Archive for June, 2010

Calendar for 2010 NFL season released

The calendar for the 2010 NFL season was recently released.  Included among the key dates:

August 10 — Deadline for players under contract to report to earn a season of free agency credit.

August 13 — If a Drafted Rookie has not signed with his club by this date, he may not be traded to any other club in 2010.

October 19 — All trading ends at 4:00 p.m., New York time.

November 16 — Deadline for Clubs to sign prior to 4:00 p.m., New York time, their Restricted Free Agents to whom June 1 tender was made.  If such players remain unsigned after this date, they are prohibited from playing in NFL in 2010.

November 16 — Deadline for Clubs to sign Drafted players prior to 4:00 p.m., New York time.  If such players remain unsigned after this date, they are prohibited from playing in NFL in 2010.

Below is the complete calendar for the 2010 NFL season.
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Buccaneers tackle Donald Penn: “If we had new CBA, I would never have been in this position”

Tampa Bay Buccaneers tackle Donald Penn (right) is one of 10 Restricted Free Agents who has yet to sign his contract tender (based on official notification to the league office by Friday, June 18).  This weekend, Penn attended the team’s FanFest and discussed his status.

“I’m going to be patient, be calm and control what I can control,” Penn told “Everything that’s going on right now is out of my control. If we had a new [collective bargaining agreement] I would never have been in this position.”

For the complete story, click here.

Penn is among the nearly 200 players with four and five credited seasons who, without a new Collective Bargaining Agreement, were subject to the 2010 uncapped season rules and tendered contracts as restricted free agents.  Previously, players with four and five years of experience would have been unrestricted free agents — free to sign with any team without their club receiving draft choice compensation.

Below is a list of the 10 RFAs who have not signed contract tenders based on official notification to the league office by Friday, June 18:

Club Name Player Name Pos
Green Bay Packers Bigby, Atari SS
Kansas City Chiefs Page, Jarrad FS
Miami Dolphins Brown, Ronnie RB
New England Patriots Mankins, Logan G
New Orleans Saints Brown, Jammal T
San Diego Chargers Jackson, Vincent WR
San Diego Chargers McNeill, Marcus T
San Diego Chargers Merriman, Shawne OLB
Tampa Bay Buccaneers Penn, Donald T
Washington Redskins Rogers, Carlos CB

Q&A on Special Master case regarding television contracts

Earlier this week, the NFL and NFLPA met with the Special Master to discuss scheduling in the proceeding regarding the NFL’s TV contracts.  Following is a Q&A on the issue:

Q: What was the NFL’s reaction to the union’s filing of the Special Master case challenging the league’s television contracts?

A: The television contracts that the union attacked were agreed to during the worst economy in our lifetimes.  Far from failing to maximize revenue, the contracts grew league revenue to fund higher player salaries and benefits.  No wonder DeMaurice Smith said publicly this year, ‘My hat’s off to Roger Goodell. Television is locked up until 2014 to the tune of about $5 billion a year.’ The union’s meritless charges, including many inaccuracies, will be addressed in the proper forum, but they are simply a distraction and do nothing to get us any closer to a new CBA.

Q: The NFLPA says the NFL will receive $4 billion in television revenue in 2011 even if no games are played. The union is calling it “lockout insurance.” Is this accurate?

A:  No. For decades, NFL network TV contracts have protected the league against the possibility that games might be lost for any of a variety of reasons, including work stoppages, natural disasters, and similar events.  Any sums paid by the broadcast and cable television networks to the NFL during a work stoppage would have to be repaid with interest. 
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Commissioner Goodell discusses enhanced season

Following his visit yesterday with 150 students at the NFL High School Player Development clinic in New York City, Commissioner Roger Goodell spoke with media about the concept of an enhanced season.

Below is a transcript of those comments:

Commissioner Roger Goodell at NFL High School Player Development Clinic in Queens, NY — June 17, 2010

Why are you pushing the concept of additional regular season games?

One of the things when we discussed this a year ago and as recently as yesterday is what we need to do to make the game better. How do we improve the game, not only through rules and equipment, but also with offseason training? Should we do things differently? I think we have to. We have been making a lot of those changes but we have to continue to evolve the game in that way. And the players are a big part of that process.
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Commissioner Goodell visits NFL High School Player Development clinic

Commissioner Roger Goodell yesterday addressed 150 New York City-area high school football players on the importance of character, on-field safety and football fundamentals as part of the NFL’s High School Player Development (HSPD) program.

“It’s not always easy to make the right decisions, especially when you’re confronted with negative influences, but look to your coaches here on the field with you,” Goodell told the students, who came to the clinic from 12 local high schools. “They can help you make good choices when you are having a hard time.  Look to your teachers.  Look to your family. There are plenty of people who want to see you succeed in life and in football.”

The NFL’s national HSPD, created in 2001, is free for students and will reach more than 20,000 high school student-athletes at more than 125 sites in 34 states this spring and summer.

Graduates of the HSPD program include Ray Rice and Jared Gaither of the Ravens; Kevin Barnes and Edwin Williams of the Redskins; Dolphins cornerback Vontae Davis; Bills defensive end Aaron Maybin; and Lions wide receiver Derrick Williams.

What they’re saying about Albert Haynesworth

Albert Haynesworth

“We supported him all summer, all off-season. It’s now come to the point where he’s got to earn our respect again because he turned his back on us. That’s how it is. I’m speaking for every guy in the locker room right now.” – Redskins defensive end Phillip Daniels (Washington Post, 6/17/10)

“Things will work itself out and hopefully we’ll get a chance to see him come to training camp. I think we’re better off with him. You want all the pieces of the puzzle here. Obviously, he’s a big part of what we want to do on defense.” – Redskins quarterback Donovan McNabb (Washington Post, 6/17/10)

“Did I just hear this correctly ‘Albert Haynesworth’ will not be [at] Mandatory minicamp? And he wants a trade, After signing 100millon dollar contract?” – Arizona Cardinals defensive tackle Darnell Dockett (Twitter, 6/16/10)

“The guy’s actually starting to hurt the team. That D-line is definitely a close group of guys and to see a guy like Albert just kind of messing with that, it’s sad to see…I think it’s hard for that D-line not to turn their back on Albert, ’cause that’s pretty much what he did to them. The best thing to do is just to get it over with and do something about it – cut him loose, get rid of him, what can they do? I don’t know. It’s hard to say.” – Redskins center Casey Rabach (Washington Post, 6/17/10)

Green Bay Packers President Mark Murphy discusses enhanced season

Green Bay Packers president and CEO Mark Murphy yesterday discussed the prospect of an enhanced season, including the transition of the 20-game schedule from the current format of 16 regular-season games and four preseason games to 18 regular-season games and two preseason games, and changes in offseason training.

“There is a lot of momentum in the meetings that I have been a part of,” said Murphy, who played for the Washington Redskins from 1977-84. “Talking to other owners, I think people really look at it and say that it addresses a real problem we have in the league, and that’s the quality of the preseason. A lot of us look at it and say this might be a way that we can reach a deal with the players, allowing us to work with the players, grow the game and grow revenue.”

“When I was a rookie we had six preseason games and I felt like I had been through a whole college season by the time we got through,” Murphy added. “But players and teams needed six games then to get ready. Now with the offseason training that the players do, they don’t need four games to get ready for the regular season.”

Below are complete transcripts of Mark Murphy’s discussion of the enhanced season with media and with NFL Network’s Rich Eisen. 

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Training Camp Dates and Locations

Following is the training camp list of sites and rookie and veteran reporting dates:
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New Orleans Saints owner Tom Benson donates $5 million for cancer care

New Orleans Saints owner Tom Benson today will announce a $5 million gift to expand cancer care in south Louisiana.  The donation will be used for the expansion of the Gayle and Tom Benson Cancer Center at the Ochsner Cancer Institute and kicks off a fundraising effort to provide more patients with cutting-edge cancer care and research options.

“Mr. Benson’s generous donation will help position the Gayle and Tom Benson Cancer Center as the region’s only comprehensive cancer center with both strong clinical care and medical research,” said Dr. Patrick Quinlan, CEO, Ochsner Health System. More than 2,200 new cancer patients are seen by the Ochsner cancer team each year.

“The expansion of the cancer center, right here in our city, is another important element in the revival of our region,” said Tom Benson. “Ochsner’s role in this revival and their role as a preeminent leader in cancer care cannot be understated. My wife Gayle and I are proud to have our names associated with such a wonderful institution.”

Ask – 15 Restricted Free Agents remain unsigned

Following is the answer to a recent question in the mailbag. To submit a question, send an email to

I read a few stories over the weekend on restricted free agents. What’s the latest?

Based on official notification to the NFL office, 15 RFAs have not signed contracts (as of this afternoon, June 14). The original clubs retain exclusive rights to these unsigned players.

RFAs can still sign the original March tender offer (which was extended again on June 1) until 11:59 PM ET tonight.  If the RFA does not sign by 11:59 PM ET tonight, the club may substitute a new June 15th tender of 110 percent of the RFA’s 2009 base salary. 

If the club does not offer a new June 15th tender, the original March tender offer (which was extended on June 1) can still be signed by the RFA.  If the player does not sign by Week 10, he cannot play in 2010.

Below is a list of the 15 Restricted Free Agents who have not signed contracts as of this afternoon, June 14 (based on official notification to the NFL office).

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