Over the years there has been a lot that Mike Florio says that is pure speculation – his blog was originally known as Truth & Rumors – but the area where the former lawyer has always been at his very best is when it comes to legal issues regarding the NFL. Last night he posted an 18:45 video segment on his sight that touched a variety of topics ranging from Bill Parcells to the Jim Irsay of the Colts and their top draft pick, but what I found most interesting is Florio’s discussion with Yahoo’s Jason Cole about the salary cap violations by the Washington Redskins and the Dallas Cowboys. Like peeling the layers of an onion it seems like once you uncover one topic there is another, and another – not the least of which is whether or not the NFL may have opened themselves up to accusations of collusion with their decision to take away cap space from two of the league’s big spenders.

We also talked about the ongoing salary-cap saga involving the Redskins and the Cowboys and their spending in what supposedly was the uncapped year. The situation continues to cry out “collusion,” but the NFL apparently is facing no real consequences because the party that would be most impacted by evidence of collusion — the NFLPA — signed away all collusion claims in 2011 and, more recently, agreed to take $46 million from teams that like to spend it and redistribute it to 28 other teams, many of whom don’t like to spend it.

Thus, in exchange for taking $23 million in 2012 and 2013 from the Redskins and Cowboys, the salary cap was increased from $116 million per team to $120.6 million per team.

That’s $147.2 million. So where did it come from?

Cole surmises that the NFLPA has borrowed against the cap in future years, which means that the cap in future years will be lower than it otherwise should be. Which means that a spike in the cap is less likely. Which means that the players eventually may be feeling more than a little buyer’s remorse.


Here is the link to the column and accompanying video, Did NFLPA borrow against future salary caps to get to $120.6 million in 2012? I wish the new NBC Sports channel had more features like this, because the NFL Network and espn can both be rather hit or miss when it comes to football coverage. Yes, believe it or not some of us do have an attention span that lasts more than thirty seconds, and we enjoy opinion and analysis that runs twenty minutes long without interruption.


Florio also says overtime change could cause problems. He writes how the rules could cause games to overlap into his NBC’s Football Night In America pre-game show, more injuries could occur, and more games could end in a tie, wreaking havoc with league standings.


Rob Gronkowski and Darrelle Revis appeared on espn and all people seemed to want to talk about was Revis dissing Bill Belichick, calling him a jerk. Lost in all that blather was a genuine, intelligent response by Gronk as to why a pro style, dropback quarterback was much preferable to an offense that runs the wildcat. Here’s the thing: if Belichick is such a jerk, then how is it that the first thing Revis thinks of when it comes to the Jets locker room is the word ‘disarray’?

Suzy Kolber: Put yourself in the shoes of offensive players on the Jets. Now maybe more snaps are taken out of Mark Sanchez‘ hands passing the ball, it’s a whole different game with the Wildcat; how would that change things?

Rob Gronkowski: It would change it a lot. You want your QB to have momentum, you want him to have rhythm. Darrelle Revis has been saying that all day about his quarterback. You want him to have rhythm. As a true tight end, running and blocking, catching, we want a dropback player, not more of a wildcat. More of a wildcat you have the quicker, faster tight end, probably could play wide receiver in the wildcat for you. I’m more of a pro style offense, no wildcat stuff, no spread it out; I’m more of an inline type player so I want a true dropback quarterback.


While on the subject of that AFC East team located southwest of Foxboro, Tom Monkovic of The Fifth Down (an excellent pro football blog, by the way) writes that Belichick and Jets’ Ryan Running in Opposite Directions, noting that the Patriots are moving forward as the league continues to become more pass-oriented while the Jets try to turn back the clock, intending to re-introduce the wildcat. After reading the article I couldn’t help but think back to Ryan’s father Buddy, who was so conservative that the only thing he wanted the offense to do was not turn the ball over on three downs before punting.

Ryan may want to take note of what many of his coaching colleagues are saying about the importance of the air game in this article by Pete Prisco of CBS Sports. For Pats fans there are also some timely comments from several NFL coaches at the end of the article about the role of a fullback in today’s NFL.


It has been noted many times that Bill Belichick won’t waste time with dumb questions from the media, but if you ask an intelligent question or get him to talk about football history he will open up with a treasure chest of information. Case in point: be sure to check out Tom Curran of CSNNE‘s Belichick waxes historic on coaching trees, with detailed answers to questions about the great Paul Brown as well as his own system.

“The West Coast offense is really the Ohio River offense. It’s Paul and what he did in Cleveland and what he did in Cincinnati. That’s the grandfather of all the West Coast teams. I think his influence in the coaching ranks from a coaching schedule and how to coach and all of that, he truly wrote the book on it. And Bill Walsh’s book is really a follow-up on what Paul did. I’m sure a lot of what Bill learned was from what Paul did and it still applies today.”


From the Boston Herald, Ian Rapoport notes a bit of Pats roster trivia: QB Brian Hoyer threw passes to WR Anthony Gonzalez in high school. Rapoport also has a column on how Bill Belichick’s brethren laud free agent pickups, with several NFL coaches discussing newcomers Steve Gregory, Donte’ Stallworth, Jonathan Fanene, Brandon Lloyd and Robert Gallery.  Getting back to the subject of Bill Parcells to the Saints, Ron Borges recommends it is better to say no, that Tuna can’t go back to the days of old.


Greg Bedard of the Boston Globe has former Rutgers coach and now Tampa Bay Bucs head coach Greg Schiano on Belichick’s book.

“Schematically we’re different… just the game, in general, the approach, the thinking, your perspective of it. Dealing with players,” Schiano said.

“He knows every player in the National Football League. I mean, he has it up here (tapping his head). I have books right now that I’m checking and reading. He’s got it in one book (tapping his head). That’s neat to just talk about players — and he’s been doing it for so long — because at the end of the day, that’s what it’s all about, the players.”


Pro Football Weekly draft analyst Nolan Nawrocki was on a media conference call yesterday, and espnBoston writer Mike Reiss has his summary, what we learned from Nawrocki. It’s a pretty good read on a dozen prospects, many of whom have been rumored to be on the Pats radar.


Also on the topic of the Pats and the NFL Draft, Jeff Howe from NESN has his latest mock draft; this time around he has the Pats going with Illinois defensive end Whitney Mercilus over Michigan State defensive tackle Jerel Worthy and South Carolina cornerback Stephon Gilmore with the 27th pick, and then Gilmore over Nebraska cornerback Alfonzo Dennard, Clemson defensive end Andre Branch, LSU defensive tackle Michael Brockers, Penn State defensive tackle Devon Still with the 31st pick.


Also, Christopher Price from WEEI profiles two potential Pats draft picks: Alabama CB Dre Kirkpatrick and Texas LB Keenan Robinson.


Erik Scalavino from Patriots Football Weekly has a twelve-Q&A column with Pats running back Danny Woodhead, Inside the Helmet: Danny Woodhead.


Happy birthdays to Jennifer Capriati (36), Lucy Lawless (44), Elle Macpherson (48), Pearl Bailey, Sam Walton, ‘Clean Gene’ Eugene McCarthy, and Cy Young.




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