The discussion behind pass interference and the “The Call That Wasn’t” this offseason was pretty intense. It didn’t take much time after the end of the season for the subject of making pass interference a challengable call was brought up. The NFL Competition Committee added a few caveats to the new rule, taking the challenge out of the coaches hands.
They’ve added some stipulations to the challenge after the 2-minute warning of each half. Challenges can only be initiated by Replay Official, and only “under stricter guidelines”. They are hoping this will lower the number of challenges in that time frame, and in turn not have too much added time to a game.
It’s something that almost every football fan I’ve talked to agreed on. There was a very good chance that there wouldn’t be football played in 2021. The Collective Bargaining Agreement is set to expire at the end of the 2020 season, and it looked like the two sides were gearing up for a long fight. However, signs this week are positive, with both sides playing nice.
The NFL and NFLPA started talking this week, and according to NFL.com reporter, Ian Rapoport, the negotiations started out quite well. He reported that things were “amicable and cordial”, but it’s still early.
Its not something we are used to. Traditionally using the word quiet and Jerry Jones in the same thought isn’t something you do. However, from the outside looking in, this off-season seems to have been somewhat quiet for the Dallas Cowboys. I decided to check in with David Howman, writer for bloggingtheboys.com, to see what was going on in Jerry’s world.
Talking about the off-season, David agreed that, from the outside, it may look like there hasn’t been much going on in Dallas. However, they have been busy.
“It was a very productive offseason for the Cowboys but not in the way most expect. They have a new offensive coordinator in Kellen Moore who should be upping the creativity and they added some low risk, high reward free agents while focusing on giving their own star players contract extensions.”
On Thursday the Seattle Seahawks lost two iconic players, wide receiver Doug Baldwin and strong safety Kam Chancellor. While fans had the last year to get used to the idea of life after Bam Bam Kam, losing ABD (Angry Doug Baldwin) on the same day was a double punch to the gut.
I feel like I have written a lot of these articles lately. My first was my article about cornerback Richard Sherman leaving Seattle. Truly one of the hardest articles I’ve ever had to write. I’ve written about free safety Earl Thomas also leaving the team and what that meant going forward. But this one is different. These aren’t players that decided to chase a dollar amount, which I totally support so don’t come at me, but the game taking such a toll that injuries require them to move on. Men, who by all accounts, are young and in their primes.
When people talk about NFL stars who were found in the late rounds of the draft, there are a few names that are always brought up. Tom Brady, Richard Sherman, Bo Jackson, Terrell Davis… it’s a long list. The western divisions in both conferences have a tendency to find these players regularly and turn them into superstars. Let’s take a look at this year’s picks and see if there could be another future star.
You can find an entire list of AFC draft picks for each team here.
Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson signed a 4-year extension late last night, making him the highest paid player in the NFL. Wilson’s contract was set to expire at the end of 2019, but with the extension, he’ll be with Seattle until 2023.
Some of the details of the contract are 4 years, $140 million, a $65 million signing bonus (highest in NFL history), with a total of $107 million guaranteed. These numbers are not a surprise, as most agreed that Wilson would overtake QB Aaron Rodgers as the highest paid player in the league.
There was a lot of hand wringing from fans in Seattle as trade rumors swirled, New York Giants fans were campaigning and Seattle fans were panicking. Then came the deadline. It was announced that Wilson had imposed a deadline of April 15th for a new contract or else he was going to stop talks completely and simply play out the end of his contract.
It was announced that the NFLPA and the league were going to start talks about the upcoming Collective Bargaining Agreement. Yes, there are two years left on the current CBA. The fact they are starting now should give you an idea of how complicated this is going to be.
Let’s be real. I put the word possible in quotes because the probability of there being a full NFL season in 2021 is slim to none. The players are feeling their power, as they should, and many are already talking about the upcoming CBA negotiation. Owners, at the same time, are trying to hold on to their power, yet please the players. We know that probably won’t happen quickly. Therefore, we need to prepare ourselves for a lockout.
On April 1, the NFL had its “International Pro Day” for 2019. Eight players, from all over the world, worked out for NFL scouts.
The NFL implemented the International Pathway program in 2017 as a way for potential NFL players from around the globe to not only get a chance to compete to play in the NFL, but also for them to have a fair chance at making it. The program not only finds players with the skill to play in the NFL, it also allows them to acclimate to the game. Teams get an extra practice squad spot if they bring on a player in the program, and those players are guaranteed not to be cut that year. While these players aren’t allowed to be promoted to the active roster during that season, it allows them the time to adjust to the speed, complexity, and requirements of the game at the NFL level.
Last season, eight teams carried a player from overseas on their practice squad, and this year eight more players are hoping to make it on the a team this year. The 2019 International Pro Day was held at the Tampa Bay Buccaneers indoor facility. Players from Australia, Brazil, England, Germany, and Mexico participated, after spending the last 12 weeks training with IMG Academy to help them prepare. Let’s take a look at the players hoping to make it into the league.
Lets just all admit it. The minute we saw that John Gruden had been paid an insane amount of money to become the head coach of the Oakland Raiders, we knew we were in for a wild ride. While his first season didn’t live up to the hype, it has been nothing but Must See TV ever since the season ended.
Lets quickly recap.
First, the disaster that was the 2018 season. With a record of 4-12, Gruden’s first season as head coach was underwhelming to say the least. In a year where the AFC West was a stand out division, the Raiders were the bottom dwellers. The tone of the season was set very early with the trade of linebacker Khalil Mack to Chicago, then later in the season the trade of wide receiver Amari Cooper to Dallas. Gruden didn’t hide the fact he was completely overhauling the team and managed to get some great draft capital in the process. While fans weren’t happy, the value received was fantastic.