Andrew's answers: Tuesday's mailbag

What did you think of the incident and suspension of the Jets’ assistant strength coach -- Sal Alosi -- sticking out his leg and tripping the Dolphins' Nolan Carroll? --Frank C.

I was watching the game but didn’t notice it until the replay when I looked at it and said, “Did that really just happen?” Countless players and coaches have thought about tripping an opposing player running by but actually doing it? Shameful.

Alosi will receive a suspension for the rest of the season along with a $25,000 fine and not have any interaction with the team. NFL assistant strength coaches earn approximately $100,000, so this discipline will be felt, as it should.

Ironically, the "get back" coach, the person who is always telling players to move back off the sideline, is usually the assistant strength coach. Wouldn't it be interesting if Alosi was the "get back" coach for the Jets!

My thoughts turn to the injured Dolphin, Nolan Carroll. What if the injury ended his season? What if he had playtime or performance incentives in his contract that he could not reach because of the actions of a opposing coach?

Carroll is a fifth-round pick this year who certainly has a “split” contract with a lower salary if he is placed on injured reserve, meaning his $320,000 salary would revert to a $225,000 salary. If he were indeed injured from the trip and placed on IR, would he be made whole? I would think so, whether from Alosi, the Jets or the NFL.

Players assume the financial risk of injury at the hands of other players or even the playing surface. No player, however, assumes the risk of a deliberate act from a coach on the sidelines inserting himself into the action.

What goes into moving a game like the Vikings-Giants? --Kelly R.

It is hard to understand all the logistics involved in what the collapse of the Metrodome roof caused this weekend for the Giants, Vikings and Lions (the hosting team for the Giants-Vikings game).

The Giants, due to the massive snowstorm in Minneapolis, were diverted to Kansas City, where they had to park themselves for four hours before eventually spending the night there.

Can you imagine the Giants travel director calling the Kansas City Airport Marriott and the Detroit Westin, where they stayed on consecutive nights, saying the following: “We are coming to your hotel now and need about 60 rooms, meals for 100, meeting rooms and tight security for our team.” Uh, ok. Giants executives have told me the efforts of these two hotels and their Continental charter personnel were above and beyond the normal level of service.

As for the Vikings, they were on a call with the league office soon after the Metrodome collapse and were wheels-up eight hours later having addressed the logistics they needed.

Some of the other issues involved with the cancellation of the game at the Metrodome are:

  • the lost revenue to the Vikings for one of their eight home games, revenue not made up by the game being moved to Detroit;
  • the prospect of lost revenue to the Vikings’ upcoming game against the Bears.
  • the lost revenue to Metrodome vendors, concessionaires, facility staff, parking lots, security, etc.
  • the loss of home-field advantage for the Vikings at one of the loudest venues in all of sports.
  • the expense of the Vikings travelling for a “home game”: flights, hotel, food, meeting rooms, busses, etc.
  • the expense of the Giants unscheduled hotel stays in Kansas City, Detroit and additional charter time on their Continental charter plane.
  • the playing of the game a day later than scheduled for the Giants, giving them less time to prepare for the biggest game of their season, against the Eagles.

There were also rare intersections of teams. While the Giants cooled their heels in the Kansas City airport, they watched the Chiefs board their charter to San Diego. And while the rival Packers were on their way out of Detroit, the Vikings were arriving to play in the same facility the next day.

The ripple effect of the roof collapse of the Metrodome is large, certainly larger even than what is mentioned above. Vikings ownership has another card to play with the Minnesota legislature in its drive for public funding of a new stadium. They will now certainly have more support from the Giants and the NFL.

Weren’t the Chiefs, who have just given new deals to Derrick Johnson and Jamaal Charles, one of the lowest paying teams in the NFL this year? --Ed G.

They were, and having success with that low payroll.

This unique year has proven that the key fact about a Cap is not its ceiling – the upper limit – but its floor, the threshold for spending a team must exceed. A number of teams have made this a “recovery year”, spending less on player payroll and getting ready for the next system, whenever that may be.

Teams that have spent well below the last "minimum" from 2009, $108 million, include teams doing well – Chiefs, Jaguars, Buccaneers – as well as teams not doing well – Broncos, Cardinals, Bills, Panthers.

Buoyed by their success, the Chiefs have now extended two core players: running back Jamaal Charles and linebacker Derrick Johnson. Between the two of them, the Chiefs have committed a potential $70 million of total value (although that is highly unlikely) and a reported $28 million of guaranteed money ($15 million to Johnson, $13 million to Charles). While most teams are standing pat in the face of the expiration of the CBA in a couple months, the conservative Chiefs are opening up the checkbook. Maybe it's the holiday cheer.

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