Archive for March, 2013

Former NFL Commissioner Tagliabue to Present Honors to Ayanbadejo and Kluwe at PFLAG National Awards Gala

PFLAG National—the nation’s largest grassroots-based non-profit for families, friends, and straight allies of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (GLBT) people—today announced that former National Football League commissioner Paul Tagliabue will present the Straight for Equality in Sports Award to NFL players Brendon Ayanbadejo of the Super Bowl Championship-winning Baltimore Ravens and Chris Kluwe of the Minnesota Vikings, at the organization’s fifth annual Straight for Equality Gala in New York City on Thursday, April 4th.

“It is an honor to present the Straight for Equality in Sports Award to Chris Kluwe and Brendon Ayanbadejo. We expect NFL players to be leaders in the community, and they are setting excellent examples,” said Tagliabue.  “When they speak out in support of marriage equality, they are contributing to a larger dialogue about full inclusion and equality for people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender. For PFLAG to be honoring them is particularly appropriate, because one of a parent’s greatest fears when their child is GLBT is that opportunities will be closed to their child. As long as professional team sports — and youth sports — are seen as not fully open, it contributes to this fear. Chris and Brendon are having a big impact in changing attitudes and making sports welcoming to all.”

For the complete release, click here

NFL Offseason Workout Program Dates Announced

Following is the NFL Offseason Workout Program calendar for 2013. Voluntary offseason workout programs are intended to provide training, teaching and physical conditioning for players.

As per Article 21 of the Collective Bargaining Agreement, each club’s official, voluntary nine-week offseason program is conducted in three phases:

Phase One consists of the first two weeks of the program with activities limited to strength and conditioning and physical rehabilitation only.

Phase Two consists of the next three weeks of the program.  On-field workouts may include individual player instruction and drills as well as team practice conducted on a “separates” basis.  No live contact or team offense vs. team defense drills are permitted.

Phase Three consists of the next four weeks of the program.  Teams may conduct a total of 10 days of organized team practice activity, or “OTAs”.  No live contact is permitted, but 7-on-7, 9-on-7, and 11-on-11 drills are permissible.

Article 22 of the Collective Bargaining Agreement stipulates that clubs may hold one mandatory minicamp for veteran players.  This minicamp, noted below, must occur during Phase Three of the offseason program.  Head coaches hired after the end of the 2012 season are also entitled to conduct an additional voluntary veteran minicamp.

Each club may hold a rookie football development program for a period of seven weeks, which in 2013 may begin on May 13.  During this period, no activities may be held on weekends, with the exception of one post-NFL Draft rookie minicamp, which may be conducted on either the first or second weekend following the draft.  The dates of the post-draft rookie minicamps will be circulated at a later date.

For the complete release, click here

NFL Health and Safety Update—March 27, 2013

For the complete release, click here

2013 NFL Draft Order

The 2013 NFL Draft will be held on April 25-27 in New York and will kick off in primetime for the fourth consecutive year.

The first round will be held on Thursday, April 25 and begin at 8:00 PM ET.  The second and third rounds are set for Friday, April 26 at 6:30 PM ET followed by rounds 4-7 on Saturday, April 27 at Noon ET.

For the 2013 NFL Draft order for all seven rounds, including compensatory selections, click here

NFL Media Scores A Record 24 Sports Emmy Award Nominations

Record Number of Nominations for NFL Network & NFL.com

Critically Acclaimed ‘A Football Life’ Series Receives Nominations for Second Consecutive Year

NFL Network Personalities Rich Eisen, Kurt Warner & Mike Mayock Secure Nominations 

NFL Films-Produced ‘Hard Knocks: Training Camp with the Miami Dolphins’ Receives Four Nominations 

NFL Media – comprised of NFL Network, NFL Films, NFL RedZone, NFL.com and NFL Mobile – received 24 Sports Emmy Award nominations, the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences announced today. This total surpasses the 18 nominations NFL Media received in 2010, setting a new record.

This year, NFL Network earned a record 16 Sports Emmy Award nominations. Also setting a record with its 16 nominations, NFL Films is the only company with nominated programs produced for four TV networks (HBO, NBC Sports Network, NFL Network and Showtime).


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Transcript: NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell Annual Meeting Press Conference – March 20, 2013

NFL COMMISSIONER ROGER GOODELL; NFL VICE PRESIDENT OF OFFICIATING DEAN BLANDINO; NFL SENIOR DIRECTOR OF OFFICIATING ALBERTO RIVERON; ATLANTA FALCONS PRESIDENT & CEO & COMPETITION COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN RICH MC KAY; & ST. LOUIS RAMS HEAD COACH & COMPETITION COMMITTEE MEMBER JEFF FISHER

2013 ANNUAL LEAGUE MEETING PRESS CONFERENCE

THE BILTMORE, PHOENIX, ARIZ.

 March 20, 2013

Opening statement:

Goodell: We finished our session this morning a little bit in advance. We only had Competition Committee matters this morning.  (Rams head coach and Competition Committee member) Jeff Fisher is here to go through some of the rule changes that we passed.

As you know, this meeting is primarily about evaluating our rules both from a safety standpoint and what we think we can do to improve and make the game better.  We made some very significant progress on both of those fronts, which Jeff and (Falcons president & CEO and Competition Committee chairman) Rich McKay will be here to discuss shortly.

We also had a productive session as it relates to other matters, particularly stadium related.  We have some stadium projects that are moving along – Minnesota and Buffalo – that are all very positive.

As you all know, Monday we spent a fair amount of time with a group of fans who demonstrated their passion and gave us quite a bit of feedback.  It was a great session for us.

We had a good opportunity over the last few days to get everybody on the same page of what are our priorities, what are our challenges and what are our strategies going forward.  The meetings were extremely successful and positive.

For the complete transcript, click here

NFL Health and Safety Update—March 20, 2013

For the complete release, click here

2012 Performance-Based Pay Distributions Announced; Bengals’ Burfict Top Earner

Cincinnati Bengals linebacker VONTAZE BURFICT earned the top figure in the NFL’s “Performance-Based Pay” program that compensates players for playing time based upon their salary levels, the NFL announced today.

Approximately $110.72 million of Performance-Based Pay will be distributed to players for their performance during the 2012 season.  Burfict, a 2012 undrafted free agent from Arizona State, earned $299,465 in additional pay.  As an undrafted free agent, Burfict played for the league’s rookie minimum salary of $390,000 last year and an additional signing bonus of $1,000.

Players have been paid nearly $700 million cumulatively since the inception of the Performance-Based Pay program, which was implemented as part of the NFL’s 2002 Collective Bargaining Agreement with the NFL Players Association.

Under the Performance-Based Pay system, a fund is created and used as a supplemental form of player compensation based on a comparison of playing time to salary. Players become eligible to receive a bonus distribution in any regular season in which they play at least one official down.

Performance-Based Pay is computed by using a “player index.”  To produce the index, a player’s regular-season playtime (total plays on offense, defense and special teams) is divided by his adjusted regular-season compensation (full season salary, prorated portion of signing bonus, earned incentives).  Each player’s index is then compared to those of the other players on his team to determine the amount of his pay.

For the complete release, click here

Cowboys and Dolphins To Kick Off Preseason in 2013 NFL/Hall of Fame Game August 4 on NBC

The Dallas Cowboys and Miami Dolphins will kick off the 2013 preseason in the NFL/Hall of Fame Game on Sunday, August 4 at 8:00 PM ET on NBC.

The game will be played at Fawcett Stadium in Canton, Ohio one day after the newest class of enshrinees is formally inducted into the Hall of Fame on Saturday, August 3. Three of the seven members of the Class of 2013 have ties to the participating teams.

Guard Larry Allen is the 14th longtime member of the Cowboys franchise to earn election to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He starred for the team from 1994-2005 and was named All-Pro seven times. Bill Parcells finished his Hall of Fame coaching career with four seasons in Dallas from 2003-06. He also spent time in the Dolphins front office as the club’s Executive Vice President of Football Operations (2007-2010). Wide receiver Cris Carter closed out his playing career with the Dolphins in 2002.
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Transcript: Competition Committee Press Conference with St. Louis Rams Head Coach Jeff Fisher, NFL Vice President of Officiating Dean Blandino and NFL Senior Director of Officiating Alberto Riveron

Competition Committee Press Conference with St. Louis Rams Head Coach Jeff Fisher, NFL Vice President of Officiating Dean Blandino and NFL Senior Director of Officiating Alberto Riveron

Monday, March 18, 2013

Jeff Fisher: We will discuss the possible rules changes twice with the coaches, once with the membership. Tomorrow they will be discussed with the entire membership and the owners. There is a chance we may do some voting tomorrow on several of these, but if we don’t get to them then clearly we’ll be finishing up on Wednesday. Playing Rule Proposal No. 1, it’s the instant replay proposal. I think you’re all familiar with that. Basically in a situation where a coach throws a [challenge] flag and he shouldn’t, we’re basically going to charge him a timeout instead of penalizing him. The only time he would be penalized is if he does not have a challenge or for some reason throws the flag inside of two minutes. That one basically is going to allow us to go ahead and review the play even though the coach challenged it when he shouldn’t of. In most cases, those plays are going to be related to turnovers and scoring plays.”

Dean Blandino: “That’s the Thanksgiving Day game, the Detroit play. Coach [Jim] Schwartz threw the flag when it was an automatic review by the replay official. So take that same play in 2013, the play still gets reviewed but Detroit is charged a timeout. If they don’t have a timeout, then it’s a 15-yard penalty.”

Fisher: “And it still would be reviewed.”

Blandino: “And it still would be reviewed, so we would be able to fix that mistake.”

Fisher: “So I think it’s a good, clean Proposal No. 1. We have another one that just relates to jersey numbering. Numbers are in our rule book and anytime we propose a change to the rule book, we have to make a proposal. We have a lot of tight ends and H-backs now that are starting to wear 40 numbers, and currently in the rule book it doesn’t permit them to. So we’re going to allow tight ends, H-backs and fullbacks to wear the 40 numbers. And then the next non-player safety related proposal relates to the Tuck Rule. Arm coming forward, ball comes out – incomplete, incomplete, incomplete. As soon as the passer attempts bring the ball back to his body or actually tuck it back to his body, if it comes out it’s a fumble. If he completes the tuck and then the ball comes out, it’s still a fumble. We’ve been asked why all of a sudden? We’ve been talking about it for years, we have two years of historical data now with replay reviewing turnovers. It’s being ruled a turnover, it’s being ruled a fumble on the field; we have two years of that. Officials are getting it right and we all think it’s a fumble, so now let it be a fumble.”

On if the Tom Brady play in the playoffs against the Oakland Raiders would be ruled a fumble under the proposed rule change to the Tuck Rule:

Blandino: “Correct.”

Fisher: “Correct. This is not retroactive by the way.”

For the complete transcript, click here