|NFL draft to move to May in 2014||05.22.13 at 12:10 pm ET|
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell confirmed at the NFL spring meetings in Boston on Tuesday that the NFL draft will be moved to May in 2014 due to a scheduling conflict.
Radio City Music Hall, the home for the draft, will be hosting an Easter show in April, which led to the need for the switch. Goodell emphasized that the league is happy with its experiences with Radio City Music Hall.
“We think we have found a location in New York that meets our requirements and where we think we can continue to grow the event,” he said.
Goodell said he expects the draft to remain in May and that adjustments to the NFL’s calendar will be discussed with the players’ union. There could also be adjustments made to the dates for the NFL combine and the start of free agency.
According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the changes being discussed would have the league year starting before the combine beginning in 2015. The NFLPA is looking to give free agents a chance to find new teams sooner with the change.
While Goodell can set the date of the draft without the NFLPA’s approval, he said he wanted to be sure that the union signed off on any changes to the league schedule or the draft to maintain league harmony.
|NFLPA calls press conference to discuss player safety issues||02.01.13 at 9:51 am ET|
The NFL Players Association took advantage of having much of the football media in New Orleans Thursday, calling a press conference to discuss its complaints about safety issues.
Executive director DeMaurice Smith and union president Domonique Foxworth held the conference. Smith said the NFLPA will file a grievance if the NFL refuses to implement a system to verify the credentials of all team medical personnel, and brought up amendments related to player safety that the players’ union wants in the new CBA.
The union also wants the NFL to put independent neurological consultants on the sidelines during games to help diagnose and treat concussions. Earlier on Thursday, league general counsel Jeff Pash said the league expects to implement that plan next season, but Smith said the players union has not seen the proposal and details have not been confirmed.
The two sides also have yet to agree on the details of implementing blood tests for human growth hormone. Smith said the league has not agreed to using the type of independent arbitrator that Major League baseball uses, though Pash said the league recently made a new proposal to the players that he thinks will lead to an agreement.
Smith called out the NFL for locking out its officials at the start of this year, saying the use of replacement refs was “one of the most deliberate disregards of player safety that I think has occurred in the National Football League since our inception.”
|Falcons WR Roddy White criticizes NFLPA via Twitter||06.19.12 at 11:04 am ET|
Falcons wide receiver Roddy White took to Twitter on Monday afternoon and expressed his displeasure of the NFL Players Association.
Writing in response to NFL executive Andrew Brandt’s tweet regarding the deal the NFLPA made with the NFL this summer, White sounded off, and even went as far as to praise heavily criticized commissioner Roger Goodell.
“Don’t know why we complaining we did this to ourselves,” White wrote. “I applaud roger godell for brokering a hell of a deal and I blame nflpa for failing us.
“Whoever is the head of the baseball union that’s who we need to hire they never have problems. Ok they have had problems but not on the same issues that where [sic] problems before they signed a new cba as a union…the nflpa fixed none of our real problems…Sold us a great dream about how good the deal was I didn’t even want to sign that card because I knew the deal we signed was terrible.”
This isn’t the first time White has made controversial remarks via Twitter. Last month, White tweeted that former players are “killing our game” for suing the league for hiding information about the dangers of concussions from them.
|NFL union upset over knee, thigh pad requirement||05.23.12 at 9:53 pm ET|
The NFL competition committee announced Tuesday that thigh and knee pads would be mandatory equipment for the 2013 season.
While Falcons president Rich McKay, chairman of the competition committee, said the league can apply the decision unilaterally, the players union argued that the move should be negotiated.
“Any change in working conditions is a collectively bargained issue,” the union said in a statement.
Numerous players have also spoken out against the requirement, arguing, among other things, that the pads are ineffective in preventing injuries, and will slow the players down. Troy Vincent, a former All-Pro safety and currently an NFL vice president, said he understood why players were opposed but felt they would eventually get used to wearing the pads.
“It’s psychological. Less pads you are faster, skinnier, that’s just the way I was introduced to the [pro] game,” he said. “It’s a culture shift. They will adjust.”
The change is part of a larger effort by the league to increase player safety and is something that has been proposed for at least the last three years according to NFL commissioner Roger Goodell.
“I believe the technology has improved, the pads are far better than a decade ago, they allow better performance and are more protective. Every other level of football uses the pads,” Goodell said.
The commissioner also pointed to something a Nike executive told him recently: NBA players are wearing more pads from the hips down than NFL players.
“There is something wrong with that,” Goodell said.
|NFL, NFLPA back in mediation||05.16.11 at 12:45 pm ET|
At least they’re at the table.
Multiple outlets are reporting that representatives for both the NFL and the NFL Players Association have resumed court-ordered talks in Minneapolis to negotiate how the league could end the longest work stoppage in its history. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith were both said to be in attendance along with four team owners (not Robert Kraft) and lawyers for both sides. NFL Network reporter Albert Breer tweeted that no players were in attendance, although Mike Vrabel was scheduled to but had his plane cancelled the night before.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Arthur Boylan will preside over the meetings after doing so for four days last month. The two sides will meet in a St. Louis court on June 3 for an appeals court ruling on whether the lockout can legally continue.
|Report: Union plans NFL draft boycott||03.14.11 at 2:04 pm ET|
According to a report from ESPN‘s Adam Schefter, the NFLPA is planning a boycott of the NFL draft in April. The union apparently has been contacting top college prospects and telling them not to attend.
“As of right now, this is 100 percent happening,” Schefter quoted a source. “This is going down.”
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