping all his options open.

– Bill Parcells has been helpful to Payton, but Payton doesn’t know if Parcells will step in as interim head coach this year. “I’ve really called him just as a mentor, someone to shoot ideas off of,” Payton said. “I speak to him pretty regularly, in regards to advice. . . . The specifics in regard to him coaching, and I’ve read the reports, that would be something that [General Manager Mickey Loomis] and I, and our owner, and Bill would deal with at a later time. Right now it’s really been as an advisor.”



Posts: 871
From:Toluca Lake, California
Registered: Apr 2000

posted March 30, 2012 10:05 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for DavidChang   Click Here to Email DavidChang     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The NFL's new overtime rules for the regular season will have some repercussions for TV networks. Starting this season, a game that goes into overtime cannot be decided by a field goal during the first possession. In other words, if the team that wins the coin toss drives down the field and kicks a field goal, the opposing team will get the ball to try to match that or score a touchdown. That could make games longer and the NFL and networks will likely push the start time of late afternoon games, which will mean even later starts in prime time.


A-List Writer

Posts: 572
Registered: Aug 2001

posted August 05, 2012 07:52 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for a   Click Here to Email a     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
(CNN) -- Garrett Reid, son of Philadelphia Eagles head football coach Andy Reid, was found dead Sunday in his room at the Eagles training camp at Lehigh University.
"This is a tough morning for all of us in the Eagles family," the team's General Manager Howie Roseman said, holding back tears as he announced the news to reporters.
"Garrett grew up with this team, and this makes this news even harder for us to process."
There were no signs of suspicious activities, authorities said.
An investigation is under way.
Reid was in his late 20s.


A-List Writer

Posts: 8183
From:Redmond, WA
Registered: Apr 2000

posted September 27, 2012 09:46 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for fred   Click Here to Email fred     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Refs due back Thursday night

NEW YORK -- The NFL's regular officiating crews are back. Their return couldn't have come soon enough for many players, coaches and fans.

After two days of marathon negotiations -- and mounting frustration throughout the league -- the NFL and the officials' union announced shortly after midnight that a tentative eight-year agreement had been reached to end a lockout that began in June.


A-List Writer

Posts: 53
From:West Hollywood
Registered: Jul 2000

posted September 27, 2012 10:25 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for actorboy   Click Here to Email actorboy     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Lance Easley -- the NFL replacement ref who made the TD call in Monday night's Packers vs. Seahawks game tells TMZ ... he stands by his decision, adamantly saying, "It was the correct call."

Easley told us he can't believe he's being vilified ... "I didn't do anything wrong."

He says strongly ... the Packers player who allegedly intercepted the ball never had singular possession because, "You have to not only have the ball but have either 2 feet or a body part on the ground, and that never happened."

Easley says this was clearly a case of simultaneous possession -- meaning the catch goes to the offensive player -- adding, "Put any other official who knows the rules and they would make the same call."

Easley told us, no one has ever seen a play like this before, so there's no point of reference to judge the call. He says, "I don't appreciate the negative stuff."

Easley says he feels like he's become a sacrificial lamb, who had to "fall on the sword."

Easley -- who refs at El Camino and Pierce Junior Colleges as well as Occidental, all in Southern California -- says the replacement refs did what they were expected to do.

"We did a damn good job ... for the most part."


A-List Writer

Posts: 26
From:Tuscon, AZ
Registered: Jun 2000

posted September 27, 2012 10:36 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for ManfredMann   Click Here to Email ManfredMann     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I don't think the guy should be vilified. He made the wrong call, but he was put in a hard situation and did the best he could. Glad to see the regular ref's are back to make bad calls again!


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