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Commish considers incentives for teams with meaningless games

As the NFL deals with a sharp wave of criticism arising from the decision of the Colts to pull key starters at halftime of last weekend’s game against the Jets, there’s evidence that the controversy has caught the attention of Commissioner Roger Goodell.

And it’s no surprise that the man who doesn’t care for the preseason isn’t thrilled about the decision of teams to treat December and January games like a second exhibition slate.

Per ESPN’s Chris Mortensen, Goodell is considering the possibility of creating incentives for teams to play starters in meaningless games.

The incentives, according to Mortensen, likely would come in the form of additional draft picks.

On one hand, teams intent on resting critical players before a run at the Super Bowl might not care about getting extra draft picks.  On the other hand, NFL teams regard draft picks as important tools for building a team.

An incentive system makes sense, since a mandate to play starters invites chicanery, which then forces the NFL to risk exposing to the general public (and folks like Congress) that cheating is more prevalent than anyone realizes.

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34 Responses to “Commish considers incentives for teams with meaningless games”
  1. Zaggs says: Jan 3, 2010 12:23 PM

    So this would apply to every team, or just playoff bound teams? Because even crappy teams could rest their starters.

  2. RAJ says: Jan 3, 2010 12:25 PM

    I wonder what round these comp picks would start at

  3. arsewhooper says: Jan 3, 2010 12:26 PM

    “…a mandate to play starters invites chicanery, which then forces the NFL to risk exposing to the general public (and folks like Congress) that cheating is more prevalent than anyone realizes.”
    I must be stupid or just too hungover to understand this.

  4. snccoach says: Jan 3, 2010 12:28 PM

    Hey I got an incentive, earn their paycheck!!!??? They’re getting the SAME amount of money in their Week 1 check as in Week 17. Except in some cases they’re giving HALF the effort.

  5. red13 says: Jan 3, 2010 12:28 PM

    So, the logic is you give a team with a locked in seed extra draft picks over the teams who are already eliminated? That doesn’t sound very fair to the teams who obviously need the help because they’re not in the playoffs…

  6. Child_Please! says: Jan 3, 2010 12:29 PM

    Sorry, but incentives to play your starters is asine.
    Why should they get extra draft picks and teams fighting to get in dont?
    Make the last 4 games of the season Divisional games. Or, seed the teams with the best AFC and NFC records instead of seeding by divisional winners.
    And please Mr. Goodell, do not be so stupid as to “run” this by the competition commitee, or Tony Dungy.
    Dungy is a coach, will be a coach again, and Jeff Fischer are proven to be in cahoots.
    Make a darn decision by yourself, thats why your being paid millions, to be the commisioner.

  7. CoronaDoug says: Jan 3, 2010 12:31 PM

    This will not work. All teams will have to do is list the players on the injury report and not play them. The league can not do anything about it if they are injured.

  8. Scott22 says: Jan 3, 2010 12:31 PM

    The dumbest idea I have heard in quite some time, as well as one of the best examples of micro-managing every aspect of the NFL. You can’t dictate to the teams who starts and who plays. That has been established as the coach’s decision, ask Larry Johnson or Terrell Owens.

  9. malignance says: Jan 3, 2010 12:32 PM

    so, teams that make the playoffs and/or lock up a playoff spot early, can get even better?

  10. R.Babe says: Jan 3, 2010 12:38 PM

    Make it like the instant replay rule – only the refs can make player substitutions in the final 2 games of the season. Heh.

  11. GhostofFlorioPast says: Jan 3, 2010 12:40 PM

    “An incentive system makes sense, since a mandate to play starters invites chicanery, which then forces the NFL to risk exposing to the general public (and folks like Congress) that cheating is more prevalent than anyone realizes.”
    Yeah, my fifth grade teacher just had an aneurism trying to parse that sentence. God bless you, Miss Gooch.

  12. downsouth49er says: Jan 3, 2010 12:41 PM

    Enough of this crap already, it goes both ways!! If the Colts played all of their guys the entire game and Manning or Wayne suffered a season-ending injury, the fans would have been calling for Caldwell’s head on a platter. Teams are measured by winning SB’s…screw going undefeated, if you win the SB everyone else in the league can shut the hell up because you are the champs.

  13. tian says: Jan 3, 2010 12:44 PM

    Maybe I’m the only one, but I had absolutely no problem with the Colts pulling their starters that game. If I’m the coach, I have one goal: winning the Super Bowl. If I thought that starting my players would risk us going to a Super Bowl due to injury, then I would rest my starters.
    Here’s the reason why the Dolphins team was go good and memorable: They had a perfect season… including winning the Super Bowl. If I evaluate my players and realize that the best chance to win a Super Bowl is to rest some of my starters, then resting my starters is what I’m going to do.
    Look at the Saints. They look weary and beaten. The Colts will look fresh.

  14. Patsfan1776 says: Jan 3, 2010 12:44 PM

    So if your team is so freaking good it can rest down the stretch, they are going to get more draft picks than the sucky teams? That seems like it solves the problem.
    Root cause solution required. Teams are able to rest because 1/2 teams in the NFL are mismanaged by the ownership and/or management. Need a rule that forces an owner of a perpetually terrible team to sell the team.

  15. edgy says: Jan 3, 2010 12:45 PM

    And what will he give them when their super star QB tears his ACL? Roger GoToHell, the Golden Weasel, continues to show that he really cares more about PR than the does the players. Jerk.

  16. Fan of Football says: Jan 3, 2010 12:48 PM

    Indianapolis caused all this turmoil with their idiotic decision. I hope they lose in the first round by 20. Payton Manning is a coward; he should have stood up for his team and fought for the starters to stay in against the Jets. Instead he is so worried about his public image and the result of the Favre/Childress fiasco, that he played the subservient QB to the HC. It was the wrong time to do it, and it ended up creating a scandal so big it will probably distract them from their SB run. You can hate Favre all you want, but at least he isn’t a coward. He will stand up for what he thinks is right for the team and the players, regardless of how the overzealous public may react.

  17. geek says: Jan 3, 2010 12:48 PM

    We could kill two birds with one stone: Eliminate overtime during the playoffs and make the first tie breaker the best record over the last four weeks. What do you think Florio?

  18. slutnuts says: Jan 3, 2010 12:52 PM

    going even further now, what if a starter plays in the meaningless game, gets hurt, and needs to be pulled? does the team still get that draft pick for starting said player? how will coaches be able to pull players out of any game, due to injury or ineffectiveness, will the ref have to come by and make sure that hamstring is pulled, or the concussion is legit?
    this will be a can of worms.
    simply, let the teams with nothing to play for do what they want…
    as for snccoach’s comment regarding players getting paid for 17 weeks, keep in mind the backups get paid too, and are supposedly professional football players

  19. TFBuckFutter says: Jan 3, 2010 12:52 PM

    Who cares?
    For crying out loud, this is the first time it’s ever even been an issue and this is the dumbest possible suggestion to fixing it.
    Here’s a better one…..when fans realize this is going to happen THEY CAN STOP PAYING TO GO TO THE FINAL HOME GAMES AND THEN THE TEAM WILL LOSE MONEY AND ACT ACCORDINGLY.

  20. Adam-Chris Scheftersen says: Jan 3, 2010 12:55 PM

    Fan of Football says:
    January 3, 2010 12:48 PM
    You can hate Favre all you want, but at least he isn’t a coward. He will stand up for what he thinks is right for the team and the players, regardless of how the overzealous public may react.
    ————————–
    And, once again, Favre was wrong. He stayed in the game, got beaten up, and they still lost.

  21. hotchick says: Jan 3, 2010 12:56 PM

    Love it. Its determined to be a stupid idea and no one even knows what the incentive will be or how it is earned. Plus all the what abouts mentioned above. Again not enough info to judge the idea but everyone is locked on their opinion.

  22. wvugrad00 says: Jan 3, 2010 12:57 PM

    @Child_Please! exactly, if the NFL wants to stop teams from packing it in at the end of the season, put all divisional games at the end of the season. Nothing is locked up until the division is won.

  23. GoBears84 says: Jan 3, 2010 1:01 PM

    RAJ…. I think round 8.

  24. lezmaka says: Jan 3, 2010 1:17 PM

    If you want an incentive to get people to play for 16-0, how about if you do go 16-0, you get an automatic bid to the Super Bowl. That’s the only way to get the Colts to go 16-0 anyway.

  25. edgy says: Jan 3, 2010 1:40 PM

    TFBuckFutter, this ISN’T the first time that this has come up and it goes back a lot further than some people might believe.

  26. JimmyY says: Jan 3, 2010 1:40 PM

    Agree with playing divisional games the end of the season would seem to cause more of an incentive. And who would mandate what constitutes playing time of a starter in order to get these ‘incentive’ picks? Would a starter have to play 2/3 of the snaps, 1/2, etc.? What if they really did get hurt (like Welker today). Yes we see Goodell is trying to accomodate the fans but in no way should he be able to advocate who plays and when. He’s not a coach or GM so he should stay out of it.

  27. chunky soupy sales says: Jan 3, 2010 1:57 PM

    extra draft picks to play your starters?
    Like Zaggs nailed, even bad teams can rest their starters, so why should only playoff bound teams get extra picks?
    what a clusterf###.

  28. edgy says: Jan 3, 2010 1:58 PM

    Oh and to continue to show how disingenuous, Roger GoToHell is, while he was talking about his grand plan to save the integrity of the season, he said that they’ve already sold more tickets to the Pro Bowl in Miami than they ever did at Hawaii. Of course, Aloha Stadium ISN’T an NFL sized stadium (50,000 or so) BUT they’ve sold out most of the seats every year.
    Oh and as I’m typing, Wes Welker is being carted off the field. Yeah, so much for incentives for playing their starters….

  29. NinerNation says: Jan 3, 2010 2:08 PM

    Goodell is the worst commissioner in sports…this is the worst idea I’ve ever heard.

  30. DBL says: Jan 3, 2010 2:14 PM

    WTF!!!!
    extra draft picks for teams that are already the best…?
    takes picks away instead

  31. TFBuckFutter says: Jan 3, 2010 4:47 PM

    “edgy says:
    January 3, 2010 1:40 PM
    TFBuckFutter, this ISN’T the first time that this has come up and it goes back a lot further than some people might believe.”
    It’s the first time it has been a big deal. Every other year, no one really cared.

  32. edgy says: Jan 3, 2010 4:59 PM

    TFBuckFutter, your memory is pretty short because in 2007, there was a lot of pressure from the media and the fans for the Patriots AND the Giants to play their starters with the Pats having a chance to go 16-0. It was a big deal last year, the year before, the year before that and….. I hope you get the picture.

  33. edgy says: Jan 3, 2010 11:23 PM

    So, what incentives will the Commish give when this system is implemented when teams lose their most valuable players to injury when they play in a meaningless game? The commish is stupid to try to mandate to the teams what they should do when following his orders would not be in the best interest of the franchise.

  34. edgy says: Jan 4, 2010 2:50 PM

    So, what incentives will the Commish give when this system is implemented when teams lose their most valuable players to injury when they play in a meaningless game? The commish is stupid to try to mandate to the teams what they should do when following his orders would not be in the best interest of the franchise.

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