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McKenzie’s public comments on Manziel were premature


At a time when college coaches surely are getting a little uneasy about the ever-increasing number of underclassmen choosing to leave early, the NFL could be looking for a way to placate the Nick Sabans of the world by making an example out of someone.

Enter Raiders G.M. Reggie McKenzie.

By speaking publicly about former Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel before Manziel officially has been declared eligible for the draft, McKenzie violated the league’s Anti-Tampering provisions.  As one league source said in response to McKenzie’s remarks about Manziel, “That’s a league fine.”

The NFL’s rule relating to college players is clear:  “Club personnel who make public comments about the football ability or NFL potential of underclassmen who have not yet been officially declared eligible for the draft will be subject to discipline by the Commissioner.”

While the deadline for declaring for early admission to the draft has come and gone, Manziel and none of the other underclassman have been “officially declared eligible for the draft.”  That’ll happen Saturday.

Is it a technical violation for McKenzie to speak about Manziel two days early?  Yes.  Is it a harmless violation?  Absolutely.  But between the rookie wage scale backfiring on college football by luring more players to the NFL so that they can start logging years toward their second contracts and the NFL’s overt tracking of and speculation about players who will or may declare early for the draft via the league-owned website, the power-that-be in pro football may need to do something to appease the powers-that-be in college football.

If so, McKenzie has made it very easy for the league to make an unambiguous statement.

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27 Responses to “McKenzie’s public comments on Manziel were premature”
  1. abninf says: Jan 16, 2014 9:40 PM

    I like Manziel. I would hate to see him to to a club like Oakland or Cleveland. That’s where QB’s go to fail.

  2. slightlyhyphy says: Jan 16, 2014 9:42 PM

    Hue Jackson tampered by talking about Darren McFadden. Let’s call it even.

  3. camiller85 says: Jan 16, 2014 9:51 PM

    So I’m guessing Bob McNair owner of the Texans will be getting one of these fines as well, because he pretty much said they would take 1st overall Clowney and have JJ Watt groom him. ShowLight!

  4. guyljr says: Jan 16, 2014 9:56 PM

    He already hired an agent…. Am I wrong? He is not elligible to return……

  5. mantastic54 says: Jan 16, 2014 10:04 PM

    How did the rookie wage scale backfire? It was never intended to keep kids in school longer. Wage scale or not, even if you make the league minimum, it beats playing for free

  6. wisconsinhillfolk says: Jan 16, 2014 10:05 PM


  7. sickoe47 says: Jan 16, 2014 10:10 PM

    Oh the comish will fine you for anything these days,get fined for wearing bright shoes,get fined for excessive celebration,get fined for saying that player is great the NFL the no fun league!!!

  8. r8drn8tn says: Jan 16, 2014 10:11 PM

    So let me get this straight. The network owned by the NFL can discuss Manziel’s draft stock at length. The NFL website can include him in mock drafts and all of the pundits can discuss him at length but a GM cannot say he is a play maker and state that every team needs play makers. uh ok.

  9. radrntn says: Jan 16, 2014 10:12 PM

    now you know why Al Davis would never talk to the media…just a bunch of bus drivers…better off just shutting the media out, and let them hate.

  10. sndvl99 says: Jan 16, 2014 10:22 PM

    The rookie wage scale didn’t backfire. It was meant to keep salaries down. Mainly for the first 10 picks. Gone are the days of an unproven QB getting 30M guaranteed.

  11. demolition510 says: Jan 16, 2014 10:30 PM

    NFL and their ticky tacky rules. Where does fine money actually go to? Anyone?

  12. mogogo1 says: Jan 16, 2014 10:30 PM

    The NFL does love its oddball rules. What exactly do they do to “officially” declare a player eligible for the draft? Manziel has already hired agents, so his bridges with the NCAA are already burned. McKenzie’s comments had no impact on anything at all.

  13. walkers8484 says: Jan 16, 2014 10:39 PM

    Whoops. Anybody else think Reggie is in over his head?

  14. riverhorsey says: Jan 16, 2014 11:00 PM

    Texans got Manziel anyway.

  15. chris6523 says: Jan 16, 2014 11:04 PM

    How did the rookie wage scale backfire? It was never intended to keep kids in school longer. Wage scale or not, even if you make the league minimum, it beats playing for free


    Agreed completely. When there was discussion about putting in place a rookie wage scale, I don’t ever recall hearing one peep out of anyone suggesting the rationale for the wage scale was to keep kids in school longer. The rationale always began with the words “Jamarcus Russell”. Beyond that, I don’t believe for a minute that these early entrants hurt the college game. IMO, it makes college football more competitive. The ‘Bamas, LSUs and OSUs of the world have more kids going pro early and they therefore have a challenge in putting together a dominant team the following year. This is where teams like Wisconsin, South Carolina, and Arizona State get the opportunity to catch up with the more traditional powers. If Saban is concerned with losing guys early, he could always cut back on the number of 4 star recruits he brings to Tuscaloosa.

  16. jdcush31 says: Jan 16, 2014 11:25 PM

    I’m getting sick of the comments out there about players like Manziel, Clowney, Bridgewater ect. would be wasted on going to crappy franchises like the Raiders and the Browns. You could have said the same thing about Payton going to the Colts 1st overall. Its amazing how drafting a future hall of famer can turn around a franchise.

  17. thestrategyexpert says: Jan 16, 2014 11:30 PM

    The fine money all goes to charity. Some of it goes to benefits for retired players and other football related charities, but a wide variety of charities are chosen including disaster relief and others associated with health and safety.

  18. dawsonleery says: Jan 16, 2014 11:52 PM

    Bob McNair talks about Clowney, That’s ok.

    Reggie talks about Johnny Football and gets fined?

    Hmmmmm. I won’t say too much more but I think we all know whats going on here.

  19. thegreatgabbert says: Jan 16, 2014 11:55 PM

    Premature elucidation.

  20. tatum064 says: Jan 16, 2014 11:57 PM

    Actually, he may be talking up Manziel so the pick ahead would be – Teddy Bridgewater.

    1. Houston – J.Clowney
    2. Rams – G.Robinson, OT or J.Matthews
    3. Jags – Sammy Watkins
    4. Browns – Johnny Manziel
    5. Raiders – Teddy Bridgewater

    if he was in over his head, he’d be trading down twice to acquire 10 picks, probably. – he shouldnt fear the pick, he could end up with Manziel, Bridgewater, Matthews, Clowney – all decent, with a lot of cap space to re-sign players and add much needed free agents.

    But you never know…..

  21. raiders85 says: Jan 17, 2014 1:11 AM

    So if he doesn’t answer uneducated media questions he’s fined and if he does answer uneducated media questions he’s fined?? Bob mcnair better get the first of these nonsensical fines he’s drooling over clowney in an open media session at least when Reggie said this it was a closed session but someone had to make a story of it no wonder people hate the media

  22. snakesmileyface says: Jan 17, 2014 1:18 AM

    Picking nits. The bottom line is that Manziel will go where he’s picked, nice words from Reggie McKenzie or not. I fail to see how this affects anything. Now, if Manziel were a running back about to enter free agency but currently under contract with another team…

  23. claudibi says: Jan 17, 2014 5:29 AM

    Mc Kenzie said Johnny “Football” is a good player… Let me say this is such an horrible crime, and Raiders should be punished. Let’s rid them off of their draft picks. Maybe some of their 2014 salary cap, also…

  24. prospero63 says: Jan 17, 2014 7:25 AM

    And folks wonder why guys don’t like to talk to the media. Make an innocent comment in response to a question, get a fine. I wish more folks were like Gregg poppovich in how they handled it.

  25. nbcwantsitsmoneyback says: Jan 17, 2014 8:29 AM

    If he is seriously considering drafting Manziel he shouldn’t be fined he should be fired..!

  26. 8to80texansblog says: Jan 17, 2014 9:54 AM

    Manziel hired and agent and declared for the draft officially last week.

    Not sure what this fine is about.

    And for Manziel’s sake, I hope he doesn’t end up in Oakland….

  27. open1337 says: Jan 17, 2014 12:39 PM

    Maybe they should not hype up these players and forecast where they’re going to be drafted. Especially if they’re not even graduating college.

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