Legal - Football Wiretap

Some Tentative Agreements In Place On New CBA, Major Issues Remain

Jan 17, 2020 8:01 AM

NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith sent a memo to players Thursday detailing the state of the current Collective Bargaining Agreement negotiations with the league.

In the memo, Smith notes some tentative agreements between the two sides on issues including revenue to players, increases in minimum salaries, reduction of contact during training camp practices, decreases in fines for on-field contact and modifications to the league's drug policy. But Smith also notes that "the major issues separating us are significant enough that we cannot recommend to our membership that we should accept a deal in this state at this time."

Pelissero reports that the "major issues" the memo outlines include max revenue split, minimum cash spending requirements, continuation of the league's Legacy Fund and removing the funding rule as a barrier to guaranteed contracts.

Tags: Legal

John Mara: NFL May Need To Use Rooney Rule For Feeder Positions

Jan 13, 2020 12:22 PM

When the Rooney Rule was implemented in 2003, there were three African-American head coaches, one general manager and zero majority owners. In 2020, there are three African-American head coaches, one general managers and zero majority owners.

“We’re obviously using the Rooney Rule for the head coaching candidates, but I think we may have to use the rule for the feeder positions, especially on the offensive side of the ball because that’s where so many of the head coaches come from," said John Mara. "We talked in December on the Workplace Diversity Committee about feeding the pipeline further. I can tell you: This is a real concern of the commissioner and the league.”

“So much of this is about introducing young coaches a head coach or owner wouldn’t know to a new group of influencers,” one club president told me last week.

Peter King/NBC Sports

Tags: Legal

NFL To Discipline Patriots For Latest Video Scandal

Jan 4, 2020 11:57 AM

The NFL will discipline the New England Patriots for acknowledged game-day video violations in Cincinnati.

The Patriots admitted that their production crew inappropriately filmed the field and sideline during a Dec. 8 game.

The crew was credentialed by the Browns for a web series called "Do Your Job".

"The sole purpose of the filming was to provide an illustration of an advance scout at work on the road," a Patriots statement said at the time. "There was no intention of using footage for any other purpose."

In 2007, the Patriots were fined and forced to give up their 2008 first round pick for videotaping defensive play calls at the New York Jets. The franchise was fined $250,000 while Bill Belichick was fined $500,000.


Tags: New England Patriots, Legal

NFL In-Game Ads Selling For 15 Percent More YOY

Dec 19, 2019 11:36 AM

With two weeks remaining in the regular season, the NFL’s national and regional TV windows are averaging 16.7 million viewers and a 9.6 household rating, up six percent versus the analogous period a year ago and a lift of 11 percent compared to the same span in 2017.

According to Standard Media Index data, in-game unit costs in October NFL broadcasts jumped 15 percent compared to the year-ago period, with advertisers spending an average rate of $419,045 for 30 seconds of airtime, which is up from $363,016 in October 2018.

NBC’s average unit cost for its in-game “Sunday Night Football” inventory is up 12 percent to $566,469, while CBS’s NFL rates have jumped 11 percent to $368,896.

Per SMI, the cost of a 30-second in-game unit in “Monday Night Football” worked out to $261,926 a pop, up 4 percent compared to the analogous period in 2018.

Anthony Crupi/Ad Age

Tags: Legal

Jaguars Receive 25 Percent Of Player Grievances In Entire NFL

Dec 16, 2019 3:11 PM

The NFLPA has informed its players that an arbitrator has ruled in the favor of the union in a grievance against the Jacksonville Jaguars over requiring injured players to rehab and see doctors at the team facility during the offseason.

The union has founded that more than 25 percent of the grievances filed by players in the entire league have been filed against the Jaguars.

"You as players may want to consider this when you have a chance to select your next club," wrote the union in the letter to players in conclusion.

Tom Pelissero/

Tags: Jacksonville Jaguars, Legal, Misc Rumor

Roger Goodell: NFL Has 'Moved On' After Colin Kaepernick's Workout

Dec 11, 2019 8:21 PM

Roger Goodell hadn't talked publicly since Colin Kaepernick's workout last month and seemed to dodge the issue when asked about it on Wednesday.

“I haven’t thought about this in a few weeks,” Goodell said. “This was, as I’ve said to you before, about creating an opportunity. Which Colin’s representatives came out in early October [with a list of false narratives about Kaepernick], and we created that opportunity. It was a unique opportunity, incredible opportunity, and he chose not to take it. I understand that. And, you know, we’ve moved on.”

The NFL hastily arranged a workout for Kaepernick in what appeared to be an attempt at winning positive publicity.

Charean Williams/ProFootballTalk

Tags: Legal

NFL Salary Cap Could Exceed $200M In 2020

Dec 10, 2019 9:28 PM

The NFL salary for the 2020 season is projected to be in the range of $196.8 million to $201.2 million, which would mean it will likely have a $10 million cap jump for the seventh straight season.

The 2019 cap is at $188.2 million. If it hits $200 million in 2020, it will have grown by roughly 40 percent since 2015.

The cap was $120.4 million in the first year of the labor deal in 2011. The cap has increased roughly 65 percent since then.

Associated Press

Tags: Legal

NFLPA President Sees No Evidence Of Progress On CBA Talks

Dec 9, 2019 11:06 AM

NFLPA president Eric Winston does not share the enthusiasm of a Washington Post story last month indicating the NFL and NFLPA had "made meaningful progress" on a new collective bargaining agreement.

“Listen, we have been talking for a long time. I still think at some point we’re going to have to get over some of the big issues, and we’re just not there yet,” said Winston, who because he is no longer playing cannot run again in March for NFLPA president. “It is what it is…things come in fits and spurts..and something happens. But I haven’t seen that I haven’t seen evidence of that.  

“If we get there, great. If we don’t, like I said, our guys are prepared, understand what our situation is, are educated, and so at some point, we’re going to have to figure it out. Hopefully, it’s sooner than later but again, if this needs to go in the next year, and the next season and even past next season, unfortunately, that’s what it will be. But I don’t have any expectations. I don’t have any timeline on when I’m, you know when we’re going to push this thing done.”


Winston didn’t want to get pigeonholed into what the main issue is between the two sides. 

“Money is always going to be a big part of it, but work rules are also a big part of it,” he said. “Minimum salaries and getting money to 60 percent of guys under minimum salaries is a big deal…So I don’t live in a world where I’m going to say this one thing is the most important because I represent 22,000 guys.” The 22,000 figure would refer to retired and active players, though the NFLPA legally only represents the roughly 2,000 active ones."

Daniel Kaplan/The Athletic

Tags: Legal

NFL Betrayed Colin Kaepernick's Trust By Reneging On Confidentiality

Nov 26, 2019 2:39 PM

The NFL and Colin Kaepernick had agreed that the workout would remain confidential.

"We as the NFL are not going public with this," a Kaepernick team member recalls being told on the call. "But we cannot control the 32 teams."

NFL writers began receiving a text message from the league almost immediately after the call to be on the lookout for an important email, which led many to believe it would pertain to Antonio Brown. 


"They didn't give the 32 NFL teams a heads-up, but they gave the media one?" a Kaepernick source says. "Once they betrayed us on the confidentiality agreement, we knew what this was."

Howard Bryant/ESPN

Tags: Free Agent Rumor, Legal, Misc Rumor

Two Teams Were Expressing Interest In Colin Kaepernick Before Workout

Nov 26, 2019 2:30 PM

The NFL's football operations department had alerted Roger Goodell in October that two teams were legitimately interested in Colin Kaepernick.

Kaepernick's representatives had released a statement reiterating his readiness to return to the NFL.

In the weeks following the statement, the NFL's football operations team discussed with Goodell the feasibility of reaching out to Kaepernick. Goodell ultimately approved it. "Inside and outside," an NFL source says, "the thought was, 'Let's provide him the opportunity.'"

The NFL believed holding individual workouts for the two teams interested in Kaepernick would have resulted in media attention that might have made those teams reluctant to proceed. The NFL instead decided to hold an unprecedented league-hosted workout.

"It was the commissioner's idea, no doubt about it," a league source says. "This was a way to deal with it without the torrent of media information, the level of distraction. Bringing him in to a single team would have them bear the brunt of all of that media attention."

Kaepernick's camp believed the misery teams were the Atlanta Falcons and Detroit Lions, but it didn't find the information credible. The Falcons had never expressed interest in Kaepernick while the Lions were starting Jeff Driskel in place of Matthew Stafford.

Howard Bryant/ESPN

Tags: Free Agent Rumor, Legal, Misc Rumor

Fox Completely Sold Out Of Super Bowl LIV Ads

Jason Lynch/AdWeek

Antonio Brown Apologizes To Patriots, Robert Kraft

Associated Press

NFL Asked Kaepernick To Sign Broad Waiver, Issued Misleading Statement

Mike Florio/ProFootballTalk

Colin Kaepernick Works Out For Eight Teams, Asks NFL To 'Stop Running'

Vaughn McClure/ESPN

Antonio Brown Meets With NFL For Eight Hours

Josina Anderson/ESPN

NFL Makes Substantial Progress On New CBA With 17-Game Regular Season

Mark Maske/Washington Post

Schefter: Roger Goodell 'Feels Bad' About Colin Kaepernick Situation

Adam Schefter/ESPN (via PFT)

Jeff Bezos Interested In Purchasing NFL Team

Jason La Canfora/CBS Sports

Richard Sherman Believes Raising NFL Minimum Critical In New CBA

Lindsay Jones/The Athletic

Jaguars Have No Plans To Relocate To London

Charean Williams/ProFootballTalk

Roger Goodell Expected To Retire After New CBA, TV Deals

Peter King/NBC Sports

Steelers Fined For Not Listing Ben Roethlisberger On Injury Report

Brooke Pryor/ESPN

NFL Receives It Lowest Score For Racial, Gender Hiring In 15 Years

Steve Reed/Associated Press

Analyst: ROI On NFL TV Deal Doesn't Make Sense For ESPN

Rick Porter/Hollywood Reporter

NFL Ratings Climb Nine Percent Since 2017

Rick Porter/Hollywood Reporter

NFL, NFLA Discuss 17-Game Season In CBA Talks

Mike Florio/Pro Football Talk

NFL Sees No Evidence Of Tanking, Not Considering Draft Lottery

RealGM Staff Report

Thursday Night Football Generates 5.3 Percent Of Salary Cap

Peter King/Sports Illustrated

Antonio Brown Willing To Return To Patriots

Mike Florio/ProFootballTalk

Antonio Brown To File Up To Nine Grievances, Appeals

Adam Schefter/ESPN