Players want to see how Goodell applies policy to Lewand

The personal conduct policy in the NFL is most commonly applied to players, but the rules exist for all employees from players to league officials to team execs all the way down to the guys who wash the jock straps.

Now, all eyes are focused on Roger Goodell to see how the commissioner handles the arrest of Detroit Lions team president Tom Lewand last week. Lewand had blood-alcohol content that was 2

Report: Lions don't want Haynesworth to poison Suh

In our daily Albert Haynesworth update, we have a report from Jason La Canfora of the NFL Network that says you can go ahead and rule out the Detroit Lions when it comes to the slim (nonexistent?) chance the Washington Redskins have of trading the disgruntled defensive tackle.

The Lions have been one of the first teams mentioned when it comes to Haynesworth and the possibility of a trade for the simple reason that Detroit coach Jim Schwartz came from Tennessee where he worked with Haynesworth for years. The reasoning was Schwartz would know what buttons to push to get Haynesworth going and with the Redskins already having paid the bulk of the guaranteed money in the contract ($32 million of he $41 million), it would be a low-cost investment.

Apparently, the potential cost in terms of Haynesworth’s behavior made it a move the Lions are no longer considering. La Canfora reported that the Lions “determined he’d be a possible negative influence” on rookie defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh. The Lions don’t want to risk that with the No. 2 pick in the draft.

Haynesworth has largely kept to himself in Washington – when he’s been there – but he did prove to be a destructive force. The National Football Post reported late last season that Haynesworth showed up late for practice on Christmas because he didn’t like the schedule for the day. Coaches sent him home after they learned that he had openly lobbied teammates in the locker room to do the same thing. No one followed his lead but the staff had to draw the line with Haynesworth.

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NFP Scouting Series: UCLA

For the rest of the summer, the National Football Post will be breaking down every team in the Football Bowl Subdivision (formerly known as Division I-A) to identify players who could warrant the most interest from NFL teams in the 2011 draft.

Therefore, today we take a look at the UCLA Bruins.


OL Micah Kia: No. 73 (6-4, 324)
A big, versatile offensive lineman who has seen playing time at both tackle spots as well as at guard. Missed the 2009 season with an ACL tear in his right knee. Displays good overall girth through his upper body but looks a bit thin through the legs. Isn’t a natural bender and struggles to keep his pad level down when asked to reach blocks off his frame. Lacks ideal coordination with his footwork, allows his base to get too narrow at times, struggles to keep his knees bent and fails to generate a “pop” into blocks. Lacks even average range off the edge and really struggles to consistently reach/get his hands on pass rushers to even push them past the pocket. Has a tendency to lunge into blocks and is easily slipped toward the corner. Is a real waist bender who fails to quickly redirect inside and just isn’t a real coordinated athlete.

Looks heavy-legged on the move, struggles to quickly drop his pad level down into blocks and too often ends up on the ground. Isn’t real powerful at the point of attack in the run game. Possesses good size but isn’t going to move anyone off the football in the NFL and consistently loses his balances and just falls off blocks.

Impression: Isn’t a real impressive athlete and just compounds this problem with his sloppy technique. Is all over the place with his footwork and lacks the type of coordination to hold up at either guard or tackle in the NFL.


DL David Carter: No. 85 (6-4, 295)
A tall, long-armed interior lineman who displays some natural athleticism off the snap and does a nice job using his length to get into linemen quickly. Has the ability to consistently dictate initially to opposing blockers inside and works hard trying to disengage. Needs to do a better job playing with a lower pad level. Does exhibit some natural strength at the point of attack but really negates it by standing upright and losing all leverage. Isn’t overly sudden when trying to slip blocks, but he does have the athleticism to fight his way off opposing linemen laterally, using his length to surge his way up the field.

Isn’t real instinctive and will struggle to find the football consistently inside. Struggles to hold up at the point of attack at this stage, as he ends up on the ground too easily when run at and isn’t a guy who can sit into his stance and anchor.

Impression: Possesses a nice, long frame with some natural athleticism for the position. Is a first-year starter who has the skill set to at least intrigue at this stage and is worth keeping an eye on during the year as a developmental lineman. Has some upside as a potential five-technique guy.

Special teams

K Kai Forbath: No. 25 (5-11, 190)
A veteran kicker prospect who has been really consistent throughout his time at UCLA. Connected on 25 of 30 attempts as a freshman while going 5 of 5 from 50-plus yards. Showcases a strong, accurate leg with the ability to consistently hit from deep. Is 9 of 12 from 50-plus yards throughout the course of his career and 15 of 19 from 40-49-yards.

Exhibits impressive accuracy from inside 40 yards as well, hitting on 19 of 19 kicks from that distance last season. Certainly has the physical makeup to make all the kicks required of him at the next level, while displaying a cool, calm demeanor even from long-range. Does not have a ton of experience in big-time pressure situations, but seems to have the kind of “level-headedness” to handle the pressures of being an NFL kicker.

Impression: A strong, accurate kicker who hasn’t missed much throughout the course of his career. Looks like a draftable prospect who should be expected to come in and win a starting job early in his NFL career.

LS Christian Yount: No. 52 (6-1, 243)
A seasoned long snapper who can handle both punt and place kicking duties. Is very consistent in his technique, maximizing his length, generating a good snap from his lower half and creating a lot of velocity from the turf. Also possesses good overall accuracy, consistently putting the football cleanly into the punter’s/holder’s body. Now, he isn’t real athletic when asked to get down the field and tackle. However, he’s a bright guy who recognizes defenses, understands protections and you rarely notice any mistakes from him inside.

Impression: A potential late-round draftable prospect who has the makings to carve out a niche for himself at the next level as a starting long snapper only.

Follow me on twitter: @WesBunting

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Whither LeBron?

First, a hearty welcome to Randy Cross as our newest contributor. He brings wonderful information and insight to our team as we continue to try to offer unique content here at NFP.

Please indulge the momentary break from football, but the business of sports is jumping as the two-year LeBron James watch enters its flashpoint tonight at midnight when his existing contract with the Cleveland Cavaliers expires.

LeBron is the most discussed and anticipated free agent in sports since free agency arrived on the sports landscape in 1976 with the Messersmith/McNally arbitration in baseball. And in baseball and basketball, unlike football, free agency truly matters (column coming soon).

Enormous Value

LeBron could radically augment the brand of his chosen franchise and, if that franchise does not continue to be the Cavaliers, devalue the brand of the Cavs and, yes, the city of Cleveland. The Cavs were recently valued by Forbes at $476 million, the fifth highest valued franchise in the NBA. That valuation may be dropping soon.

With the collectively bargained restraint of maximum contracts, LeBron’s value becomes even greater. Were he a superstar free agent in another sport without maximum contracts, the earning possibilities would be far greater.

The NFL has several collectively bargained restraints on top players but has no limit on what players can make as does the NBA. Although like the NFL, the NBA wants to take back some of the gains the players have made in compensation over the recent years, one would think the target of the NBA’s wrath is the middle class of dozens of $5-10 million players rather than the fifteen or so “max” players.

Of course, no one will feel sorry for LeBron and the other max free agents: Dwayne Wade, Chris Bosh, Joe Johnson, etc for “only” making $16 million or so. However, for the star value they bring their franchise as a fixed cost, they are highly underpaid. Imagine Jack Nicholson, Tom Hanks or LeBron chum Jay Z limited by maximums on their earnings. LeBron and his 2010 band of brothers are giving up tens of millions of dollars due to the maximum rules.

An NBA franchise acquiring LeBron would thus have a capped cost for his services to go along with the startling brand enhancement that he would bring. The asset value of the team would soar with LeBron under contract along with cost certainty to his earnings without any need for negotiation of his contract! The only negotiable item is the number of years. It is simply one of the best value-acquisitions in the history of sports.

Primer on NBA maximums

In the event a player re-signs with his current team, that player can earn a six-year contract with annual raises of 10.5%. This is a built-in advantage for the incumbent team as a new team can only offer five years and annual raises of 8%. And in the NBA — unlike the NFL — the number of years on a contract matters greatly, as the money is guaranteed.

Although the 2010-2011 NBA Salary Cap number – on which the number for the maximums will be based — will not be known until July 8, let’s assume the maximum for this season will be $16.5 million.

Based on that number, the maximum amount that the Cavaliers could offer LeBron, the Heat could offer Wade, the Raptors could offer Bosh, etc., would be $129 million over six years while the most a new acquiring teams could offer is $97 million over five years.

$32 million is a lot of money. However, this may be one situation where the players are actually being genuine in saying “It’s not about the money.” This is more about power and my sense is James and Wade are going to show that their plan hatched three years ago will show them as the ultimate power players in team sports.

Tomorrow I will look at what I think will happen, and the possibility of shorter deals to continue to courtship process beyond 2010 for a couple of more years.

The confluence of circumstance of the talent of LeBron and company combined with the NBA maximums has led to an incredible value proposition. Of course, that’s why teams have been clearing the decks for two years for this moment.

Follow me on Twitter at adbrandt.

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Report: Video shows Vick leaving 3 minutes before shooting

Michael Vick could face a troubling credibility issue if the video surveillance tape a restaurant has turned over to police shows the quarterback and his posse leaving only minutes before Quanis Phillips was shot last Friday morning outside Vick’s 30th birthday party.

Allen Fabijan, a spokesman for Guadalajara, the Virginia Beach, Va., establishment the party was at, said that video shows Vick “and his entourage” leaving at 2:07 a.m. Three minutes later, the tape shows a crowd ducking as shots rang out and Phillips, a co-defendant in Vick’s federal dogfighting trial, was hit in the leg.

“You can see everybody duck at 2:10,” Fabijan told the Hampton Roads Daily News. “I'm not saying that Michael Vick did the shooting. But he did not leave (long) before.”

Vick’s attorney Larry Woodward has maintained that Vick was long gone before the shooting. It was reported that Vick left the party 30 minutes before the shooting. Since, that figure seems to have shrunk in various reports.

“I stand by what I said, that Michael was long gone before the shooting, does not know who did the shooting and had nothing to do with the shooting,” Woodward told the Daily News. “Anyone who says any different better be very careful.”

That would seem to be a not-so veiled threat at a slander lawsuit. Woodward doesn’t need his word or Vick’s word if useable video surveillance exists. Police, who have said that Vick isn’t a person of interest, should be able to tell when Vick exited and when Phillips was wounded. But if Vick has lied to police that certainly could lead to trouble with him when it comes to probation, and commissioner Roger Goodell has him on a short leash, so to speak. Fabijan also disputed reports that Phillips was led out of the party.

Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Roddy White, who attended the bash, vouched for Vick and said the two left long before the shooting. As Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution points out, White might want to make sure his story parallels the truth if and when the NFL comes knocking on his door looking for information. Otherwise, he could land himself in some unintended trouble trying to stick up for a guy who just can’t seem to stay out of it.

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Randy Cross joins NFP

The National Football Post, a unique and fast-growing interactive web site featuring information, insight and opinion from experienced voices, is pleased to announce that Randy Cross, one of the nation's premiere football analysts, has agreed to join the site as a contributor.

Cross had a 13-year NFL career as a center and guard for the San Francisco 49ers. He was a 5-time All-Pro, 3-time Pro Bowler and 3-time Super Bowl champion. Following his playing career, Cross moved on to a successful career as a television and radio analyst for CBS Television and Radio. His present duties include game analysis for CBS Sports’ NFL and college football broadcasts, Westwood One's Thursday night national NFL radio broadcasts and he is also a regular host for Sirius NFL Radio.

Cross now combines his many broadcast platforms with a writing platform for NFP.

“I'm privileged and honored to join Andrew, Matt, Jack and the team at the National Football Post,” he stated. “Having an opportunity to write on what is considered the most informed and interesting football website anywhere with such a wide array of experts is both a challenge and an honor. I'm truly proud to have my work and my name associated with NFP.”

National Football Post president and The Business of Football columnist Andrew Brandt remarked: “We were flattered that Randy showed an interest in joining our team and are delighted to bring him on. His insight, credibility and experienced opinion about many aspects of the game will fit in well with our unique and differentiated football content. He is an exciting addition.”

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Saints have already raised $500,000 in ring raffle

The New Orleans Saints have sold almost 250,000 raffle tickets already for the authentic Super Bowl XLIV ring the team is auctioning off to raise money for the renewal of the Gulf Coast region in light of the horrific BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

That means almost $500,000 has already been raised and tickets will remain on sale through 10 a.m. on Sept. 9. A winner will be announced that night during the NFL’s kickoff to the 2010 season – a game between the Saints and Minnesota Vikings at the Superdome.

You can click right here to buy some raffle tickets yourself. While tickets are only $2, there is a minimum purchase of five tickets. That makes it a little misleading, in our view. The winner will also received a cash prize of $2,178 that will be used to pay federal and state tax liabilities that come with the bling.

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One week later, Kevin Ellison joins Seahawks again

Kevin Ellison was gone in an instant last week after the Seattle Seahawks claimed him off waivers from the San Diego Chargers. They dumped him just as fast, saying that he had failed his physical.

Now, Ellison, who played for coach Pete Carroll at USC but is facing scrutiny for a May arrest in which 100 Vicodin pills were discovered in his vehicle, is back with the Seahawks. According to a report, the Seahawks said they had to waive Ellison and allow him to clear waivers in order to sign him to a new contract instead of taking on the one he signed with the Chargers.

We’re not sure exactly why they would want to re-work a deal with minimum salaries but whatever the Seahawks wanted they probably got. Ellison, who started nine games as a rookie, might have a hard time finding any work while his legal situation remains up in the air. He was stopped for speeding in a school zone – never a good idea when driving with drugs in the car – near his California high school in May.

<p> Follow me on Twitter: BradBiggs

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Could the 'Skins make a play for Jackson?

Would you be surprised if Mike Shanahan’s Redskins made a move to bring in WR Vincent Jackson from the Chargers?

According to Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune, the ‘Skins are one of several teams who have shown interest in Jackson—including the Seahawks.

We all know that San Diego GM A.J. Smith has held a pretty firm stance when discussing the contract situation of Jackson—and his desire for a big deal—but if you are the ‘Skins, why wouldn’t you at least entertain the idea of making a play here?

Shanahan is trying to win now. This isn’t a rebuilding project like we are seeing up in Buffalo with new hire Chan Gailey. Instead, we are watching an offensive head coach add parts that fit his scheme. It started with QB Donovan McNabb in April. You bring in a franchise QB to win—not to develop young talent.

And, undeveloped young talent is what the Redskins have at WR outside of an aging Santana Moss and a roster hopeful in Joey Galloway. Devin Thomas and Malcolm Kelly are two high draft picks that haven’t shown the yearlong production and accountability that is demanded at the NFL level.

Potential? Sure, but this isn’t college football where players are given years to work on their skills before they are asked to perform against the top competition.

Jackson would change that. A player that can win at the line of scrimmage, create separation down the field and make plays at the point of attack. A perfect fit for Shanahan’s offense: the play action, the movement passes and the vertical game. Plus, we have to remember what Jackson can do inside of the 20-yard line. A real red zone threat.

He is a legit No.1, and although we throw that title around a ton in this league when we talk about the WR position, Jackson is true to this thought. Would he demand a big contract upon his arrival? Of course, but we are talking about the Washington Redskins here. Daniel Snyder will pay top dollar for what he considers top talent.

Yes, it is still all speculation at this point, but there is a reason we are seeing interest in Jackson, despite what amounts to a big price tag. He is a talent and a player that you can start to build a game plan around.

The Redskins may have to get creative with a trade, but the idea fits. You have to bring in the right talent to win.

Follow me on Twitter: MattBowen41