Tag:Roger Goodell
Posted on: August 22, 2011 8:46 pm

Talib, Britt to meet with Goodell Tuesday

Posted by Ryan Wilson

For all the wrong reasons, Buccaneers cornerback Aqib Talib and Titans wide receiver Kenny Britt had busy offseasons. And now both players will meet this week with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell to discuss possible disciplinary measures for violations to the league's personal-conduct policy.

In May, Talib was indicted by a grand jury for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. (He later blamed his mother.) The trial was moved to next spring, and Talib now says he's ready to move on with the season (although Goodell will probably have something to say about that).

Britt, meanwhile, was arrested a day after a court appearance, and blamed hackers for disparaging remarks about Goodell that showed up on his Facebook page.

According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, Talib and Britt will be at the league offices in Manhattan on Tuesday to talk to Goodell, and a "lengthy" fine could be in both their futures. Schefter adds that Talib's attorneys "are convinced they have a sound defense that will appease the NFL and could help save their client."

Apparently, Talib's attorney's aren't familiar with Goodell and his knack for arbitrarily handing out punishments.  And that leads us to this: expect to hear complaints that Goodell shouldn't discipline players for infractions that happened during the lockout.

We agree, it's ludicrous. But so is granting one man the power to serve as judge, jury and executioner, which is exactly what happened with the new collective bargaining agreement.

Titans' union rep Jake Scott told ESPN.com's Paul Kuharsky that the NFLPA would challenge any sanctions levied by Goodell.

"I'm still a big believer that the league should have any authority to discipline guys for things that ... happened while there was no CBA," he said. "There was a separation agreement issued from the teams to the players, which means we what it means: It means, 'We don't want anything to do with you.' "To me, nothing means nothing."

Britt, meanwhile, is optimistic that he'll avoid punishment.

"We'll have a sit-down, talk over what happened, see where our minds are at, see where I am at and see what happens from there," Britt told Kuharsky Monday. " ... I'm being hopeful that nothing happens to me. I plan on being real. I was brought up to be a man of his word, a man who takes up for his actions and things like that. That's how my father raised me up and that's how I will go in there tomorrow."

Given Goodell's history, we'd be just as surprised with lifetime suspensions for Britt and Talib as $50 fines. 

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Posted on: August 20, 2011 3:01 pm
Edited on: August 20, 2011 3:47 pm

Terrelle Pryor's pro day draws plenty of interest

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Whether or not Terrelle Pryor is a sure-fire first-round pick in next week’s supplemental draft or if he’s more of a late-rounds attraction (or somewhere in between), there’s little doubt that he drew plenty of interest during his Pro Day on Saturday.

According to NFL.com’s Albert Breer, about half of the league’s teams had scouts in attendance, including the Steelers, Redskins, Saints, Buccaneers, Cowboys, Chargers, Bills, Browns, Bengals, Lions, Colts, Eagles, Raiders, Dolphins, 49ers and the Patriots (the Steelers also filmed the proceedings for teams that couldn’t make it but wanted to see what they had missed).

Pryor's Pro Day
All of them were in for a treat when the 6-foot-5, 230-pound Pryor, in his first timed 40, ran somewhere between a 4.38 and a 4.41 (his second attempt was a bit slower but still in the 4.4 range). Pryor also took a physical, and he was scheduled to take the Wonderlic Test.

Also in attendance was former Ohio State coach Jim Tressel, who (via FSN Ohio’s Zac Jackson) offered area scouts his phone number in case they wanted to follow up with him about Pryor’s abilities. Later in the day, Steelers coach Mike Tomlin made a cameo appearance as well.

According to Breer, Pryor completed 27 of 39 passes to moving targets with four drops. Afterward, Pryor's agent Drew Rosenhaus said Pryor would not appeal the five-game suspension handed down by commissioner Roger Goodell and that he would be willing to play any position on the field.

So, what does any of this mean? I guess we’ll find out Monday during the draft, but even if Pryor isn’t a legit NFL quarterback (that completion percentage doesn’t look so great against thin air), there’s no doubt that Pryor’s physicality makes him an elite athlete.

Perhaps even an NFL tight end.

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Posted on: August 19, 2011 1:44 pm
Edited on: August 19, 2011 4:47 pm

Pryor's lawyer plans to appeal 5-game suspension

Posted by Ryan Wilson

On Thursday, the league declared former Ohio State quarterback Terrelle Pryor eligible for the supplemental draft, but with the caveat that he must serve a five-game suspension should he sign with an NFL team. Pryor's agent, Drew Rosenhaus, originally backed the decision imposed by commissioner Roger Goodell.

On Friday, Pryor's lawyer, David Cornwell, appearing on ESPN Radio's Mike & Mike, sounded like someone who had plans to -- you guessed it -- appeal Goodell's decision.

“[Goodell] indicated that we have the right to appeal within three days after Terrelle signs an NFL contract, and given some of the developments both in reaching the decision and comments out of the [NFL Players Association] regarding the decision, I think it’s likely that we will file an appeal, and give the Players Association an opportunity to make it’s objections to this on the record,” Cornwell said, according wire reports

This assumes, of course, that Pryor will be drafted on August 22. Surely, someone in Pryor's camp must have those assurances because the timing of Cornwall's announcement could scare off potential suitors (and who knows, it still might).

The bigger issue is (and we seem to be saying this all the time) Goodell's role in all this. As CBSSports.com's Mike Freeman wrote Thursday, the league would like to discipline NFL players who run afoul of NCAA rules, and the decision to suspend Pryor for five games was Goodell's way of circumventing the current guidelines that prevent that.

"What Roger Goodell did in suspending Pryor is get the NCAA's back. The NFL and NCAA both feel that players are breaking rules on the college level thinking they can use the NFL as an escape hatch. The NFL wants to stop that mentality. What Goodell did was also send a message to the union. If you won't work with us on this, then I'll use the commissioner power to make the decisions myself."

PFT's Mike Florio echoes many of the sentiments Freeman laid out: "If the NFLPA lets this one slide, then the NFL will try in the future to take similar action when a former college player who has gotten himself in trouble with the NCAA wants to play pro football."

Not surprisingly, the players are concerned, too. "I know players are concerned about the message this sends," said Browns linebacker Scott Fujita, a member of the players' executive committee. "Granted, making this 'deal' was an individual decision made by a player with counsel from his agent and lawyer. They have every right to make whatever deal they want for his personal future. That being said, the general concern now is how far into Pandora's box this may go."

And that's the problem.

Next up: seeing which teams are impressed enough with Pryor's workout to draft him. The Cleveland Plain Dealer's Mary Kay Cabot writes that the Browns will be on hand for Pryor's Saturday pro day. Also worth mentioning: in June, the Browns were already doing their due dliigence on Pryor. We think it's safe to say that they like him. Just at what cost?

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Posted on: August 19, 2011 10:50 am
Edited on: August 19, 2011 3:56 pm

NFL punishment of Kenny Britt 'is pending'

Posted by Ryan Wilson

Despite the four-month lockout, Titans wide receiver Kenny Britt kept plenty busy this offseason. Unfortunately, it had nothing to do with football and everything to do with running afoul of the law. Getting arrested a day after a court appearance had to be the lowlight. And for sheer comedy value, nothing beat the "I didn't say those things about the NFL Commissioner -- my Facebook page was hacked!" incident.

Britt was so regularly in trouble that there was speculation that commissioner Roger Goodell would punish him after the lockout ended. There were concerns that Goodell didn't have the authority to punish Britt, who wasn't apart of the NFL at the time (the owners had locked the players out, and the NFLPA had disbanded).

Now that order has been restored, a new collective bargaining agreement signed, and training camps and preseason games underway, the NFL may revisit Britt's offseason misadventures.

NFL spokesman Greg Aiello told Terry McCormick of TitanInsider that potential league discipline regarding Britt “is pending" and that the matter is still on the table.

On Thursday, Britt told McCormick that he has yet to hear from the commissioner but is expecting a call. “I'm waiting for my agent or somebody to text me or call me that I have to come and talk to somebody," Britt said. "That's what I'm waiting for. I think I'll have to (Goodell). I'm waiting if it's pending. My agent was telling me to stand by and wait for some paperwork, but the only paperwork that's come is my Nike contract.”

Good news on the Nike contract, not-so-good news on potential impending punishments.

But as PFT's Mike Florio points out Friday morning, "The idea that the league could impose discipline on players for things happening away from work at a time when they weren’t permitted to go to work falls beyond any bounds of fairness, logic, and common sense."

(Related: Steelers linebacker James Harrison faced a similar fate for comments he made about the commissioner during the lockout, although he wasn't punished.)

We mentioned it several times Thursday in light of the NFL's decision to make Terrelle Pryor eligible for the supplemental draft: This is what happens when you give one person -- in this case Goodell -- the power to make decisions regarding on- and off-field discipline. He has a history of arbitrarily meting out sanctions, and in that sense, no one should be surprised by anything he might do.

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Posted on: August 18, 2011 5:33 pm

Owners haven't forgotten about 18-game schedule

BisciottiPosted by Josh Katzowitz

In case you thought the owners were just going to forget about a proposed 18-game schedule simply because the players successfully tabled that discussion from the recently-signed CBA, that doesn’t mean the issue still isn’t on at least one owner’s mind (and probably on the mind of every owner and commissioner Roger Goodell).

"I think it became such a flashpoint, that our negotiating team figured that it wasn't worth pushing," said Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti, via the Carroll County Times. "What we did as a show of faith was to go from what we had as a unilateral opportunity to impose 18 games in the old CBA, we agreed to let it become a negotiating point with the union going forward. Nobody likes things being forced on them, and the fact that the old CBA made it clear that we could impose it on them, I think that it kind of made them angrier that they didn't feel like they were getting heard.

"We felt that it was in our players' best interests to leave it out of this fight and open it up for negotiation a year or two from now and see what the additional revenue would be so that they're making a decision with eyes wide open."

As CBSSports.com’s Clark Judge pointed out last month, an 18-game schedule could begin by 2013 if the players agreed to it. Even if it seems like hardly anybody, but the NFL, is interested in pursuing it or watching it.

Obviously, this is an issue that has been hovering over the labor negotiations for the past few years, and the players were adamant about not getting a new schedule included in the latest CBA. Here was my interview with Bengals T Andrew Whitworth way back in June 2010 about this very subject:

CBSSports.com: Lots of talk today and yesterday about the 18-game schedule. What are your thoughts?

Andrew Whitworth: We want to do anything to make the game better for the fans. If an 18-game schedule will do that, that would be great. But there’s also some things player-wise and health-wise that might be an issue. We feel like if we’re going to have to do that, there has to be some things that change as far as the offseason and training camp.

CBS: Are you talking about just the offseason stuff, or are you also talking about increased health care?

AW: You have to do one of two things; you have to improve the situation now with improving the OTAs or during the season where there’s less contact or you’ve got to attack the health-care issue and give the guys better health care when they’re done. Right now, with most players, even if they play 15 years, they only have -- at the most -- five year of health care. That’s kind of ridiculous what guys go through.

CBS: Do you think the 18-game schedule will happen?

AW: I think the owners definitely want it. I know they’ve prepared for it in their future schedules from what I’ve seen. It’s something they’ll go forward with. But there has to be other things that improve for that to happen.

In the new CBA, the owners gave the players health care for life, and they’ve lessened the offseason workout schedule as well, all in the name of player health. So, it’s not like the players can say the owners don’t care about the well-being of their employees (they even changed the kickoff rules!).

But at some point, it seems inevitable that an 18-game schedule will be part of the NFL season. Remember, Colts president Bill Polian called an 18-game season “fait accompli.” But, like Judge points out, we still can’t figure out how the league can claim to care so much about player safety and then add two more games to the schedule. It doesn’t make sense.

Unless, we’re discussing what the NFL really cares about: money. Then, it makes all the sense in the world.

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Posted on: August 18, 2011 1:44 pm
Edited on: August 18, 2011 1:55 pm

Vick, NFL say he wasn't steered to Philly

Posted by Ryan Wilson

On Wednesday, GQ previewed their feature on Michael Vick, which included a quote from the Eagles quarterback that suggested NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell steered him towards Philadelphia.

"I think I can say this now, because it's not going to hurt anybody's feelings, and it's the truth," Vick told GQ author Will Leitch. "I didn't want to come to Philadelphia. Being the third-team quarterback is nothing to smile about. Cincinnati and Buffalo were better options." Leith wrote that those two teams wanted him and would've allowed him to start, but after meeting with commissioner Roger Goodell and other reps from the NFL, Vick was convinced — and granted league approval — to sign with Philly. "And I commend and thank them, because they put me in the right situation."

By Thursday afternoon, NFL spokesman Greg Aiello had sent a series of tweets refuting Vick's recounting of events.

"On the Michael Vick story: His decision on where to play to put himself in the best position to succeed was entirely his own... Commissioner Goodell obviously met & spoke to Michael and his reps as part of his decision on whether to reinstate him & on what terms... But the commissioner would never steer players to or away from particular teams and did not do so in this case."

Eagles Offseason

The full GQ interview went live Thursday morning, and by midday, Vick was backtracking from his comments. He released the following statement through the Eagles website:

"I felt it was necessary to put out a statement today clarifying the article in GQ Magazine. I did speak with many people, but the decision to sign in Philadelphia was based on my discussions with my agent, my family and with Coach Reid. And after those discussions, it became clear to me that this was the place I wanted to play and resume my NFL career. The Commissioner never told me to sign or not sign with particular teams. Again, I want to make it perfectly clear that this was a decision I made and, as I have said numerous times before, I’m very happy with the way it has worked out for me and my family."

Make of this what you will.

As ESPN's Adam Schefter tweeted Thursday after Vick's statement, "Does anyone really believe if Buffalo or Cincinnati offered Mike Vick more money than Philly, he wouldn't have gone there?" Good question, especially if one or both of those teams were willing to make Vick the starter.

CBSSports.com's Mike Freeman doesn't buy Vick's revised story, either.

Just remember: Goodell is the same guy NFL players decided to keep as judge, jury and executioner on all matters of punishment in the new collective bargaining agreement. Truthfully, is anyone shocked that a billion-dollar corporation would go into damage-control mode after such a revelation? Especially when the man in charge is as powerful as he's ever been?

In related news, we're expecting Vick to stick to his original story that the struggles at the end of his Falcons career rest solely with the coaching staff's inability to correctly assess his talents.

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Posted on: August 18, 2011 9:51 am
Edited on: August 18, 2011 11:40 am

NFL rules Pryor eligible for supplemental draft

Terrelle Pryor is eligible for the upcoming NFL Supplemental Draft, but is suspended for the first five games of the season. Pete Prisco joins Lauren Shehadi to discuss the latest.

Posted by Ryan Wilson

Earlier this week, the league postponed the NFL Supplemental Draft, originally scheduled for Wednesday, August 17. There was no reason given, but presumably the decision was made to give the NFL more time to consider if former Ohio State quarterback Terrelle Pryor should be made eligible for the draft.

On Thursday, the NFL announced that the draft has been rescheduled for August 22, and that Pryor will be eligible -- but with one caveat: "Pryor will be ineligible to practice prior to or play in the first five games of the NFL regular season after he signs."

Details via the NFL statement released to all 32 teams:

"... Pryor made decisions that undermine the integrity of the eligibility rules for the NFL Draft. Those actions included failing to cooperate with the NCAA and hiring an agent in violation of NCAA rules, which resulted in Ohio State declaring him ineligible to continue playing college football.

"Pryor then applied to enter the NFL after the regular draft. Pryor had accepted at the end of the 2010 college football season a suspension for the first five games of the 2011 season for violating NCAA rules. Pryor will be ineligible to practice prior to or play in the first five games of the NFL regular season after he signs."

Next up: finding a team interested enough in Pryor to actually select him. With the supplemental draft now four days away, Pryor will likely take part in a hastily convened pro day (his previous pro day was cancelled because he was still ineligible), and then it will be out of his hands.

In June, shortly after Pryor left Ohio State, agent Drew Rosenhaus announced in a press conference that he expected Pryor to be a "first-round pick." Reviews from NFL analysts and front-office types were far less glowing, indicating that Pryor was more likely a late-round selection. To his credit, Pryor said in July that he didn't care where he was taken as long as he got a chance.

Well, we'll find out next Monday exactly what NFL teams think he's worth.

via SBJ's Daniel Kaplan

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Posted on: August 18, 2011 9:02 am
Edited on: August 18, 2011 9:08 am

Suh will appeal $20,000 fine for hit on Dalton

Posted by Ryan Wilson

Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh tweeted Wednesday that he had been fined $20,000 for manhandling Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton in the Week 1 preseason game between the two teams.

(One of the setbacks to communicating through social media, texting or email is that it's difficult for the reader to divine the true emotions being conveyed by the sender. Emoticons, ironically, only confused things. That said, Suh's tweet left little room for misinterpretation. The all-caps, rhetorical question marks, 108 exclamations points (!), and the "BIGFAIL" hashtag sorts gave him away.)

It should come as no surprise then that Suh will appeal the fine.

“Am I going to appeal it? Who wouldn’t?” Suh said Wednesday, according to the Detroit Free Press's Dave Birkett. “I mean, that’s my motto. Who wouldn’t? If you would, why wouldn’t I?”

Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton (14) tosses an interception against Detroit Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh, right, on his first play of the game in the first quarter of a NFL football game on Friday, Aug. 12, 2011, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Duane Burleson)

CBSSports.com's Mike Freeman was at Bengals training camp this week and he asked Dalton if Suh was a dirty player.

"I can't answer that. I don't know," said Dalton. "I thought what he did with me was a little over the top. I can tell you some of my teammates weren't happy about it. ...It was good to see those guys get my back. Suh is a big guy."

This makes the third time Suh, the Lions' 2010 first-round pick, has been fined for hits (or, as you'll soon see, pushes) to the quarterback. During the 2010 preseason, Suh appeared intent on removing Jake Delhomme's head from his body during a game against the Browns. That cost him $7,500. During the regular season Suh was docked another $15,000 for shoving Jay Cutler. (Yep, you read that right -- it was a hard shove. We know what you're thinking: the savagery tackle football has become.)

Lions defensive coordinator Gunther Cunningham said there's "no malicious intent" in Suh's game.

“I think what’s happened to him is I've never seen this player in my life, meaning there’s no one that’s ever played like this at defensive tackle," Cunningham said. "And if you watch the tape and you have any sense for athletes, that’s what you’re going to see. What happens to him, there were two guys blocking him in the game, he beat them both, clean as a whistle, and he felt like he had the tackle. The quarterback had the ball in his hand, and that was it, he took him down. And that’s what he's supposed to do."

To Suh's credit, he understands that his freakish combination of strength, speed and athleticism can sometimes make the mundane spectacular. And occasionally, spectacularly expensive.

“Honestly, I really feel that I put the refs in a tough situation because of my strength," he said. "A lot of us players growing up and coming in, we’re getting faster, stronger, and some guys just have incredible strength on that football field. So I feel like we put them in tough situations … I’m not going to fault them for making a call that they’re erring on the safer side, because safety is important. It’s important for myself, it’s important for a quarterback, it’s important for every last 22 players on the football field."

Despite concerns from some teams (most notably the Steelers), NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell retained the ability to punish players for both on and off-field behavior as part of the new collective bargaining agreement. Using history as a guide, Suh can go ahead and make that check out to his favorite NFL charity.

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com