Legal - Football Wiretap

Insurance Companies Want To Know When NFL Knew About Head Trauma Risks

May 6, 2019 11:11 AM

The NFL is seeking more than $1 billion from its insurance carriers in connection with the settlement of a class action suit arising from the claim that the NFL concealed the long-term risks of head trauma from its players.

The NFL, however, doesn't want insurance carriers to find out what the league knew and when the league knew about the head trauma risks.

Insurance companies have begun the process of enforcing “long-standing subpoenas” for documents regarding head injuries from the NFL’s 32 teams. 

The move comes amid a two-year fight over the limits of permissible “discovery” in the lawsuit. 

Mike Florio/Pro Football Talk

Tags: Legal

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NFL Claims Draft TV Coverage Breaks Record With 47.5M Total Viewers

Apr 29, 2019 9:15 AM

The first round of the 2019 NFL Draft had more than 11 million viewers.

The average audience for all three days of the draft on ESPN, ABC and NFL Network was 6.1 million viewers. The NFL announced an average viewership of 5.5 million last year.

In terms of total viewership, the NFL claims 47.5 million viewers over three days compared to 45.4 million last year.

Michael David Smith/Pro Football Talk

Tags: Draft, Draft Misc, Legal

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Roger Goodell Encouraged By Early CBA Talks With Union

Apr 26, 2019 8:43 AM

Roger Goodell is encouraged the NFL has begun talks with the union on a new collective bargaining agreement.

The current deal expires in 2021. The NFL reached the agreement in 2011 after an offseason lockout.

“The bottom line is we do have a CBA in place for close to eight years and it has worked very well for players, clubs, fans and the game,” he told SiriusXM NFL Radio. “These discussions are happening and hopefully we will get to a place where we can extend the deal in some format.

“When you have dialogue and understand each other and listen to each other, it’s ‘OK, how can we use this to have a better league?’ Our league is better when we listen to opposing views.”

Associated Press

Tags: Legal

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Expanding Field Size Was Discussed For Player Safety

Apr 22, 2019 9:36 AM

During the owners meetings this year, there was a suggestion the NFL could make the field bigger to improve player safety.

Players have become bigger, faster and stronger, but the field has stayed the same size.

"That was the first time I’d ever heard about that," writes Jay Glazer.

Jay Glazer/The Athletic

Tags: Legal

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Tom Coughlin Appears To Violate Rules On Voluntary Workouts

Apr 18, 2019 2:03 PM

The NFL declined to comment on comments made by Tom Coughlin about the absences of players for voluntary workouts with the Jacksonville Jaguars.

“We’re close to 100 percent attendance — and quite frankly all of our players should be here,” said Coughlin.

From Article 21, Section 5(a) of the Collective Bargaining Agreement: “No Club official may indicate to a player that the Club’s offseason workout program or classroom instruction is not voluntary”

“All our players should be here” represents an in-plain-sight indication that the sessions aren’t voluntary.

The union pushed back twice in 2017 against aggressive efforts from Coughlin to get around the rules.

Mike Florio/Pro Football Talk

Tags: Jacksonville Jaguars, Legal

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Robert Kraft Pleads Not Guilty Two Days After Issuing Public Apology

Mar 26, 2019 4:22 PM

Robert Kraft entered a not guilty plea on two misdemeanour counts of first-degree solicitation and has asked for a jury trial.

The plea comes days after Kraft apologized in his first public comment since being charged for allegedly receiving sexual services at the Orchids of Asia Day Spa in Jupiter, Florida, on Jan. 19 and 20.

"I am truly sorry," Kraft said in a statement on March 23. "I know I have hurt and disappointed my family, my close friends, my co-workers, our fans and many others who rightfully hold me to a higher standard."

ESPN

Tags: New England Patriots, Legal, Suspension

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Owners Reject Replacing Onside Kick With One Play from Scrimmage

Mar 26, 2019 4:20 PM

NFL owners have rejected a proposal to replace the onside kick with one play from scrimmage. The idea was to enact a one-year trial of a fourth-and-15 play from the offense's 35-yard line to replace the onside kick.

Onside kicks are considered one of football's more dangerous plays.

The competition committee recommended the play by a vote of 7-1, but the owners still rejected it.

Barry Wilner/Associated Press

Tags: Legal

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NFL Looking For Online Streaming Version Of Sunday Ticket

Mar 25, 2019 2:43 PM

The NFL is considering splitting up the rights for Sunday Ticket to make it more widely available.

"We’re having great discussions with DirecTV and AT&T,” Goodell said. “We’ve had a 25-year partnership and we want to continue that partnership, but we also are looking to see how we can change the delivery.”

Last season, the NFL and DirecTV tested online streaming of games in seven cities. It’s possible the NFL could split the Sunday Ticket rights between a conventional TV partner like DirecTV and an online service like Amazon or AT&T’s own DirecTV Now.

“We’re looking to make sure that we continue to deliver this package, which is a premium package of great content,” Goodell said. “We want it delivered on several different platforms.”

Scott Moritz, Scott Soshnick/Bloomberg

Tags: Legal

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Colin Kaepernick, Eric Reid Received Less Than $10M Combined

Mar 21, 2019 4:43 PM

Colin Kaepernick and Eric Reid settled their collusion lawsuit with the NFL for less than $10 million combined.

Kaepernick filed a grievance in October 2017 under the collective bargaining agreement, alleging collusion against signing him to an NFL contract. It's not clear how the money will be split.

To put Kaepernick's split of the $10 million in perspective, his base salary in 2016 alone was nearly $12 million.

Kaepernick has not been with an NFL team since severing his contract with the 49ers in March 2017. 

To prove collusion, according to the CBA, Kaepernick and Reid would have had to show that a "club, its employees or agents" had "entered into an agreement" to restrict or limit whether to offer them a contract.

ESPN

Tags: San Francisco 49ers, Legal

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NBC Swaps 2021 Super Bowl For 2022 To Align With Olympics

Mar 14, 2019 8:38 AM

NBC and CBS will swap Super Bowl telecasts in 2021 and 2022.

CBS, which carried the game this year, will now do the 2021 Super Bowl from Tampa, Florida. 

NBC gets the 2022 Super Bowl from Los Angeles, and the network then will televise the Winter Olympics from Beijing. It had both the NFL title game and the Winter Games in 2018.

The 2020 Super Bowl in Miami will be broadcast by Fox.

Associated Press

Tags: Legal

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David Irving Will Quit NFL, Criticizes League's Hypocrisy On Marijuana
David Irving is on his third suspension by the NFL.

ESPN

NFL Considering Eliminating Conference Distinction In Next TV Deals
Under the proposed scenario, CBS and Fox would draw from the general pool of games.

Brian Steinberg/Variety

NFL Salary Cap For 2019 Set At $188.2M With Another 6 Percent Spike
The NFL experienced cap spikes of 8.1 percent, 7.7 percent, 8.4 percent and 7.6 percent before these past two seasons.

Bill Barnwell/ESPN

Attorney's Office Discredits Adam Schefter's 'Biggest Name' Report
Adam Schefter previously reported there was a name bigger than Robert Kraft involved in the prostitution ring.

Diana Moskovitz, Kelly Naqi/Deadspin

NFL Settles Collusion Lawsuit With Colin Kaepernick, Eric Reid
Colin Kaepernick drew national attention in 2016 when he knelt during the national anthem before games to protest social injustice.

ESPN

CBS Pushing To Extend Current TV Contract With NFL
The current contract between the NFL and CBS runs through the 2022 season.

Joe Flint, Mich Maidenberg/Wall Street Journal

Ratings For Super Bowl Down To Lowest Mark Since 2009
The ratings loss ran counter to the gains the NFL made up during the season.

Kevin Draper/New York Times

NFL Claims Concussions Dropped By 29 Percent In 2018
There were 135 documented concussions, which is down from 190.

Barry Wilner/AP

NFL Can't Find Liability Insurance For Head Trauma
Dr. Julian Bailes said "insurance coverage is arguably the biggest threat to the sport."

Steve Fainaru, Mark Fainaru-Wada/ESPN

NFL Drops Appeal Over Dementia Claims
Lawyers from the players are accusing the NFL of trying to delay payments and rewrite the $1 billion settlement.

Maryclaire Dale/Associated Press

NFL, NFLPA Claim Eric Reid Wasn't Targeted For Drug Tests
Eric Reid implied he was targeted due to his collusion case against the NFL.

David Newton/ESPN

ABC Could Pursue NFL Sunday Package Currently Held By FOX Or CBS
The current deals with FOX and CBS don't expire until 2022.

Andrew Marchand/New York Post

Wild Card Round TV Ratings Up 12 Percent From Last Year
There were an estimated 37.7 million people watching the final hour of the Eagles-Bears game.

Dominic Patten/Deadline

Monday Night Football Ratings Up Eight Percent Over 2017
The most-watched game was the Nov. 17 matchup between the Chiefs and Rams, which attracted 16.7 million viewers.

Associated Press

NFL, NFLPA Ask For Investigation Into Eric Reid's Testing Claims
Eric Reid has been tested seven times since signing with the Panthers in September.

David Newton/ESPN

City Of Oakland Sues Raiders, Refers To NFL As 'Cartel'
The suit cited a relocation fee that required the Raiders to pay the NFL and its owners $370 million to move to Las Vegas.

Jason Owens/Yahoo! Sports

NFL Projecting 2019 Salary Cap Between $187M-$191.1M
The cap projection marks a 40 percent increase over the five years since the 2014 season when the cap was at $133 million.

RealGM Staff Report

Chiefs Decide To Release Kareem Hunt
The Chiefs decision to release Kareem Hunt came after a video surfaced earlier Friday that showed him shoving and kicking a woman last February.

ESPN.com

Washington Won't Play Reuben Foster Until Legal Process Concludes
The Redskins claimed Reuben Foster on waivers Wednesday, but they claim he won't play until charges stemming from his recent domestic violence arrest are resolved.

Michael David Smith/Pro Football Talk

49ers' Rueben Foster Arrested On Domestic Violence Charges
49ers linebacker Rueben Foster was arrested Saturday night at the team hotel in Tampa.

ESPN.com