Legal - Football Wiretap

2018 Franchise Tag Projections Based On $178M Salary Cap

Feb 15, 2018 9:58 AM

Based on the calculations of a $178 million salary cap, Albert Breer has projected the following franchise tags for 2018:

CB: $15.04 million
DE: $17.22 million
DT: $14.00 million 
LB: $15.03 million
OL: $14.14 million
K/P: $4.96 million
QB: $23.29 million 
RB: $11.90 million
S: $11.34 million 
TE: $9.90 million 
WR: $16.05 million

With Washington trading for Alex Smith, they are unlikely to tag Kirk Cousins, but Le'Veon Bell could receive it from the Steelers.


Albert Breer/Sports Illustrated

Tags: Pittsburgh Steelers, Free Agent Rumor, Legal, Misc Rumor

Jane Goodell Included On Colin Kaepernick's Deposition Request List

Feb 13, 2018 5:17 PM

Colin Kaepernick's attorneys have added Jane Goodell, wife of Roger Goodell, to a list of potential deposition requests in his grievance case against the NFL.

Jane Goodell’s inclusion is a more recent addition, coming months after an October Wall Street Journal report determined she had been surreptitiously using the Twitter account @forargument to defend her husband against articles and comments critical of his handling of league issues. 

Jerry Jones, Robert Kraft, Bob McNair, John Harbaugh, Pete Carroll, Ozzie Newsome and John Schneider have also been requested for depositions.


Charles Robinson/Yahoo! Sports

Tags: Legal

Reuben Foster Arrested In Domestic Violence Case

Feb 12, 2018 7:51 AM

San Francisco 49ers linebacker Reuben Foster has been arrested in a domestic violence case.

Foster was booked at the Santa Clara County Jail and is currently being held without bail, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

The 23-year-old is expected to be one of the 49ers' defensive building blocks, but this is the second time he's been arrested this offseason. He was previously arrested in Alabama for marijuana possession.

San Francisco Chronicle

Tags: San Francisco 49ers, Legal, Misc Rumor

Colin Kaepernick's Suit Against NFL In Discovery Phase

Feb 6, 2018 5:25 PM

Colin Kaepernick's attorneys and the NFL recently exchanged almost 100,000 documents as part of his collusion case.

Kaepernick remained unsigned through the entire 2017 season following his anthem protest in 2016.

As part of the discovery process, Kaepernick's lawyers sought electronic communications (texts, emails, etc.) from numerous league and team employees - including high-ranking NFL officials, coaches, and general managers from teams like Dallas, Baltimore, Tennessee and others who signed quarterbacks and worked out quarterbacks in season. 

Kaepernick's attorneys are also expected to pursue the role of Donald Trump in setting a climate in which he was unable to secure a tryout for a job in the NFL last season.

Jason La Canfora/CBS Sports

Tags: Legal

NFLPA 'Preparing For War' Ahead Of 2021 CBA Expiration

Feb 2, 2018 12:59 PM

DeMaurice Smith is already preparing the union for another collective bargaining agreement battle in 2021.

Smith was asked if he has any hopes for a smooth agreement before a possible work stoppage.

"No. We prepare for war," said Smith.

Speaking at his annual Super Bowl news conference, Smith added: "So if we're able to get a collective bargaining agreement done, that's great. But all of these men went through a unilateral declared war on players in 2010 and 2011. I think it's important for [NFL commissioner Roger Goodell] and I to have a wonderful open discussion, but he represents the owners, and we represent the players."

Owners locked out players in the spring of 2011 and received many concessions from the players.

"Everyone likes to posit that there would be some kind of extension," he said. "This collective bargaining agreement was painfully negotiated at a time when the league secured a $4 billion war chest to basically put us out of business. There are a lot of great things about the collective bargaining agreement, but whether it's the great things or the thing that we don't like, collective bargaining agreements are grinding, exhausting elements that come out of two parties that want fundamentally different things. So, I could never imagine a world where you would simply put a page on the back of it that says, 'This document is now extended until 2035.'"

Kevin Seifert/ESPN

Tags: Legal

New WSJ/NBC Poll Shows Fans Following NFL Less Closely

Feb 2, 2018 10:45 AM

A new Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll shows that fans are following the NFL less closely.

Adults who report following the NFL closely have dropped 9% since 2014, the poll finds. Just 51% of men aged 18 to 49 say they follow the NFL closely, down from 75% four years ago. 

The Journal/NBC News poll interviewed 900 adults from Jan. 13-17.

The drop offs, according to the poll, also crossed political lines. Base Democrats who follow the league closely fell by 16 points versus four years ago, while it was 14 points for base Republicans.

League executives have pointed to a changing media environment in which prime-time ratings have dropped across the board.

Jared Diamond, Andrew Beaton/Wall Street Journal

Tags: Legal

NFL Won't Facilitate Team Signing Colin Kaepernick In 2018

Jan 31, 2018 3:35 PM

Roger Goodell was asked about whether the NFL would get involved with facilitating an opportunity for Colin Kaepernick to sign with a team in 2018.

"I've been very clear on this before that all the clubs, individually, have to make their own decisions about who's on the roster, who's not on the roster," Goodell said. "Colin, as you know, has filed a grievance, so I'm not going to talk specifically about that case. But I think that's something that the clubs have to make -- that decision. We as a league, do not get involved in that in any way. So I don't anticipate that in any way."

Kaepernick knelt during the national anthem before games during the 2016 season to protest racial inequality and other social injustices. 

Kevin Patra/

Tags: Legal, Misc Rumor

NFL: 'Armchair Experts' Need Facts When Concerned On Player Safety

Jan 24, 2018 11:19 AM

The NFL and NFLPA has cleared the Panthers from any wrongdoing in regards to how they handled a potential concussion suffered by Cam Newton on Jan. 7th.

Newton went down awkwardly because of a right knee injury the Panthers evaluated during the third quarter, according to the NFL’s statement.

An MRI of Newton’s knee the day after the game revealed ligament and cartilage damage and “very extensive swelling,” according to the league.

Allen Sills, the NFL’s chief medical officer, told the Observer that Newton could not fully bend his right knee, which caused him to go to the ground “in a somewhat awkward fashion.”

But Sills said Newton did not show any of the signs that would have warranted a locker room evaluation.

“Gross motor instability does not mean that you take a knee and go to the ground. Gross motor instability is reflective of dysfunction of the cerebellum, the balance center in the brain, where someone cannot even keep a vertical posture. And that’s clearly not what happened in this case,” Sills said in a phone interview.

“It’s very straightforward. There was no gross motor instability here,” Sills added. “He voluntarily went to the ground at the direction of the coaching staff, and he had a knee injury that prevented him from doing so in a standard manner.

“It was never our intent that every player who takes a knee on the field needs a concussion evaluation in the locker room. That’s not what gross motor instability means.”

NFL spokesman Joe Lockhart said Newton’s situation against the Saints highlights the challenges media members and “armchair experts” face when expressing their concerns over player safety.

“People are making judgments about this without all the facts and without a full understanding of some of the medical determinations that are made,” Lockhart told the Observer.

“Sitting at home watching it on TV without a full understanding of this and without the medical background leaves you in a place where you should not draw conclusions and you should wait for all the facts.”

Joseph Person/Charlotte Observer

Tags: Carolina Panthers, Legal

Conference Championship Ratings Down Eight Percent

Jan 24, 2018 10:58 AM

The NFL's ratings for the Conference Championships were down more than eight percent compared to lat year.

This year's divisional championship round had seen a 16 percent dip in audience size.

The Patriots' win over the Jaguars reached 44.1 million viewers, while Philadelphia's blow out of Minnesota reached 42.3 million.

The Conference Championships only featured one household name at quarterback in Tom Brady.

David Bauder/Associated Press

Tags: Jacksonville Jaguars, Minnesota Vikings, New England Patriots, Philadelphia Eagles, Legal

Joe Lockhart Steps Down As NFL's Chief Spokesman

Jan 18, 2018 5:39 PM

Joe Lockhart is stepping down as chief spokesman of the NFL. Lockhart had served as the NFL’s executive vice president of communications and public affairs.

Lockhart told members of his staff he is stepping aside after the Super Bowl to spend more time with his family, do political commentary and perhaps teach.

While Lockhart is being forced out, his exit comes after another tumultuous 2017 NFL season in which Roger Goodell's extension was delayed by Jerry Jones, and Donald Trump feuded publicly with the league.

“He was brought in as an agent of change,” said one person familiar with the league’s inner workings. “He has a young family. I don’t think he was prepared to commit four or five more years to doing this.”

Mark Maske/Washington Post

Tags: Legal

NFL Divisional Round Ratings Down 16 Percent From 2017
The weekend's four games averaged 30.43 million viewers, off from 36.22 million the year before.

David Bauder/Associated Press

NFL Ratings During 2017 Regular Season Fell By 9.7 Percent
The NFL also had an eight percent slide during the 2016 season.

Darren Rovell/ESPN

Texans Won't Be Disciplined For Tom Savage Concussion
Tom Savage re-entered Houston's Week 14 game after suffering a concussion.

Sarah Barshop/ESPN

Seahawks Fined $100,000 For Failing To Follow Concussion Protocol
Russell Wilson suffered a hit to the head in Week 10 that was not handled properly by Seattle.

RealGM Staff Report

NFL In-Game TV Ad Revenue Up From 2016
From September to the end of November, revenue is up 2 percent among all networks.

Jason Lynch/AdWeek

Roger Goodell Refutes Retirement Timeline Provided By NFL Spokesman
Roger Goodell won't necessarily retire after the 2023 season.

Mike Garafolo/

Spokesman: Roger Goodell Will Retire As Commissioner After 2023 Season
Roger Goodell will spend parts of the next five years working on identifying and grooming his successor.

Ian Rapoport/

NFL Projecting 2018 Salary Cap Between $174M-$178M
The salary cap for the 2017 came in at $167 million.

Ian Rapoport/

Verizon Signs $500M Annual Deal With NFL
The deal is worth an average of nearly $500 million, which nearly doubles the current $250 million per year Verizon is paying.

John Ourand, Daniel Kaplan/Sports Business Journal

Jerry Jones Attempted To Delay Goodell Extension By Six Months
Jerry Jones spent the past few weeks trying to build support to delay or derail Roger Goodell's contract.

Seth Wickersham/ESPN

Roger Goodell's Probable Annual Pay Likely Below $30M
While Roger Goodell's contract extension was announced as a five-year, $200 million deal, it is loaded with incentives he'll likely never receive.

Albert Breer/

Jerry Jones' Stance On Roger Goodell's Contract Galvanized Owners
The committee wanted to avoid allowing Jerry Jones to take the Roger Goodell contract issue to the floor at the meeting.

Albert Breer/

Roger Goodell Signs Five-Year, $200M Extension
The base salary of Roger Goodell's new contract is in the single-digit millions with roughly 85 percent based on bonuses, which are subject to ownership approval.

Adam Schefter/ESPN

NFL Denies Deal With Jerry Jones Over Litigation Threat
Jerry Jones seemed to hint at a quid pro quo when he said last week that he won't sue over Roger Goodell's anticipated contract extension.

Mike Florio/Pro Football Talk

Competition Committee Denies Jerry Jones' Request For Vote On Goodell
The committee also reiterated that Jerry Jones should drop his threat to sue the league over Roger Goodell's deal.


Jones To Goodell: I'm Gonna Come After You With Everything I Have
Jerry Jones told associates that Roger Goodell assured him last spring that there would be no suspension for Ezekiel Elliott.

Don Van Natta Jr.,Seth Wickersham/ESPN

NFLPA Investing In Dementia Discovery Fund
The DDF is focused on discovering and developing treatments for neurodegenerative diseases, in particular those that are associated with dementia.

Barry Wilner/AP

Doctors Believes They Can Now Detect CTE In Living People
Doctors are confident they can now diagnose CTE in living people.

John Keilman/Chicago Tribune

NFL's Chief Medical Officer Defends Colts On Brissett Concussion
Jacoby Brissett was placed into the NFL's concussion protocol when he reported symptoms after the game.

Kevin Seifert/ESPN

Jerry Jones Not Backing Down From Challenging Goodell's Extension
Roger Goodell's contract is set to expire after the 2018 season.

Todd Archer/ESPN