NFL Announces 32 Compensatory Draft Choices To 14 Clubs

A total of 32 compensatory choices in the 2015 NFL Draft have been awarded to 14 teams, the NFL announced today.

Under the rules for compensatory draft selections, a team losing more or better compensatory free agents than it acquires in the previous year is eligible to receive compensatory draft picks.

The number of picks a team receives equals the net loss of compensatory free agents up to a maximum of four. The 32 compensatory choices announced today will supplement the 224 choices in the seven rounds of the 2015 NFL Draft held on April 30-May 2 in Chicago.

For the complete release, click here

Competition Committee Press Conference Transcript




McKay: Okay, good afternoon. I think I will go first and then I will turn it over to Jeff and to Dean. Usually we go through all the proposals; I’m not sure we need to do that at this time – there were a lot of them. Jeff knows them by heart so he can go through them, but I don’t think we’ll start on that. I think what I’d like to start with today is there is a proposal we didn’t cover on the call the other day and that is Resolution G-2 which was given to the clubs today and that resolution deals with a medical stoppage by the ATC spotter – that’s the spotter that’s upstairs in the press box that will, if passed, will then have the authority to stop the game if they see a player that displays obvious signs of disorientation or is clearly unstable. So in other words, Dean instructs all the officials on the field to make sure we look for players that might be in distress and have them leave the game. But in case we miss a player, this ATC spotter will have the ability to stop the game, to radio to the side judge, I think it is, and have the side judge stop the game, have the player removed for a play, so the player will be looked at. So that is a resolution that we hadn’t covered with any of you last week just because we were still developing it as a committee and it was given to the clubs this morning.

I’ll have Dean cover with you ‘catch/no-catch’ because I know there is interest in that and he’s got video to show you. And I thought I’d have Jeff talk a little bit about – I know we gave you our position on instant replay – the reason we gave it to you in writing is because it was longer than we typically take a position on and there are a lot of different points to it so we just wanted to cover it in writing. So, if you want, I’ll let Jeff talk to you a little bit about replay and all the replay proposals and what we put in writing for you.

Fisher: As we talked during the week we have 13 of the 18 proposals presented by the clubs deal with instant replay in one shape or another. Whether it’s ‘review everything,’ whether it’s to be able to review fouls on defenseless players, whether it’s increase the number of challenges involving the game clock, the play clock, those kinds of things. There is one proposal that the committee favors and that’s the one with respect to the timing on the game clock, not the play clock, but the game clock at the end of the half or the end of the game. And it needs to be more than one second at issue. And so we’re going to obviously see how that goes with the vote.

The committee’s position for years has been to oppose involving fouls in replay for a lot of different reasons – for two different standards that we’ve talked about. We’ve looked at a lot of tape this offseason, we looked at the fouls particularly relating to hits on defenseless players. We had 27 of them this year, we looked at them as a group. We could not agree on a number of them, that’s just the nature of the standard in replay. A number of these fouls will go, on Monday morning, at the league office from the officiating department to player discipline and oftentimes that process will take 20-30 minutes, maybe an hour, to determine whether it was in fact a foul. So you can see the issues that we’re going to have if we involve those things in replay.

The Canadian Football League experimented – a one-year experiment last year – with adding to replay defensive pass interference, where the coach could actually generate the foul. They had 55 instances during the season. Forty-nine of those were initiated by the coach, so the coach basically in essence became an official in those instances and only six were overturned. There are a lot of things at stake and the big thing is the standard. The standard is very, very difficult. The on-the-field, full-speed standard versus the frame-by-frame review and basically what you’re doing is adding another element of subjectivity. So those are the basic reason for the committee being opposed to adding fouls to replay.

Blandino: I’ll take you through the ‘catch/no-catch’. A lot of discussion about the process of the catch. What is and what isn’t possession? This was generated, obviously, with the play from the Divisional Playoff game with Dallas and Green Bay. The committee doesn’t recommend a change to the rule, but looked at the language and tweaked the language in an attempt to make it clearer and easier to understand. For years the requirements for a catch – the way it was communicated in the rule book is control, both feet and then after that the receiver had to have the ball long enough to perform an act common to the game – and that was defined as being able to pitch it, pass it, clearly advance the ball as a runner. I think as part of this discussion around this play it was that ‘act common to the game,’ football move, whatever you want to call it, that I think created some confusion. And so in an effort to clear that up the committee looked at the language and made several changes. So in order to complete a catch, the receiver has to have control, both feet on the ground and he has to have it after that long enough to clearly establish himself as a runner. And this would fall directly in line with our defenseless player rule where we say a receiver is protected until he can clearly establish himself as a runner. What does that mean? That means he has the ability to ward off, avoid, protect himself from the impending contact. And then we get into is the player going to the ground or falling to the ground to make the catch or is he completing the catch while upright? Well, if he can clearly establish himself as a runner, then he’s not going to the ground to make the catch. If he hasn’t clearly established himself as a runner prior to going to the ground, then he has to hold on to the ball until after his initial contact with the ground. And that’s the rule that applied here. When you watch the play, Bryant is going to the ground. He is falling to the ground to make the catch, he has not clearly established himself as a runner prior to going to the ground, so he has to hold on to the ball until after that initial contact with the ground. He’s basically got to hold on to it throughout this action. If the ball touches the ground and comes loose, it’s an incomplete pass. And you’ll see the ball hit the ground and then it pops loose. That’s all part of the catch process and so the committee looked at the language and feels ‘clearly establishing himself as a runner’ makes the rule a little bit easier to understand. And when we talk about ‘clearly establishing himself as a runner,’ just a couple of examples. Where here, the receiver has control, both feet and he clearly becomes a runner and then extends the football out for the goal line. The difference between this play and the Bryant play is that here the receiver has possession, he’s become a runner and then he extends the ball for the goal line. If the ball breaks the plane in possession of a runner, it’s a touchdown at that point. Another example here where the receiver, he’s not going to the ground to make the catch. He has control, both feet down, he has the ability to ward off, protect himself from contact, so he doesn’t have to protect himself when he lands. Just one more example when we talk about holding the ball until after the initial contact you’ll see here Nelson goes to the ground, he lands on the ground and then the defender knocks it loose. That’s a catch because he has completed the requirements, held the ball until after his initial contact. His initial contact is there, then the defender knocks it loose. So the committee looked at a lot of tape, didn’t recommend a change to the rule but wanted to clean up some of the language, put it more in line with the defenseless player rule and the receiver who can clearly establish himself as a runner does not have to hold on to the football if he subsequently goes to the ground to be a catch.

Dean, in the change of that wording on the Calvin Johnson rule, the difference between time to make a football act and establishing yourself as a runner, do you feel there’s any difference in those two? Are there any plans where the ruling changes from one thing to another based on that difference in wording? Read more

NFL Announces Process For Obtaining Tickets To 2015 NFL Draft In Chicago

2015 NFL Draft

Fans interested in attending the 2015 NFL Draft, April 30-May 2, may register at for a chance to win two free tickets beginning Tuesday, March 24 at 12:00 p.m. ET until Sunday, April 5 at 11:59 p.m. ET. Winners will be randomly selected.

A limited number of tickets are available for both the Auditorium Theatre and Selection Square areas for Thursday (Round 1) and Friday (Rounds 2-3). On Saturday (Rounds 4-7), a limited number of tickets are available for Selection Square as the Auditorium Theatre will be open to the public for tours and photo opportunities. Seating is free in both the Auditorium Theatre and Selection Square, but limited.

As previously announced, Draft Town presented by Oikos Triple Zero is the free, expansive interactive Draft celebration in Grant Park open all three days of the Draft. Full of music, food and more, the 900,000-square foot celebration is the size of more than 15 football fields. No tickets are required.


Important Dates for Fan Ticket Distribution:

  • March 24-April 5: Fans can register for the chance to win two tickets to the Draft at com/DraftTown. Fans will receive their unique Fan Mobile Pass QR code via email after entering the contest.
  • April 6: Fans selected as winners will receive an e-mail on or around April 6 containing the date (one of three days), venue (either Auditorium Theatre or Selection Square) and instructions for confirming attendance. E-mail notifications will be distributed to fans who did not win at a later date.
  • April 8: Deadline for selected fans to confirm attendance. Upon submitting acceptance information, fans will automatically receive a final confirmation e-mail which will include check-in details for the specified Draft day.
  • April 30-May 2: The winning fan will need to present a government issued photo ID and their unique Fan Mobile Pass QR code at Draft Town to check-in and receive wristbands, while their guest will need to present a government issued photo ID (if over 18 years of age) on the selected day during designated hours. Wristbands are required to secure tickets for entry into the Draft. Fans will receive instructions detailing the time and location to exchange wristbands for tickets and access to venue.

Round 1 festivities, slated for 6:00 p.m. ET on Thursday, April 30, will include incoming prospects walking the red carpet on Michigan Avenue before heading into the theatre for the start of the Draft (8:00 p.m. ET). Thirty-two former players from the NFL Legends community, one representing each team, will be on hand for Round 2 presented by Bud Light and Round 3 to announce selections on Friday, May 1 beginning at 7:00 p.m. ET.

On Saturday, May 2 beginning at 12:00 p.m. ET, Rounds 4-7 will mark another Draft innovation. The event will take place outside at Selection Square and in locations across the country. Teams will announce their Draft selections at their facilities and other locations in their city. Fans in Chicago will have the opportunity to take photos onstage at the Auditorium Theatre.

The 2015 NFL Draft will be televised nationally by NFL Network and ESPN and can be heard nationwide on SiriusXM NFL Radio.

For more details on the chance to win Draft tickets, visit Fans should follow @NFL on Twitter and use #NFLDraft for the most up-to-date information. Fans in Chicago are encouraged to share their experience using #DraftTown.

For the complete release, click here


NFL Announces Free Fan Opportunities For 2015 NFL Draft In Chicago

NFL Turns Chi-Town into Draft Town

As fans nationwide celebrate the 80th NFL Draft, April 30-May 2, the NFL will bring unprecedented free fan experiences, flag football competitions, musical entertainment, autograph sessions and more to the host city of Chicago, the NFL announced today.

The Draft will take place at Chicago’s historic Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University, and for the first time, will expand outside to adjacent parks. Congress Plaza will host Selection Square, home of the 32 team Draft tables, Grant Park will be transformed into Draft Town presented by Oikos Triple Zero, a free, three-day outdoor interactive fan football festival spanning the size of 15 football fields.

For the complete release, click here

NFL Legends Community Newsletter – March 2015

Legends Header

The NFL League Office stays in regular contact with its former players, passing along vital information via email each month about benefits and services available to them & their families as well as alerting them to where other members of the NFL Legends Community are currently living and working.

The March 2015 edition of NFL Legends Community Newsletter included a list of 20 player alumni who have gone on to successful careers on and off the field. To view the full edition, click here.

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Competition Committee Conference Call

Competition Committee Conference Call with NFL Executive Vice President of Football Operations Troy Vincent, Atlanta Falcons President & CEO and Competition Committee Chairman Rich McKay and St. Louis Rams Head Coach and Competition Committee member Jeff Fisher


Rich McKay: I like to start every year this call with kind of understanding the process that we go through as a committee in concert with the league office in trying to develop the Competition Committee report which we will pass out to the membership either late Sunday or early Monday. This year I think the report is 100 pages long as it typically is and so there’s a lot of work that goes into it.

We send a survey out usually at the end of the year in late-December, early-January to every club. We hear from presidents, we hear from coaches, we hear from owners. We take it all in and we try to come up with proposals based off of that. We met four days in Indianapolis that included meeting with Coach Madden’s sub-committee, which is always very enlightening to hear that many coaches in one room with the issues that they face during the year and the issues that they want us to focus on. We meet with the GMs, the General Manager Advisory Committee, we meet with the NFLPA, that includes leadership and players, and then we conclude the week by meeting with the NCAA and going through what’s on their agenda, what’s worked for them and what we think has worked for us and we share a lot of information. It’s a really productive meeting.

We then went back to Naples a week later and met for six days there. At that time, too, we take the time to go through what the league office and Dean Blandino and others collect through the year from people like yourselves, from fans, from coaches, from everybody that’s sending in suggestions, ideas, sending in video, asking us to look at plays. We kind of go through all of that. The clubs themselves have submitted rule proposals in the past. This year they submitted quite a few. We’ve got bylaw proposals, we’ve got resolutions from clubs and then obviously we have some from the Competition Committee itself that we developed over the time we were together.

For the complete transcript, click here

Bracketology: The Greatest Game of All Time — Fans to Determine the Greatest NFL Game of All Time

Fourth Annual ‘Bracketology’ Begins Monday, March 16

32 Games Divided Into Four Brackets

Fans Can Access All 32 Games Featured on NFL Now

What is the greatest NFL game of all time?’s fourth annual edition of Bracketology seeks to answer the long-standing debate. Starting Monday, March 16, fans will decide the greatest game of all time by voting at

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Official 2014 NFL Statistics

For the Official 2014 NFL Statistics, click here

2014 Performance-Based Pay Distributions Announced; Bills’ Henderson Top Earner

Buffalo Bills tackle SEANTREL HENDERSON 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.

Players will receive $116.256 million in Performance-Based Pay for their performance during the 2014 season.

For the complete release, click here

Four NFL Players To Participate In Middle East USO Tour

Four NFL players who excel on the field and in their community are continuing a USO-NFL tradition initiated nearly 50 years ago. These NFL ambassadors are taking part in a week-long USO tour throughout the Middle East to visit U.S. troops at military bases.

New Orleans Saints defensive tackle AKIEM HICKS, Cleveland Browns center ALEX MACK and free agent WILL SVITEK are the players participating in a USO tour this year and will be accompanied by former Atlanta Falcons linebacker BRIAN BANKS, now an employee in the NFL league office officiating department. This trip marks the first USO-NFL tour abroad for Hicks, Svitek and Banks, while Mack took part in a 2012 USO tour.

For the complete release, click here