Archive for March, 2010

Report: Texans re-sign RFA DeMeco Ryans for $48 million

Houston linebacker DeMeco Ryans (left), a restricted free agent, signed a new six-year, $48 million contract with the Texans, according to a report by John McClain in the Houston Chronicle.  McClain notes that $21.75 million is guaranteed and Ryans will earn $14.5 million in 2010.

A restricted free agent who has played four seasons with Houston, Ryans was tendered at the first- and third-round level, meaning he was due to earn $3.168 million in 2010.

“This is unbelievable,” Ryans said. “I still can’t believe it. I want to thank Mr. [Bob] McNair and [general manager] Rick Smith for believing in me. They didn’t have to do this.”

For the complete story, click here.

ESPN.com: Packers president Mark Murphy “a voice of moderation that could help settle the issues”

In an ESPN.com profile of Packers president Mark Murphy (right), who serves on the NFL’s 10-member Management Council Executive Committee which is responsible for labor negotiations, John Clayton writes, “recruiting Murphy into the mix as a bargainer was smart…[he] offers a voice of moderation that could help settle the issues before March 2011.”

“I bring a different background, and I think [Panthers owner] Jerry Richardson has some of the same as a former player,” said Murphy, who had an eight-year playing career with the Washington Redskins. “I think it’s helpful. Certainly, we are sensitive to the issues.”

Murphy was the assistant executive director for the NFLPA during the 1987 players’ strike. “The irony hits me sometimes,” he said. “There was a session at the NFLPA headquarters [last] summer. We were in the Ed Garvey Conference Room. We had a few minutes before the bargaining session and I looked up and saw pictures of the NFLPA through the decades. I was looking up. I was in the picture.”

Murphy was named Packers president and chief executive officer in December 2007.

For the complete story, click here.

New York Times: NFL optimistic about new HGH testing tool

In a New York Times sports cover story today, Michael Schmidt examines a new tool to test for human growth hormone, which is banned by the NFL.

Schmidt writes that the “test similar to one used in cancer treatments has antidoping officials encouraged that they have found a new, and important, way to catch athletes using human growth hormone.”

“Known as the biomarkers test,” Schmidt continues, it “signals whether the person has used H.G.H. over the past 10 to 14 days.”

NFL vice president Adolpho Birch (left), who oversees the league’s testing program, said:  “We are aware of the biomarkers test and have been following its development closely. Our advisors keep us informed on the scientific progress and we are in regular contact with USADA and WADA officials.

“The Partnership for Clean Competition, a research consortium that we founded along with other partners, recently held a conference at which the state of the research in this area was thoroughly discussed. We are optimistic that the biomarkers test will advance the ability to detect growth hormone and we fully intend to push for its use in our sport as we have the currently available isoforms test.”

For the complete story, click here.

Goodell: “Common ground is key to future labor talks”

Commissioner Roger Goodell

Commissioner Roger Goodell is in New York this week after chairing a successful league meeting that was heavy on football decisions and off-the-field business presentations in Florida.

What about the next round of CBA talks?

“We have to find common ground with the NFLPA,” Goodell said as the meetings wrapped up in Orlando. “The real issue for us is to get back and focus on those things we can do to grow the game and grow the opportunities for everyone participating. We want a fair agreement that everyone is going to do well in, including the players.” 

No date is set yet for the next labor negotiating session, but Goodell will attend a meeting of the NFL Youth Football Fund board in New York this week. The Youth Football Fund board consists of League and NFLPA representatives.

Dallas Morning News: Cowboys’ backup lineman signs $1.759 million contract tender

According to Cowboys beat writer Todd Archer of the Dallas Morning News, Cowboys backup offensive lineman Cory Procter (left) signed his restricted free agent contract tender which will pay him $1.759 million in 2010.

Archer noted that Procter was active for every game in 2009 and saw limited action as a backup at center and guard.

For the complete story, click here.

Chargers president Dean Spanos: Labor talks an “opportunity to create a better system for everyone”

In a Q&A on Chargers.com, San Diego team president Dean Spanos (right) recapped the Annual Meeting and took a look ahead to the NFL Draft.  Labor was one of the topics discussed.

“We are committed to doing what is necessary to get a deal that is fair to players and owners and that allows the game to grow,” Spanos said. “This is an opportunity to create a better system for everyone. A healthy, growing business is good for everyone.”

For the complete Q&A on Chargers.com, click here.

Commissioner Goodell league meeting press conferences

 

Commissioner Roger Goodell

Attached below are the transcripts from Commissioner Roger Goodell’s two press conferences at the League Meeting in Orlando earlier this week. The topics discussed include player health and safety, overtime, and labor.


Read more

Crain’s Detroit: Lions “not shy about spending” on players

In a recent column for Crain’s Detroit Business, Bill Shea noted that the “Detroit Lions’ front office hasn’t been shy about spending…and what makes that interesting is that labor uncertainty could allow the team to spend as little as it wants on players.”

“Detroit’s big free-agent splashes,” Shea continued, “were inking Tennessee Titans Pro Bowl defensive end Kyle Vanden Bosch (right) and Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Nate Burleson, and then trading for Cleveland Browns defensive end Corey Williams.

“The front office is doing something, and not just low-impact cosmetic moves,” Shea added.

For more on free agent signings, click here for NFL.com’s “Free Agency Tracker.”

NFL and NFL Alumni Association to offer new neurological care program

The National Football League and NFL Alumni Association recently announced a new neurological care program for retired players, following up on a proposal by Alumni Association Executive Director George Martin (left).

This new program is one of a series of NFL initiatives addressing the quality of life of retired players. The new program makes available neurological specialists at five leading medical centers across the country to evaluate and treat possible neurological conditions. Each center will have available to retired NFL players a team of specialists, led by a neurologist who will serve as a program director.

“It’s a work in progress,” Martin told the Associated Press. “This is a new era of collaboration between the NFL Alumni, the NFL and the commissioner’s office.”

The five participating medical centers, selected for their expertise, high-quality service and reputation are:  Morehouse School of Medicine (Atlanta), Mount Sinai (New York, NY), Doctors of USC (Los Angeles), University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine (San Francisco) and Washington University School of Medicine/Barnes-Jewish Hospital (St. Louis). 

For the complete story, click here.

For more information, click here for the NFL Player Care website.

WR Steve Smith praises Panthers owner Jerry Richardson’s participation in negotiations


Wide receiver Steve Smith (above, left), who begins his 10th season with the Carolina Panthers and is the team’s player representative, told David Scott in today’s Charlotte Observer that he is pleased Panthers owner-founder Jerry Richardson (above, right) will be heavily involved in labor negotiations.

“All the stuff I’ve read, (the owners) are united. That’s great. The NFLPA is unified as well. With Mr. Richardson at the helm, he’s a man of integrity and one of the owners that’s played the game. He knows what it’s about, what this game is,” Smith said of Richardson, who is co-chair of the NFL’s 10-member Management Council Executive Committee which is responsible for labor negotiations.

“With him there,” Smith continued, “it’s going to be more of a push together to allow football to go on and not deal with a lockout. That’s what I take, knowing very well the integrity and the things Mr. Richardson tells the players and what he stands for.”

“It’s really good to have him,” said Green Bay Packers president Mark Murphy, also a former player on the Management Council Executive Committee, in an interview with ESPN.com. “He’s so respected and has such great experience. [With] his background and perspective — he was a player in the league — it really is beneficial to have him there. It really adds a lot.’’

For more from Mark Murphy on the negotiations, click here.