Diner morning news: Flip doesn’t ensure OT win

QUOTE: “Passion is momentary; love is enduring. Be more concerned with your character than your reputation. If I am through learning, I am through.” -- John Wooden

Overtime talks continue

There’s not much news going on at the NFL owners meetings in Orlando other than the debate about overtime. As I’ve said before, I’m not a fan of the current structure because I believe whoever wins the toss wins the game. But the crack research staff at NFL Network, led by George Li, has provided evidence to dispute my non-researched opinion.

Results from 1994-2009:

244 regular-season overtime games
146 times the team which won the toss won the game (59.8%)
94 times the team which lost the toss won the game (38.5%)
4 games ended tied (1.6%)

Possessions from 1994-2009:</p>

160 times both teams had at least one possession (65.6%)
84 times the team which won the toss drove for winning score — 64 FG, 20 TD (34.4%)

Scoring from 1994-2009:

177 games were decided by a field goal (72.5%)
62 games were decided by a touchdown (25.4%)
1 game was decided by a safety (0.4%)
4 games ended tied (1.6%)

Based on these numbers, it’s not always a given that the winning the toss will ensure a win. The challenge of the new overtime rule has to be not how the scoring occurs to win the game but rather to make sure the game is consistent with the first 60 minutes that were just played.

I don’t expect a change, but Commissioner Roger Goodell is in favor of it, and he can build a consensus as well as anyone.

Leon Washington doesn’t sign his tender -- yet

I feel bad for Jets running back Leon Washington on two fronts. The first is the new system prevents him from really being a free agent (had he been free, he would have much interest) and securing the long-term deal he wants. The second is the fact he has to overcome a severely broken leg. The leg will heal, and many feel he’ll be back to his old self, but the core issue here is securing a long-term contract — one that many close to Washington claim he was promised. Washington is going to have a hard time securing an offer sheet from another team because there’s a general feeling the Jets will match any deal.

Darren Sproles of the Chargers will make close to $7 million this year, and Washington is going to fight for an offer, yet both players are very similar, and the argument can be made that Washington is more talented.

Here are Washington’s numbers:

Here are Sproles numbers:

Now do you feel bad for Washington? Yes, it’s close in terms of the numbers, but Washington is slightly better. Adding more insult to injury, Washington has four returns for touchdowns and Sproles has just two. Everything in life is about being in the right place at the right time, and unfortunately for Washington, he might be better, but he won’t be better paid.

Compensatory picks are out

Here’s a breakdown of the teams being awarded extra picks based on the 2009 free-agent class.

As we know, these picks can’t be used in trades, but what they do allow is teams to use their other picks to move up in the draft to get the player they want. These picks allow teams to become aggressive in the draft. As always, the Patriots will be aggressive, and with four extra picks, they’ll be able to secure the top players they want. My guess is that the Patriots will control the second round.

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