Skip to content

Robert Kraft tees off on Brady ruling

Robert Kraft AP

[Editor’s note: On Wednesday morning, Patriots owner Robert Kraft unexpectedly provided a statement to the media before a previously-scheduled press conference from coach Bill Belichick. The full text of Robert Kraft’s statement appears below.]

I felt it was important to make a statement today, prior to the start of training camp. After this, I will not be talking about this matter until after the legal process plays itself out, and I would advise everyone in the organization to do the same and just concentrate on preparation for the 2015 season.

The decision handed down by the league yesterday is unfathomable to me. It is routine for discipline in the NFL to be reduced upon appeal. In the vast majority of these cases, there is tangible and hard evidence of the infraction for which the discipline is being imposed, and still the initial penalty gets reduced. Six months removed from the AFC championship game, the league still has no hard evidence of anybody doing anything to tamper with the PSI levels of footballs.

I continue to believe and unequivocally support Tom Brady. I first and foremost need to apologize to our fans, because I truly believe what I did in May, given the actual evidence of the situation and the league’s history on discipline matters, would make it much easier for the league to exonerate Tom Brady.

Unfortunately, I was wrong.

The league’s handling of this entire process has been extremely frustrating and disconcerting. I will never understand why an initial erroneous report regarding the PSI level of footballs was leaked by a source from the NFL a few days after the AFC championship game, [and] was never corrected by those who had the correct information. For four months, that report cast aspersions and shaped public opinion.

Yesterday’s decision by Commissioner Goodell was released in a similar manner, under an erroneous headline that read, “Tom Brady destroyed his cellphone.” This headline was designed to capture headlines across the country and obscure evidence regarding the tampering of air pressure in footballs. It intentionally implied nefarious behavior and minimized the acknowledgement that Tom provided the history of every number he texted during that relevant time frame. And we had already provided the league with every cellphone of every non-NFLPA that they requested, including head coach Bill Belichick.

Tom Brady is a person of great integrity, and is a great ambassador of the game, both on and off the field. Yet for reasons that I cannot comprehend, there are those in the league office who are more determined to prove that they were right rather than admit any culpability of their own or take any responsibility for the initiation of a process and ensuing investigation that was flawed.

I have come to the conclusion that this was never about doing what was fair and just. Back in May, I had to make a difficult decision that I now regret. I tried to do what I thought was right. I chose not to take legal action. I wanted to return the focus to football.

I have been negotiating agreements on a global basis my entire life. I know there are times when you have to give up important points of principle to achieve a greater good. I acted in good faith and was optimistic that by taking the actions I took the league would have what they wanted. I was willing to accept the harshest penalty in the history of the NFL for an alleged ball violation because I believed it would help exonerate Tom.

I have often said, ‘If you want to get a deal done, sometimes you have to get the lawyers out of the room.’ I had hoped that Tom Brady’s appeal to the league would provide Roger Goodell the necessary explanation to overturn his suspension. Now, the league has taken the matter to court, which is a tactic that only a lawyer would recommend.

Once again, I want to apologize to the fans of the New England Patriots and Tom Brady. I was wrong to put my faith in the league. Given the facts, evidence, and laws of science that underscore this entire situation, it is completely incomprehensible to me that the league continues to take steps to disparage one of its all-time great players, and a man for whom I have the utmost respect.

Personally, this is very sad and disappointing to me.

Permalink 334 Comments Feed for comments Back to top

NFL 2015 fine schedule

The NFL has released the following schedule of fines for the 2015 season.

(Violation; First Offense; Second Offense)

Physical Contact with Official; $28,940; $57,881

Verbal or other Non-Physical Offense Against Official; $23,152; $46,305

Striking/Kicking/Kneeing; $8,681; $17,363

Horse Collar Tackle; $17,363; $34,728

Face Mask; $8,681; $17,363

Leg Whip; $17,363; $34,728

Late Hit; $8,681; $17,363

Spearing; $23,152; $46,305

Hit on Defenseless Player; $23,152; $46,305

Blindside Block; $23,152; $46,305

Roughing the Passer; $17,363; $34,728

Low Block; $8,681; $17,363

Chop Block; $8,681; $17,363

Fighting; $28,940; $57,881

Unnecessarily Entering Fight Area (active involvement); $5,787; $11,576

Unnecessarily Entering Fight Area (no active involvement); $2,893; $8,681

Excessive Profanity, other Unsportsmanlike Conduct; $11,576; $23,152

Taunting; $8,681; $11,576

Football Into Stands; $5,787; $11,576

Foreign Substances on Body/Uniform; $8,681; $17,363

Chin Strap violations; $8,681; $11,576

Personal Messages; $5,787; $11,576

Other Uniform/Equipment Violations; $5,787; $11,576

Permalink 28 Comments Feed for comments Back to top

The first ever PFT Twitter mailbag

Newman

Usually, I ask for questions via the PFT Twitter handle in the hopes of generating discussion points for PFT Live on NBC Sports Radio. I’m off this week from radio. But I’m not off this week from the website. So instead of answering your questions on the radio, I’ll answer them here.

And already I’ve realized it’s a lot easier to do this by talking than by typing.

Which means that this may be something I ever only do once. A lot of it depends upon whether any of you read it. Whatever the over-under is for clicks, I’m rooting for the under.

Even if Commissioner Roger Goodell chooses not to reject all or part of the multi-million-dollar efforts of Ted Wells in the #DeflateGate investigation in reaching a ruling in the Tom Brady appeal, the controversy engulfing his report makes it very difficult for the NFL to ever use him again. Thousands of lawyers could do the same job, without the baggage. (Based on the quality of the report, thousands of lawyers also could probably do the job better.)

Wells added to the controversy by angrily defending his work in a media conference call. Common sense suggests that his anger didn’t subside after the conference call ended, because the criticism continued. Common sense also suggests that Wells directed that anger to folks in the league office who weren’t working hard enough to defend his work.

It adds up to the NFL finding someone else to do the work if similar work needs to be done in the future.

The Cowboys and franchise-tagged receiver Dez Bryant have until July 15 to work out a long-term deal. After that, the rules of the tag allow only a one-year contract.

In late June, reports began to emerge from Dallas regarding the imminent announcement of a deal. As of Friday, July 3, some were suggesting that the team and the player were waiting until Monday, July 6 to make it official.

Three days later, nothing. While something could come at any point in the next six days (which undoubtedly would prompt those who have claimed a deal is “imminent” to declare victory), there’s no clear evidence at this point that the two sides are closing in on a contract.

Which wouldn’t be a surprise. It’s believed that the Cowboys are taking a hard line with Bryant because they think he won’t pass up game checks that will exceed $750,000 per week. Some wonder whether he’ll show up for training camp simply to get the training camp and the per diem.

From a broader standpoint, work stoppages don’t work because players don’t want to give up the money and the privilege of playing. In Bryant’s case, the Cowboys are banking on Dez quickly blinking, which limits what the Cowboys are willing to do.

Shortly after the Raiders and Chargers announced their intent to build a shared stadium in Carson, PFT reported that one of them would change conferences, if the plan becomes a reality.

The early thinking pegged the Raiders for the move, with either the Rams or Cardinals jumping to the AFC West.

The Seahawks spent 1977 through 2001 in the AFC West. Keeping them in the NFC West and moving the Raiders there would create a potentially intriguing twice-per-year round-robin rivalry among the Raiders, 49ers, and Seahawks.

It’s one thing for the Albert Haynesworth of today to offer advice to his younger self. It’s quite another for the younger Albert Haynesworth to heed it. I doubt that the younger Albert Haynesworth would have listened to anyone, including himself as a man in his 30s.

I agree with the idea that former Washington coach Mike Shanahan didn’t use Haynesworth properly, but I still wonder whether Haynesworth would have continued to be dominant after he no longer was chasing a long-term contract. Plenty of players lose their edge once they cash in, and it’s hard not to think Haynesworth would have struggled even if he had stayed in Tennessee.

You’re not. Whether because of injury or ineffectiveness, Sam Bradford is no lock to win the job as of Week One. Sanchez has the benefit of a year in the system, and in Philadelphia knowledge of the system and an ability to run it the way coach Chip Kelly wants it to be run becomes more important than it would be elsewhere.

The trade compensation given to the Rams for Bradford suggests that the Eagles think highly of him. The ongoing absence of a long-term deal invites fair questions as to how highly they think of him, and regarding whether he will be on the team in 2016.

Still, there’s currently no sense that Kelly plans for an open competition, like the one held two years ago between Mike Vick and Nick Foles. It doesn’t mean Sanchez can’t swipe the job from Bradford; it just means Sanchez will have to significantly overachieve — or Bradford will have to significantly underachieve.

Or that Bradford will have to get injured again.

I’m not convinced Tom Coughlin is retiring after the 2015 season, which undercuts the idea that the players will be playing harder than they otherwise would be. (I’m not sure they’d be playing extra hard even if they knew their head coach, regardless of who he is, were retiring.) But the Giants still have the potential to be competitive as quarterback Eli Manning becomes more comfortable in Ben McAdoo’s offense.

The key will be the offensive and defensive lines. Those units both played at a high level when the Giants won Super Bowls to cap the 2007 and 2011 seasons. They need to get back to that quality of performance, Left tackle Will Beatty’s offseason pectoral injury and defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul’s fireworks mishap will make that more difficult.

At plenty of positions, the Giants have suffered more than their fair share of injuries in recent seasons. Declared to be “a cancer” by Coughlin when he was hired, failure to find a way to keep guys on the field could result in a forced retirement, not only for Coughlin but for plenty of other employees of the organization.

The NFL already didn’t have a salary cap, for a year. Sort of. The labor deals that instituted the salary cap made the final year uncapped in order to create an incentive to extend the contract before it expired. Before 2010, the labor deals never got to the final year.

In 2010, the labor deal did, and the cap went away. With express (and implied) exceptions.

The cap is now back, and it’s unlikely that the NFL and the NFL Players Association ever would agree to get rid of it permanently. Without it, a small handful of owners would overspend on players in an effort buy to championships, throwing the league out of its current competitive balance.

“You wouldn’t want to see the size of the check that I would write if it would for sure get the Dallas Cowboys a Super Bowl,” Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said last year.

We’ll never see it, because he won’t ever have the chance to do it.

That’s a great question, which is something I usually say during radio interviews to buy time. So I’ll sit here and take some time before answering this one.

For starters, Galette isn’t a star player. If this were a franchise quarterback or one of the short-list superstar defensive players in the league, it would have been a much bigger deal.

Also, the video lacked the kind of short, simple, one-pounch clarity from videos generated by the likes of Ray Rice and De’Andre Johnson. While there’s a moment where Galette hits a woman in the head with a belt, the entire video is too chaotic to allow for the kind of raw, visceral reaction generated by the Rice and Johnson videos.

The fact that the fans and media largely ignored the video doesn’t mean the NFL will. The problem for the league is that the behavior occurred before the Rice case forced the NFL to change its Personal Conduct Policy, limiting what the league could do to Galette.

Browns starter Josh McCown may be the best quarterback on any of those three teams. He played extremely well in 2013 when Bears starter Jay Cutler was hurt. McCown’s regression in 2014 was fueled by the absence of an offensive coordinator, which continues to be one of the most underrated story lines of last season. But the rest of the depth chart in Cleveland seems shaky, at best.

The Jets have a potentially great fit for Chan Gailey’s offense in Ryan Fitzpatrick, but Fitzpatrick doesn’t seem to be getting serious consideration to start. Bryce Petty quickly could develop into the best option, simply because there’s no reason to believe Geno Smith will suddenly become dramatically better in his third season.

In Buffalo, the bad news is that Tyrod Taylor could be the best option. Depending on how well Taylor plays, however, that could end up being good news. Whether it’s Taylor, EJ Manuel, or Matt Cassel, whoever gets the job will face plenty of pressure to take full advantage of the team’s impressive (but potentially volatile) collection of offensive weapons.

Ultimately, none of the three teams has a great quarterback situation, which means that Russell Wilson, Eli Manning, and Philip Rivers will make plenty of money in 2016, either from their current teams or from one of the NFL teams desperate to find a franchise quarterback.

Like the three teams discussed in this answer.

For years, the silence of Rams owner Stan Kroenke fueled speculation that he’d move the team to Los Angeles. Now, some view his ongoing silence as proof that he’s ultimately trying to secure the best possible deal to keep the team in St. Louis.

Much of the outcome hinges on whether a public vote will be required to use public funds on a new stadium, and if so whether the public would vote in favor of the measure.

It’s far from over for the Rams in St. Louis. And the end result could be another opportunity to steal another team from another city, like St. Louis has done twice before with the Cardinals and the Rams.

Without question, running back Latavius Murray needs to have the kind of success that forces defenses to devote extra resources to stopping him. That will make it easier for Carr to find open receivers, and for the offensive line to protect him.

Sure, Oakland is holding out hope that Trent Richardson will finally become what he never has been in three NFL seasons. But the move of Taiwan Jones from cornerback back to running back shows just how desperate the Raiders are to develop a solid backfield.

For now, though, Murray is the player with the arrow pointing up. Even though he gained only 424 yards last year, he averaged 5.2 yards per carry and paid homage to Bo Jackson in prime time with a 90-yard touchdown run. If Carr is going to fully develop as a passer in his second NFL season, Murray needs to run more like Bo and less like pretty much every other running back the Raiders have had since Bo.

I do, primarily because Hoyer has more game experience than Mallett. The third-round pick in the 2011 draft, whose stock as a potential first-rounder plummeted due to off-field concerns, still hasn’t played in enough regular-season game situations to allow a full evaluation of his strengths and weaknesses.

The Texans apparently agree, because they gave Hoyer a much richer contract in free agency than they gave to Mallett.

Coach Bill O’Brien hinted during the offseason program that the competition between the two may be resolved before training camp. If true, that’s great news for Hoyer, since if they pick a horse before camp starts, Hoyer is going to be the winner.

Especially since Hoyer can run better than Mallett. Which also gives the former Brown an edge.

Permalink 13 Comments Feed for comments Back to top

Supplemental draft has had far more misses than hits

Bosworth Getty Images

The NFL launched the supplemental draft in 1977. Thirty-eight years and more than 40 picks later, it has generated only a very small handful of great NFL players.

The Saints thought they’d found one in 1981, taking quarterback Dave Wilson with a first-round pick. He stayed with New Orleans for eight seasons, generating a career-high 2,353 passing yards in 1986. By 1987, Bobby Hebert had taken over at the position — and the Saints had made it to the postseason for the first time in franchise history. Wilson took a back seat for the rest of his career.

Four years later, the Browns used the supplemental draft to land Bernie Kosar, who gamed the system to avoid being taken by the Vikings in the regular draft and landed in his hand-picked location of Cleveland as a first-round pick.

Two years later, the Seahawks used a first-round pick in the supplemental draft on linebacker Brian Bosworth, who ended up being a colossal bust.

Two years after that, the Cowboys used a first-round pick in the supplemental draft on quarterback Steve Walsh, despite having invested the first overall pick only three months earlier in quarterback Troy Aikman. It was a confusing move at the time, but a year later coach Jimmy Johnson pulled off a mini-Herschel swindling of the Saints, getting a first-round pick and a third-round pick from New Orleans for Walsh, who never did much of anything at the NFL level.

That same year, the Broncos devoted a first-round selection to running back Bobby Humphrey. After rushing for 1,151 yards as a rookie and making to the Pro Bowl with 1,202 yards in 1990, Humphrey held out deep into the 1991 season, ultimately appeared in four games, gained 33 yards rushing, and was traded to Miami for 1992 for tailback Sammie Smith. Humphrey generated 471 yards rushing in what was his final season of game action.

Also in 1989 — the only year with multiple first-round supplemental draft picks — the Cardinals selected quarterback Timm Rosenbach, who served as full-time starter for only one season (1990) before a knee injury wiped out his 1991 season. He returned to the field in 1992, but he played only three games before his NFL career ended.

In 1990, the Jets used a first-round pick in the supplemental draft on receiver Rob Moore, who after four seasons under 1,000 yards cracked four digits (by 10 yards) in 1994, making it to the Pro Bowl. Traded to the Cardinals for a first-round pick (which became Hugh Douglas) and running back Ron Moore, Rob Moore peaked with 97 receptions for 1,584 yards in 1997, earning another Pro Bowl berth.

Two years later, the Giants became the last team to use a first-round supplemental selection, taking quarterback Dave Brown. He became the starter in 1994, yielded to Danny Kanell in 1997, and finished his career as a backup with the Cardinals.

Since Brown was selected 23 years ago, 18 players have been taken in the supplemental draft. Most notably, the Packers acquired guard Mike Wahle with a second-round pick in 1998 (he became a Pro Bowler with the Panthers in 2005), the Chargers selected three-time Pro Bowl nose tackle Jamal Williams with a second-round pick that same year.

Linebacker Ahmad Brooks, taken by the Bengals in round three of the 2006 supplemental draft, later became a Pro Bowler with the 49ers after only two seasons in Cincinnati. The last Pro Bowl player found via the supplemental draft was receiver Josh Gordon, who currently is serving a one-year suspension after serving a 10-game suspension in 2014 for violating the substance-abuse policy.

Of course, the best player ever to come from the supplemental draft was only a fourth-round pick, and the vast majority of his exploits came with a team other than the one who drafted him. Receiver Cris Carter, picked by the Eagles in 1987 and dumped after three seasons, was claimed on waivers by the Vikings and became a perennial Pro Bowler and, ultimately, a Hall of Famer.

This year, the name generating the most buzz in advance of the supplemental draft is Clemson tackle Isaiah Battle. If neither he nor any other player is picked in the process that unfolds with little fanfare and a weird set of rules on Thursday, it’ll run the streak of no players being taken to four years and counting — the longest drought in supplemental draft history.

Permalink 40 Comments Feed for comments Back to top

Training camp reporting dates for 2015

Seahawks Getty Images

[Editor’s note: Yes, football will be back soon. Really soon. The NFL has released the dates for all team to report for camp, both rookies and veteran. The full list appears below, from earliest to latest.]

Steelers: July 25. (Rookies report the same day.)

Vikings: July 25. (Rookies report the same day.)

Ravens: July 29. (Rookies report July 22.)

Saints: July 29. (Rookies report July 22.)

Patriots: July 29. (Rookies report July 23.)

Browns: July 29. (Rookies report July 27.)

Washington: July 29. (Rookies report the same day.)

Dolphins: July 29. (Rookies report the same day.)

Jets: July 29. (Rookies report the same day.)

Chargers: July 29. (Rookies report the same day.)

Bears: July 29. (Rookies report the same day.)

Cowboys: July 29. (Rookies report the same day.)

Packers: July 29. (Rookies report the same day.)

Raiders: July 30. (Rookies report July 26.)

Bengals: July 30. (Rookies report July 27.)

Broncos: July 30. (Rookies report July 27.)

Jaguars: July 30. (Rookies report July 27.)

Bills: July 30. (Rookies report the same day.)

Titans: July 30. (Rookies report the same day.)

Falcons: July 30. (Rookies report the same day.)

Panthers: July 30. (Rookies report the same day.)

Giants: July 30. (Rookies report the same day.)

Seahawks: July 30. (Rookies report the same day.)

Texans: July 31. (Rookies report July 26.)

Rams: July 31. (Rookies report July 27.)

49ers: July 31. (Rookies report July 27.)

Buccaneers: July 31. (Rookies report July 27.)

Chiefs: July 31. (Rookies report July 28.)

Cardinals: July 31. (Rookies report July 28.)

Colts: August 1. (Rookies report the same day.)

Eagles: August 1. (Rookies report the same day.)

Lions: August 2. (Rookie report July 28.)

Permalink 2 Comments Feed for comments Back to top

Full text of Goodell’s letter to NFLPA regarding Tom Brady appeal

zz05mzflzta4mzm3nji4yzk4m2e2mdyynja2njhhnjzmng AP

On Tuesday, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell rejected the NFLPA’s request that he recuse himself from hearing Patriots quarterback Tom Brady’s appeal of the four-game suspension the league handed down last month as a result of the investigation into the use of deflated footballs in the AFC Championship game.

The full text of the letter that Goodell sent to the union appears below.

Our Collective Bargaining Agreement provides that “at his discretion,” the Commissioner may serve as hearing officer in “any appeal” involving conduct detrimental to the integrity of, or public confidence in, the game of professional football.  I will exercise that discretion to hear Mr. Brady’s appeal.

I have carefully reviewed the NFLPA’s recusal motion of May 19 as well as Mr. Nash’s response of May 22.  (Neither party requested to be heard on the matter.)  Based on the unambiguous language and structure of the CBA, as well as common sense, I conclude that none of the arguments advanced by the NFLPA has merit.

First, the NFLPA argues that I may not serve as hearing officer because Mr. Brady’s discipline letter was signed by NFL executive vice president Troy Vincent rather than by me.  I disagree.  The identity of the person who signed the disciplinary letter is irrelevant.  The signatory’s identity does not influence in any way my evaluation of the issues; any suggestion to the contrary defies common sense.  (I note that NFL executives other than the Commissioner have signed disciplinary letters in numerous proceedings in which the Commissioner or his designee later served as hearing officer.  I am not aware of any objections by the Union to that practice.  To the contrary, as Mr. Nash’s letter points out, the Union has confirmed its acceptance of this procedure.)

There can be no dispute that this is an appeal of Commissioner discipline:  As the letter signed by Mr. Vincent explains in its first sentence, “The Commissioner has authorized me to inform you of the discipline that, pursuant to his authority under Article 46 of the CBA, has been imposed upon you ….”  I did not delegate my disciplinary authority to Mr. Vincent; I concurred in his recommendation and authorized him to communicate to Mr. Brady the discipline imposed under my authority as Commissioner.

Even if there were a procedural issue raised by the identity of the signatory to a discipline letter that I authorized, no reason or logic — and certainly nothing in the CBA — would support recusal as the remedy.  After all, the CBA provides that “the Commissioner may serve as hearing officer in “any appeal” involving conduct detrimental to the integrity of the game.

Second, the NFLPA argues that recusal is required because it believes that I may be a “necessary” and/or “central” witness in the appeal proceeding.  I have carefully considered this argument and reject its premise.  I am not a necessary or even an appropriate witness, much less a “central witness” as the NFLPA contends.

I do not have any first-hand knowledge of any of the events at issue.  (That fact makes this matter very different from the Rice appeal, in which there was a fundamental dispute over what Mr. Rice told me in a meeting at the league office.)  Nor did I play a role in the investigation that led to Mr. Brady’s discipline.  Furthermore, there is no reasonable basis for dispute — or for any testimony — about authority for the discipline reflected in the letter signed by Mr. Vincent.  The letter itself is clear on this point.  And there is no basis for my testifying about prior instances in which discipline was considered or imposed for similar conduct; if that were the case, the NFLPA could seek my recusal in every conduct detrimental proceeding, directly contrary to our agreement that I have the “discretion” to hear “any” appeal.

Regardless, my knowledge of any underlying facts in this matter would not provide a basis for recusal.  The CBA contemplates such knowledge and expressly provides that the Commissioner may hear and decide “any” appeal of conduct detrimental discipline.

Accordingly, there is no basis upon which I could properly be asked to testify in the appeal proceeding, which under Article 46 of the CBA is designed to afford Mr. Brady an opportunity to bring new or additional facts or circumstances to my attention for consideration.

Third, the NFLPA argues that recusal is required because I have “prejudged” the matter and cannot fairly evaluate the potential testimony of league staff members.  After carefully considering this argument, I reject it.

The process by which discipline is imposed for conduct detrimental, and by which appeals of disciplinary decisions are heard, has been in place for many years and is well known to the parties. That includes the role of league staff in the proceedings and the likelihood that the Commissioner will have some knowledge of the underlying facts.

When the parties agreed in the Collective Bargaining Agreement to continue the provisions confirming the Commissioner’s “discretion” to hear “any” appeal of a player facing discipline for conduct detrimental, they clearly understood (a) that such appeals regularly involve testimony by league staff about the issues and events in dispute and (b) that if the Commissioner has taken some action against the player for conduct detrimental and given him notice of impending discipline, he necessarily would have reached an initial conclusion about the player’s actions.  Nonetheless, the parties’ agreement that the Commissioner may serve as hearing officer in “any appeal” could not be more clear.  Thus, neither of those two factors can serve as a basis for recusal.

Nor have I “prejudged” this appeal. I have publicly expressed my appreciation to Mr. Wells and his colleagues for their thorough and independent work.  But that does not mean that I am wedded to their conclusions or to their assessment of the facts.  Nor does it mean that, after considering the evidence and argument presented during the appeal, I may not reach a different conclusion about Mr. Brady’s conduct or the discipline imposed.  That is true even though the initial discipline decision was reached after extensive discussion and in reliance on the critical importance of protecting the integrity of the game.  As I have said publicly, I very much look forward to hearing from Mr. Brady and to considering any new information or evidence that he may bring to my attention.  My mind is open; there has been no “prejudgment” and no bias that warrants recusal.

I have considered the cases cited by the NFLPA, MorrisErving, and Hewitt.  I agree with Commissioner Tagliabue’s reasoning in the Bounty proceeding, in which he denied the NFLPA’s motion that he recuse himself.  Those cases are not applicable in an appeal governed by a collective bargaining agreement, especially one that so clearly reflects the parties’ intentions about the Commissioner’s authority, discretion, and role.  As Commissioner Tagliabue stated:  “No change in the Collective Bargaining Agreements between 1977 and the present day has ever abrogated the sole authority of the Commissioner to preside” in appeals involving discipline for conduct detrimental to the integrity of the game.  This recusal motion, and others like it, represent nothing more than an effort by the NFLPA to renegotiate Article 46 of the current Collective Bargaining Agreement, signed in August 2011.

Because protecting the integrity of the game is the Commissioner’s most important responsibility, I decline to rewrite our Collective Bargaining Agreement to abrogate my authority and “discretion” to hear “any appeal” in a conduct detrimental proceeding.

The motion for recusal is denied. We will proceed with the hearing on June 23, as previously scheduled.

Permalink 29 Comments Feed for comments Back to top

Kraft: I disagree with Goodell, but I accept it and we won’t appeal

New England Patriots v Kansas City Chiefs Getty Images

Patriots owner Robert Kraft announced today that his team will not fight NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell’s decision to strip the team of a first-round draft pick, a fourth-round draft pick and $1 million as punishment for Deflategate.

In a long statement at the league meeting, Kraft explained that he thinks it’s in the best interests of the league if the Patriots take their medicine, even if they disagree with Goodell’s decision. Here is Kraft’s statement:

“It’s been an emotionally charged couple of weeks as all of you know, and I’ve been considering what my options are. And throughout this whole process there have been two polarizing audiences. At one end of the spectrum we’ve had Patriots fans throughout the country who have been so supportive and really inspirational to us and believing in us. But, also mindful, at the other end of the spectrum, there are fans who feel just the opposite. And what I’ve learned is the ongoing rhetoric continues to galvanize both camps. And I don’t see that changing, and they will never agree.

“But the one thing that we all can agree upon is the entire process has taken way too long. And I don’t think anyone can believe that after four months of the AFC Championship Game, we are still talking about air pressure and the PSI in footballs. I think I made it clear when the report came out that I didn’t think it was fair. There was no hard evidence, and everything was circumstantial. And at the same time, when the discipline came out, I felt it was way over the top. It was unreasonable and unprecedented, in my opinion.

“So I have two options: I can try to end it, or extend it. And I have given a lot of thought to both options. The first thing that came to mind is 21 years ago, I had the privilege of going to a meeting similar to what we have here, in Orlando, and being welcomed in an NFL owners’ meeting. So here’s a fan and a former season ticket holder, living a dream and being welcomed in that room. And I got goosebumps that day. And I vowed at that time that I would do everything I could do to make the New England Patriots an elite team, and hopefully respected throughout the country and at the same time, do what I could do to help the NFL become the most popular sport in America.

“You know, what I’ve learned over the last two decades is that the heart and soul and strength of the NFL is a partnership of 32 teams. And what’s become very clear over those very two decades is at no time should the agenda of one team outweigh the collective good of the full 32. So I have a way of looking at problems that are very strong in my mind, and before I make a final decision, I measure nine times and I cut once. And I think maybe if I had made the decision last week it would be different than it is today.

“But believing in the strength of the partnership, and the 32 teams — we have concentrated the power of adjudication of problems in the office of the commissioner. And although I might disagree with what is decided, I do have respect for the commissioner and believe that he’s doing what he perceives to be in the best interests of the full 32. So in that spirit, I don’t want to continue the rhetoric that’s gone on for the last four months. I’m going to accept, reluctantly, what he has given to us, and not continue this dialogue and rhetoric. And we won’t appeal.

“Now, I know that a lot of Patriot fans are going to be disappointed in that decision. But I hope they trust my judgment and know that I really feel at this point in time that taking this off the agenda, this is the best thing for the New England Patriots, our fans and the NFL. And I hope you all can respect that.

“You know, I would normally take questions, but my desire is truly not to continue the rhetoric, and so I’m going to leave this discussion exactly here. Thank you very much.”

Patriots quarterback Tom Brady still plans to appeal his four-game suspension. But Kraft is done fighting.

Permalink 414 Comments Feed for comments Back to top

After further review, a theory on how #DeflateGate initially unfolded

Anderson Getty Images

The problem with the real-time news cycles is that anyone who presses pause on the generation of content to process information, to gather more information, and to carefully consider the situation fails to serve the audience — and in turn loses money. People want instant analysis; if one content provider isn’t providing it, the people will go to a provider that is.

At PFT, the goal is to provide instant analysis but also to keep an open mind, which means that analysis can be adjusted based on further information and consideration. It’s not easy to balance immediate-term and longer-term thought processes, but it’s necessary — especially when a story is constantly changing and evolving.

A full seven days into the life of the Ted Wells report, I’m ready to set forth a theory as to what happened at the outset of the investigation. The following assertions are opinions based on facts that have been reported and information I have gathered via many phones calls and other communications with league sources.

1. Before January 18, 2015, football air pressure had never been a big deal for the NFL.

Rule 2 of the official NFL playing rules states:  “The ball shall be made up of an inflated (12 1/2 to 13 1/2 pounds) urethane bladder enclosed in a pebble grained, leather case (natural tan color) without corrugations of any kind.” For decades, the 12.5-to-13.5 PSI range had been the prevailing standard. It’s the way it always was, and no one ever gave it much thought.

Despite the intense scientific analysis applied to the air pressures measured at halftime of the AFC title game, the issue of air pressure was not, as former NFL official and former supervisor of officials Jim Daopoulos said on Tuesday’s PFT Live on NBC Sports Radio, an exact science. Daopoulos added that officials generally didn’t know that footballs lost air pressure in cold weather; thus, even though Rule 2 seems to mandate that the ball “shall be” inflated in the range of 12.5 PSI to 13.5 PSI at all times, many games over the years were played with footballs at significantly lower pressures — especially when officials set the pressures to the lowest end of the range before kickoff.

“The practice has been to for the officials to check the pressure pre-game, then play the game,” a league spokesman told PFT on Tuesday. This means that, consciously or not, the NFL has allowed hundreds of games to be played with footballs having an air pressure that was increasingly less than 12.5 PSI.

2. Teams routinely make complaints to the league office before games, few of which are taken seriously.

Early in the development of this story, the fact that the Colts had alerted the league office to concerns about the Patriots tampering with football air pressure had considerable significance. The league’s receipt of the complaint and failure to act on it before the game created the impression that someone from the NFL had set a trap for the Patriots.

It was a compelling and troubling notion. In lieu of warning the Patriots and reserving the right to spot-check air pressure during the game, the NFL apparently opted to allow the game to proceed with non-complying footballs, in the hopes of catching the Patriots in the act.

The more likely reality is that the NFL simply didn’t take the complaint seriously. The league didn’t take the complaint seriously because teams routinely make complaints about opponents, whether due to paranoia, delusion, or gamesmanship.

The best evidence of the league’s failure to take the complaint seriously comes from referee Walt Anderson’s failure to insist that the footballs be kept out of play after the footballs went missing for the first time in Anderson’s 19 years as an official. If Anderson regarded the complaint as credible, Anderson likely wouldn’t have allowed the game to be played with footballs that may have been deflated during the time that they were beyond his supervision.

3. The Colts weren’t hoping to catch the Patriots cheating.

The Colts chose to share the information with the league the day before the game not to catch the Patriots in the act but, I believe, to ensure that the Patriots would be prevented from tampering with the footballs.  The timing of the complain suggests that the Colts hoped the Patriots would have minimal notice of the change in procedures, and in turn minimal time to adjust to not having the footballs at the preferred pressure. Based on the traditional nonchalance that applied to the filling of footballs with air, the Colts also may have been hoping that the officials would simply put extra air in the footballs for good measure, which would have resulted in the balls being inflated well above quarterback Tom Brady’s preferences.

4. Walt Anderson made a big mistake after losing track of the footballs.

Rule 2 states that “the balls shall remain under the supervision of the Referee until they are delivered to the ball attendant just prior to the start of the game.” That didn’t happen prior to the AFC title game; for the first time in Anderson’s 19 years as a game official, he lost the footballs. When he found them, Anderson used them.

He should have required that the alternate balls be used, and he should have ordered that the original balls be taken inside and tested. This would have avoided the use of potentially tainted footballs during the first half, and it would have provided much better evidence regarding whether the air pressures had been deliberately reduced below 12.5 PSI.

5. The game officials and league executives didn’t know about the application of the Ideal Gas Law.

The Wells report explains that, after the Colts made another complaint based on the perceived reduction in air pressure in the football intercepted by linebacker D’Qwell Jackson in the second quarter, two alternate officials (Clete Blakeman and Dyrol Prioleau) tested the pressure in the footballs, with league officials Alberto Riveron and Troy Vincent present. The 11 Patriots footballs were each below the 12.5 PSI minimum; the four Colts footballs tested by the officials were in the vicinity of 12.5 PSI. (It’s unclear whether the men conducting the testing or observing it realized that the Colts’ footballs had a higher initial inflation amount of 13.0 to 13.1 PSI.)

Based on the explanation on Tuesday’s PFT Live from long-time game official and supervisor of officials Jim Daopoulos that officials generally weren’t aware that air pressure shrinks during cold-weather games, the visceral reaction at that moment by the folks in the room quite likely may have been that the Patriots had been caught in the act.

6. The NFL initially made the numbers seem worse than they actually were.

Fueled by PSI measurements that seem low to someone who doesn’t instantly realize that air pressure drops significantly during prolonged exposure to cold temperatures, the league promptly launched an investigation. But NFL executive V.P. Dave Gardi inexplicably told the Patriots in the initial letter explaining the investigation that one of the balls was determined to have a pressure of only 10.1 PSI, even though none of the footballs had a pressure that low.

Then, someone from the league (it surely wasn’t someone from the Patriots) leaked to ESPN’s Chris Mortensen that 11 of the 12 balls were a full two pounds below the 12.5 PSI minimum. The measurements reveal that this information was false.

The false information leaked to Mortensen gave the story more traction and a higher degree of significance. It also placed the Patriots on the defensive without the Patriots knowing the specific PSI measurements against which they were defending. If true and accurate information had been leaked to the media or given to the Patriots, coach Bill Belichick’s notorious Mona Lisa Vito press conference would have been far more persuasive, because the data from one of the two significantly conflicting gauges used to determine the air pressure generated measurements in line with the expected loss in pressure during 90 minutes in the elements of a January day in Foxboro.

Think of how different the narrative would have been if, in the early days of the scandal, the prevailing information from one of the largest sports-media outlets in America had been not that 10 of the 12 balls were two pounds under the minimum but that all 12 balls (including the one that had been intercepted by Jackson) tested within the range consistent with the application of the Ideal Gas Law.

Also, think of how different the narrative would have been if, in the early days of the scandal, the league had acknowledged that the officials used two different gauges with dramatically different readings generated.

It’s impossible to know exactly what happened within the confines of the Ted Wells ensuing investigation without having access to the raw transcripts of interviews and the full range of text messages. For now, though, it’s clear that this investigation proceeded aggressively despite a history of less-than-zealous attention to air pressure, an apparent lack of immediate understanding regarding the Ideal Gas Law, and a non-accidental attempt to make the tampering seem more obvious than the facts suggest it was. And that makes it hard not to wonder what other flaws may be lurking within the 243-page report and the underlying evidence on which it was based.

Permalink 300 Comments Feed for comments Back to top

NFL statement on Deflategate discipline

tombrady AP

NFL STATEMENT ON DISCIPLINE IMPOSED ON NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS FOR VIOLATING NFL POLICY ON INTEGRITY OF GAME

The New England Patriots were notified today of the following discipline that has been imposed for violations of the NFL Policy on Integrity of the Game and Enforcement of Competitive Rules relating to the use of under-inflated footballs in the AFC Championship Game of this past season:

For the violation of the playing rules and the failure to cooperate in the subsequent investigation, the New England Patriots are fined $1 million and will forfeit the club’s first-round selection in the 2016 NFL Draft and the club’s fourth-round selection in the 2017 NFL Draft. If the Patriots have more than one selection in either of these rounds, the earlier selection shall be forfeited. The club may not trade or otherwise encumber these selections.

Patriots owner Robert Kraft advised Commissioner Roger Goodell last week that Patriots employees John Jastremski and James McNally have been indefinitely suspended without pay by the club, effective on May 6th. Neither of these individuals may be reinstated without the prior approval of NFL Executive Vice President of Football Operations Troy Vincent. If they are reinstated by the Patriots, Jastremski is prohibited from having any role in the preparation, supervision, or handling of footballs to be used in NFL games during the 2015 season. McNally is barred from serving as a locker room attendant for the game officials, or having any involvement with the preparation, supervision, or handling of footballs or any other equipment on game day.

Quarterback Tom Brady will be suspended without pay for the first four games of the 2015 regular season for conduct detrimental to the integrity of the NFL. Brady may participate in all off-season, training camp and pre-season activities, including pre-season games.

Commissioner Goodell authorized the discipline that was imposed by NFL Executive President Troy Vincent, pursuant to the commissioner’s disciplinary authority under the NFL Constitution and Bylaws and the Collective Bargaining Agreement with the NFL Players Association.

“We reached these decisions after extensive discussion with Troy Vincent and many others,” Commissioner Goodell said. “We relied on the critical importance of protecting the integrity of the game and the thoroughness and independence of the Wells report.”

Following are excerpts from Troy Vincent’s letters to the Patriots and Tom Brady:

From Troy Vincent’s letter to the Patriots:
“On May 6th, independent investigator Ted Wells issued his report regarding the footballs used by the Patriots in this year’s AFC Championship Game. That report established that the footballs used by the Patriots were inflated at a level that did not satisfy the standard set forth in the NFL’s Official Playing Rules and that the condition of the footballs was the result of deliberate actions by employees of the Patriots. The activities of the Patriots’ employees were thoroughly documented in the report, including through a series of text messages and telephone communications, as well as evidence of a breach in pre-game protocol. In addition, the conclusions were supported by extensive scientific analysis, as detailed in the report.

“Based on the extensive record developed in the investigation and detailed in the Wells report, and after full consideration of this matter by the Commissioner and the Football Operations department, we have determined that the Patriots have violated the NFL’s Policy on Integrity of the Game and Enforcement of Competitive Rules, as well as the Official Playing Rules and the established guidelines for the preparation of game footballs set forth in the NFL’s Game Operations Policy Manual for Member Clubs. In making this determination, we have accepted the findings contained in the comprehensive report independently prepared by Mr. Wells and his colleagues.

“In determining that a violation occurred, we applied the standard of proof stated in the Integrity of the Game Policy: namely, preponderance of the evidence, meaning that ‘as a whole, the fact sought to be proved is more probable than not.’ This is a well-recognized legal standard, which is applied in courts and workplaces every day throughout the country. The evidence gathered during the investigation and reviewed in the report more than satisfy this standard and demonstrate an ongoing plan by at least certain Patriots’ employees to deflate footballs, to do so in a secretive manner after the game officials have certified the footballs as suitable for play, and to hide these activities even from their own supervisors.

“As you know, we regard violations of competitive rules as significant and deserving of a strong sanction, both to punish the actual violation and to deter misconduct in the future. In this case, the footballs were intentionally deflated in an effort to provide a competitive advantage to Tom Brady after having been certified by the game officials as being in compliance with the playing rules. While we cannot be certain when the activity began, the evidence suggests that January 18th was not the first and only occasion when this occurred, particularly in light of the evidence referring to deflation of footballs going back to before the beginning of the 2014 season.

“It is impossible to determine whether this activity had an effect on the outcome of games or what that effect was. There seems little question that the outcome of the AFC Championship Game was not affected. But this has never been a significant factor in assessing discipline. There are many factors which affect the outcome of a game. It is an inherently speculative exercise to try to assign specific weight to any one factor. The key consideration in any case like this is that the playing rules exist for a reason, and all clubs are entitled to expect that the playing rules will be followed by participating teams. Violations that diminish the league’s reputation for integrity and fair play cannot be excused simply because the precise impact on the final score cannot be determined.

“Here, there are several factors that merit strong consideration in assessing discipline. The first is the club’s prior record. In 2007 the club and several individuals were sanctioned for videotaping signals of opposing defensive coaches in violation of the Constitution and Bylaws. Under the Integrity of the Game Policy, this prior violation of competitive rules was properly considered in determining the discipline in this case.

“Another important consideration identified in the Policy is ‘the extent to which the club and relevant individuals cooperated with the investigation.’ The Wells report identifies two significant failures in this respect. The first involves the refusal by the club’s attorneys to make Mr. McNally available for an additional interview, despite numerous requests by Mr. Wells and a cautionary note in writing of the club’s obligation to cooperate in the investigation. The second was the failure of Tom Brady to produce any electronic evidence (emails, texts, etc.), despite being offered extraordinary safeguards by the investigators to protect unrelated personal information. Although we do not hold the club directly responsible for Mr. Brady’s refusal to cooperate, it remains significant that the quarterback of the team failed to cooperate fully with the investigation.

“Finally, it is significant that key witnesses – Mr. Brady, Mr. Jastremski, and Mr. McNally – were not fully candid during the investigation.

“In accepting the findings of the report, we note that the report identified no evidence of wrongdoing or knowledge of wrongdoing on the part of any member of the coaching staff, including Head Coach Bill Belichick, or by any Patriots’ staff member other than Mr. Jastremski and Mr. McNally, including head equipment manager Dave Schoenfeld. Similarly, the Wells report is clear that Patriots ownership and executives did not participate in any way in the misconduct, or have knowledge of the misconduct.

“Nonetheless, it remains a fundamental principle that the club is responsible for the actions of club employees. This principle has been applied to many prior cases. Thus, while no discipline should or will be imposed personally on any owner or executive at the Patriots, discipline is appropriately imposed on the club.”

From Troy Vincent’s letter to Tom Brady:

“With respect to your particular involvement, the report established that there is substantial and credible evidence to conclude you were at least generally aware of the actions of the Patriots’ employees involved in the deflation of the footballs and that it was unlikely that their actions were done without your knowledge. Moreover, the report documents your failure to cooperate fully and candidly with the investigation, including by refusing to produce any relevant electronic evidence (emails, texts, etc.), despite being offered extraordinary safeguards by the investigators to protect unrelated personal information, and by providing testimony that the report concludes was not plausible and contradicted by other evidence.

“Your actions as set forth in the report clearly constitute conduct detrimental to the integrity of and public confidence in the game of professional football. The integrity of the game is of paramount importance to everyone in our league, and requires unshakable commitment to fairness and compliance with the playing rules. Each player, no matter how accomplished and otherwise respected, has an obligation to comply with the rules and must be held accountable for his actions when those rules are violated and the public’s confidence in the game is called into question.”

Permalink 71 Comments Feed for comments Back to top

Statement from Patriots owner Robert Kraft on Wells report

New England Patriots v Kansas City Chiefs Getty Images

The Patriots released the following statement from owner Robert Kraft regarding Ted Wells’ investigation and report stemming from alleged football deflation in the 2014 AFC Championship game. Here is the full text of his remarks:

“When I addressed the media at the Super Bowl on January 26 – over 14 weeks ago – I stated that I unconditionally believed that the New England Patriots had done nothing inappropriate in this process or in violation of the NFL rules and that I was disappointed in the way the league handled the initial investigation. That sentiment has not changed.

“I was convinced that Ted Wells’ investigation would find the same factual evidence supported by both scientific formula and independent research as we did and would ultimately exonerate the Patriots. Based on the explanations I have heard and the studies that have been done, I don’t know how the science of atmospheric conditions can be refuted or how conclusions to the contrary can be drawn without some definitive evidence.

“What is not highlighted in the text of the report is that three of the Colts’ four footballs measured by at least one official were under the required psi level. As far as we are aware, there is no comparable data available from any other game because, in the history of the NFL, psi levels of footballs have never been measured at halftime, in any climate. If they had been, based on what we now know, it is safe to assume that every cold-weather game was played with under inflated footballs. As compelling a case as the Wells Report may try to make, I am going to rely on the factual evidence of numerous scientists and engineers rather than inferences from circumstantial evidence.

“Throughout the process of this nearly four-month investigation, we have cooperated and patiently awaited its outcome. To say we are disappointed in its findings, which do not include any incontrovertible or hard evidence of deliberate deflation of footballs at the AFC Championship game, would be a gross understatement. In addition, given our level of cooperation throughout the process, I was offended by the comments made in the Wells Report in reference to not making an individual available for a follow-up interview. What the report fails to mention is that he had already been interviewed four times and we felt the fifth request for access was excessive for a part-time game day employee who has a full-time job with another employer.

“While I respect the independent process of the investigation, the time, effort and resources expended to reach this conclusion are incomprehensible to me. Knowing that there is no real recourse available, fighting the league and extending this debate would prove to be futile. We understand and greatly respect the responsibility of being one of 32 in this league and, on that basis, we will accept the findings of the report and take the appropriate actions based on those findings as well as any discipline levied by the league.”

Permalink 87 Comments Feed for comments Back to top

2015 undrafted free agents by team

2015 NFL Scouting Combine Getty Images

The following undrafted rookie free agents have signed with or agreed to deals with clubs. All signees were announced by clubs:

AFC EAST

Buffalo Bills: Illinois State tackle Jermaine Barton, Florida tight end Clay Burton, N.C. State tackle Tyson Chandler, South Florida wide receiver Andre Davis, Louisiana-Lafayette defensive tackle Justin Hamilton, Washington linebacker Andrew Hudson, Utah State defensive end B.J. Larsen, Wake Forest cornerback Merrill Noel, Baylor punter Spencer Roth, Stanford linebacker Stanford A.J. Tarpley, Western Kentucky cornerback Cam Thomas, Bethune-Cookman defensive end Erik Williams.

Miami Dolphins: Arizona offensive lineman Mickey Baucus, Tennessee punter Matt Darr, Georgia defensive end Ray Drew, RPI placekicker Andrew Franks, Penn State linebacker Mike Hull, Alabama wide receiver Christion Jones, Kansas wide receiver Nigel King, Illinois State offensive lineman Michael Liedtke, Cincinnati linebacker Jeff Luc, UCLA defensive tackle Ellis McCarthy, Bowling Green defensive end Kendall Montgomery, Oklahoma offensive lineman Dionte Savage, Utah State linebacker Zach Vigil, USC offensive lineman Aundrey Walker.

New England Patriots: Georgia center David Andrews, Michigan wide receiver Devin Gardner, California wide receiver Chris Harper, UAB defensive back Jimmy Jean, Auburn defensive back Brandon King, Ball State defensive back Eric Patterson, Vanderbilt defensive lineman Brandon Taylor.

New York Jets: Penn State defensive end Deion Barnes, Syracuse safety Durell Eskridge, Clarion linebacker Julian Howsare, Michigan State linebacker Taiwan Jones, Florida International safety Demarkus Perkins, South Alabama tight end Wes Saxton, Lincoln defensive lineman Davon Walls, Tennessee defensive end Jordan Williams.

AFC NORTH

Baltimore Ravens: Colorado State-Pueblo linebacker Darius Allen, Ohio State tackle Darryl Baldwin, Michigan linebacker Brennen Beyer, Cal State-Sacramento wide receiver DeAndre Carter, Mississippi State tackle Blaine Clausell, Alabama linebacker Trey DePriest, Harvard tackle Nick Easton, Rutgers guard Kaleb Johnson, Prairie View A&M quarterback Jerry Lovelocke, LSU running back Terrence Magee, Louisiana-Monroe punter Justin Manton, Alabama safety Nick Perry, BYU tackle De’Ondre Wesley, Oklahoma cornerback Julian Wilson, East Carolina wide receiver Cam Worthy.

Cincinnati Bengals: Oregon cornerback Troy Hill, Marshall offensive lineman Chris Jasperse, Wisconsin-Whitewater wide receiver Jake Kumerow, Eastern Kentucky tight end Matt Lengel, Concordia-St. Paul kicker Tom Obarski, Texas A&M safety Floyd Raven Sr., Nebraska linebacker Trevor Roach, Louisville center Jake Smith, Azusa Pacific running back Terrell Watson, Iowa fullback Mark Weisman, Clemson defensive tackle DeShawn Williams.

Pittsburgh Steelers: Texas A&M tight end Cameron Clear, Saint Augustine’s defensive tackle Nigel Crawford-Kinney, Liberty defensive end Dominique Davis, Penn State offensive guard Miles Dieffenbach, Auburn offensive guard Reese Dismukes, Kansas State center B.J. Finney, Boston College wide receiver Tyler Murphy, Illinois State defensive end Brandon Pate, Indiana offensive guard Colin Rahrig, Louisville wide receiver Eli Rogers, Lafayette running back Ross Scheuerman and Utah State offensive tackle Kevin Whimpey.

AFC SOUTH

Jacksonville Jaguars: Miami (Fla.) linebacker Thurston Armbrister, Syracuse defensive tackle Eric Crume, Auburn running back Corey Grant, Oregon State tight end Connor Hamlett, Auburn cornerback Nick Marshall, Minnesota-Mankato offensive guard Chris Reed, Maryland linebacker Matt Robinson, Pittsburgh linebacker Todd Thomas, Kansas State quarterback Jake Walters,

Indianapolis Colts: Southeastern Louisiana quarterback Bryan Bennett, Auburn wide receiver Quan Bray, Western Michigan cornerback Donald Celiscar, San Diego State linebacker Cody Galea, Cincinnati linebacker Terrell Hartsfield, Harvard linebacker Zachary Hodges, Nebraska cornerback Joshua Mitchell, San Diego State wide receiver Ezell Ruffin, West Chester cornerback Al-Hajj Shabazz, Massachusetts tight end Jean Sifrin, Purdue tight end Justin Sinz, Clemson safety Robert Smith, Toledo linebacker Junior Sylvestre, Yale running back Tyler Varga, Northwestern center Brandon Vitabile.

AFC WEST

Denver Broncos: Nebraska linebacker Zaire Anderson, Clemson center Kalon Davis, Mississippi State center Dillon Day, Boise State wide receiver Matt Miller, Oklahoma defensive tackle Chuka Ndulue, Wyoming offensive tackle Connor Rains, Nevada offensive tackle Kyle Roberts, Rice wide receiver Jordan Taylor, Clemson defensive lineman Josh Watson.

Oakland Raiders: BYU cornerback Rob Daniel, South Florida offensive lineman Quinterrius Eatmon, Nevada quarterback Cody Fajardo, Utah linebacker Jacoby Hale, Northwester safety Jimmy Hall, Fresno State wide receiver Josh Harper, Purdue tight end Gabe Holmes, Stephen F. Austin running back Gus Johnson, Eastern Washington safety Tevin McDonald, Arkansas linebacker Braylon Mitchell, Florida defensive tackle Leon Orr, Louisiana Tech safety Terrell Pinson, UNLV linebacker Josh Shirley and Delaware State wide receiver Milton Williams.

San Diego Chargers: Northwestern outside linebacker Ikechi Ariguzo, Boston College cornerback Manuel Asprilla, Mississippi State offensive guard Ben Beckwth, Minnesota defensive end Cameron Botticelli, Cincinnati offensive tackle Tyreek Burwell, Western Kentucky offensive tackle Cameron Clemmons, Central Michigan wide receiver Titus Davis, Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo linebacker Nick Dzubnar, Ball State tailback Jahwan Edwards, Marshall tight end Eric Frohnapel, Ohio State linebacker Curtis Grant, Nevada outside linebacker Brock Hekking, Sacred Heart defensive back Gordon Hill, Texas A&M placekicker Josh Lembo, Iowa safety Johnny Lowdermilk, Kansas State linebacker/fullback Ryan Mueller, Albany tight end Brian Parker, West Virginia tailback Dreamius Smith, Clemson quarterback Cole Stoudt, Western Oregon wide receiver Tyrell Williams, Arkansas wide receiver Demetrious Wilson.

NFC EAST

New York Giants: Western Michigan safety Justin Currie, Tulane offensive tackle Sean Donnelly, Maryland linebacker Cole Farrand, Cincinnati defensive end Brad Harrah, Purdue running back Akeem Hunt, Illinois tight end Matt LaCosse.

Philadelphia Eagles: Delaware Valley wide receiver Rasheed Bailey, UNLV offensive guard Brett Boyko, UCLA offensive guard Malcom Bunche, New Hampshire center Mike Coccia, UNLV wide receiver Devante Davis, Duke linebacker Jordan Dewalt-Ondijo, Michigan State tight end Andrew Gleichert, Texas wide receiver John Harris, Nebraska-Kearney offensive guard Cole Manhart, Purdue running back Raheem Mostert, San Jose State defensive end Travis Raciti, Coastal Carolina defensive back Denzel Rice, Oklahoma State punter Kip Smith, UTEP tight end Eric Tomlinson, UCF tight end Justin Tukes.

Washington: San Diego wide receiver Reggie Bell, Arkansas offensive line Brey Cook, Clemson defensive end Corey Crawford, Syracuse linebacker Dyshawn Davis, Washington State quarterback Connor Halliday, Northwestern wide receiver Tony Jones, UAB placekicker Ty Long, BYU tight end Devin Mahina, Central Florida linebacker Terrance Plummer, Dubuque wide receiver Tyler Rutenbeck and Texas A&M running back Trey Williams.

NFC NORTH

Chicago Bears: TCU LB Jonathan Anderson, Rice CB Bryce Callahan, East Carolina QB Shane Carden, East Central CB Qumain Black, Toledo PK Jeremiah Detmer, Central Florida CB Jacoby Glenn, Coastal Carolina OG Chad Hamilton, UCLA S Anthony Jefferson, Arkansas OT Cameron Jefferson, Old Dominion LS Rick Lovato, Illinois State WR Cameron Meredith, Baylor WR Levi Norwood, Miami (Fla.) DE Olsen Pierre, Washington LB John Timu, Alabama TE Brian Vogler.

Green Bay Packers: Louisiana-Lafayette running back Alonzo Harris, Colorado State cornerback Bernard Blake, Miami cornerback Ladarius Gunter, Stanford linebacker James Vaughers, LSU linebacker Jermauria Rasco, Bethune-Cookman linebacker Tavarus Dantzler, Pittsburgh offensive lineman Matt Rotherham, Arizona offensive lineman Fabbians Ebbele, Fayetteville State offensive lineman Marcus Reed, Western Kentucky tight end Mitchell Henry, Mississippi defensive tackle Lavon Hooks, Kentucky wide receiver Javess Blue, Stony Brook wide receiver Adrian Coxson, Missouri wide receiver Jimmy Hunt, Texas A&M-Commerce wide receiver Larry Pinkard, Old Dominion wide receiver Larry Pinkard, North Dakota tailback John Crockett.

NFC SOUTH

Atlanta Falcons: North Texas linebacker Derek Akunne, Tarleton State defensive tackle Chris Brown, Central Oklahoma wide receiver Marquez Clark, Azusa Pacific offensive lineman Cody Clay, Louisville safety Terell Floyd, Northern Arizona tight end Beau Gardner, Wisconsin defensive tackle Warren Herring, Fort Valley State cornerback Mike Lee, Cincinnati offensive tackle Eric Lefeld, Oregon linebacker Derrick Malone, Houston defensive tackle Joey Mbu, Central Florida cornerback Jordan Ozerities, Florida Atlantic safety Damian Parms, Ottawa University wide receiver Joshua Stangby, Auburn safety Robenson Therezie, New Mexico State center Valerian Ume-Ezeoke, Oregon State tailback Terron Ward, Texas Central cornerback Kevin White and Indiana wide receiver Shane Wynn.

New Orleans Saints: Clemson defensive lineman Tavaris Barnes, Mississippi State defensive lineman Kaleb Eulls, Notre Dame College guard Doniel Gambrell, New Hampshire wide receiver R.J. Harris, Syracuse tackle Sean Hickey, Texas A&M wide receiver Malcome Kennedy, North Texas guard Cyril Lemon, Texas-San Antonio defensive lineman Ashaad Mabry, West Texas A&M linebacker Marcus Pierce-Brewster, Indiana defensive lineman Bobby Richardson, SMU linebacker Stephon Sanders, New Hampshire tight end Harold Spears, North Carolina tight end Jack Tabb.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Iowa linebacker Quinton Alston, Louisville running back Dominique Brown, Idaho defensive tackle Quayshawne Buckley, Brown long snapper Courtland Clavette, Towson defensive end Ryan Delaire, Texas A&M cornerback Deshazor Everett, TCU safety Chris Hackett, UCF wide receiver Rannell Hall, Boston College linebacker Josh Keyes, Tusculum defensive tackle Caushaud Lyons, UCF wide receiver Josh Reese, Kansas linebacker Michael Reynolds and Jones County Junior College defensive end Jamal Young.

NFC WEST

Arizona Cardinals: Adams State cornerback Cariel Brooks, N.C. State tackle Rob Crisp, BYU linebacker Alani Fua, Shippensburg wide receiver Trevor Harman, Georgia Southern linebacker Edwin Jackson, Florida Atlantic linebacker Andrae Kirk, BYU running back Paul Lasike, Bowling Green linebacker Gabe Martin, Iowa wide receiver Damond Powell, Colorado State-Pueblo cornerback C.J. Roberts, Texas wide receiver Jaxon Shipley, Missouri State tight end Gannon Sinclair, Montana linebacker Zack Wagenmann, Northern Iowa nose tackle Xavier Williams.

St. Louis Rams: Texas tailback Malcolm Brown, Northwestern State defensive back Imoan Claiborne, Arkansas Pine-Bluff wide receiver Isiah Ferguson, Texas State tailback Terrence Franks, South Alabama defensive back Montell Garner, Liberty defensive back Jacob Hagen, Mississippi State defensive back Jay Hughes, Georgia Tech fullback Zach Laskey, Northwestern Missouri State defensive lineman Matt Longacre, Syracuse linebacker Cameron Lynch, Bacone linebacker Keshaun Malone, Texas Tech wide receiver Bradley Marquez, New Mexico Highlands wide receiver Tyler Slavin, Iowa defensive tackle Louis Trinca-Pasat, South Florida offensive lineman Darrell Williams.

San Francisco 49ers: Utah wide receiver Dres Anderson (Utah), Duke wide receiver Isaac Blakeney (Duke), Washington wide receiver DiAndre Campbell (Washington), Henderson State wide receiver Darius Davis, Auburn offensive lineman Patrick Miller, Michigan State defensive lineman Marcus Rush, South Carolina quarterback Dylan Thompson, Alabama wide receiver DeAndrew White.

Seattle Seahawks: Texas long snapper Nate Boyer, Idaho tackle Jesse Davis, Arizona wide receiver Austin Hill, Norfolk State safety Keenan Lambert, LSU safety Ronald Martin, Georgia Tech linebacker Quayshawn Nealy, Central Michigan running back Thomas Rawls, Auburn cornerback Trovon Reed, West Georgia defensive end Tory Slater, dismissed former Ohio State running back Rod Smith and UT-San Antonio safety Triston Wade.

Permalink 8 Comments Feed for comments Back to top

Fifth-year options picked up for 20 of 32 first-round picks

Trent Richardson AP

Of the 32 players chosen in the first round of the 2012 NFL draft, 20 got their fifth-year options picked up.

Today was the deadline for NFL teams to decide whether to pick up those fifth-year options, and for the second consecutive year most teams decided to pick the option up. Last year (the first time teams were faced with fifth-year options under the new Collective Bargaining Agreement) 21 fifth-year options were picked up.

Seven players had their fifth-year options declined: Cowboys cornerback Morris Claiborne, Rams safety Mark Barron, Seahawks pass rusher Bruce Irvin, Bears linebacker Shea McClellin, Texans pass rusher Whitney Mercilus, Packers linebacker Nick Perry and Buccaneers running back Doug Martin.

Three first-round draft picks from 2012 have no fifth-year options to pick up because they’ve already been cut: Trent Richardson, Brandon Weeden and A.J. Jenkins.

And two other first-round draft picks from 2012 have no fifth-year options: Giants running back David Wilson retired after suffering a neck injury, while Jaguars receiver Justin Blackmon’s contract has been placed on hold while he’s suspended for violating the NFL’s substance-abuse policy.

Permalink 28 Comments Feed for comments Back to top

2015 NFL Draft Trades

Melvin Gordon AP

The following trades were made during the 2015 NFL Draft. Trade terms were furnished by and cited from the league:

ROUND ONE

San Diego Trades: Selection Choices: Round 1, 2015 (17), Round 4, 2015 (117), Round 5, 2016.

San Francisco Trades: Selection Choice: Round 1, 2015 (15).

Chargers selected Wisconsin running back Melvin Gordon at No. 15.

49ers selected defensive lineman Arik Armstead at No. 17 and Oklahoma tight end Blake Bell at No. 117.

Denver Trades: Selection Choices: Round 1, 2015 (28), Round 5, 2015 (143) from Chicago, Round 5, 2016, center/guard Manny Ramirez.

Detroit Trades: Selection Choice: Round 1, 2015 (23).

Broncos selected Missouri defensive end Shane Ray at No. 23.

Lions selected Duke offensive guard Laken Tomlinson at No. 28. Pick No. 143 was traded to Minnesota.

ROUND TWO

New York Giants Trade: Selection Choices: Round 2, 2015 (40), Round 4, 2015 (108), Round 7, 2015 (245) from Denver.

Tennessee Trades: Selection Choice: Round 2, 2015 (33).

Giants selected Alabama S Landon Collins at No. 33.

Titans selected Missouri wide receiver Dorian Green-Beckham at No. 40, Alabama fullback Jalston Fowler at No. 108 and William and Mary wide receiver Tre McBride at No. 245.

Carolina Trades: Selection Choices: Round 2, 2015 (57), Round 3, 2015 (89), Round 6, 2015 (201).

St. Louis Trades: Selection Choice: Round 2, 2015 (41).

Panthers selected Michigan tight end/wide receiver Devin Funchess at No. 41.

Rams selected Wisconsin offensive tackle Rob Havenstein at No. 57, Oregon State quarterback Sean Mannion at No. 89 and Missouri wide receiver Bud Sasser at No. 201.

Cleveland Trades: Selection Choices: Round 2, 2015 (43), Round 7, 2015 (229).

Houston Trades: Selection Choices: Round 2, 2015 (51), Round 4, 2015 (116), Round 6, 2015 (195).

Texans selected Mississippi State linebacker Benardrick McKinney at No. 43. Pick No. 229 was traded to the Jets.

Browns selected Utah defensive end Nate Orchard at No. 51 and Mississippi State tight end Malcolm Johnson at No. 195. Pick No. 116 was traded to Arizona.

Miami Trades: Selection Choices: Round 2, 2015 (47), Round 6, 2015 (191).

Philadelphia Trades: Selection Choices: Round 2, 2015 (52), Round 5, 2015 (145) from St. Louis, Round 5, 2015 (156).

Eagles selected Utah cornerback Eric Rowe at No. 47 and Kansas cornerback JaCorey Shepherd at No. 191.

Dolphins selected Oklahoma defensive tackle Jordan Phillips at No. 52, Memphis cornerback Bobby McCain at No. 145 and Michigan State wide receiver Tony Lippett at No. 156.

Arizona Trades: Selection Choice: Round 2, 2015 (55).

Baltimore Trades: Selection Choices: Round 2, 2015 (58), Round 5, 2015 (158) from Detroit.

Ravens selected Minnesota tight end Maxx Williams at No. 55.

Cardinals selected Missouri defensive end Markus Golden at No. 58 and West Virginia defensive end Shaquille Riddick at No. 158.

Indianapolis Trades: Selection Choices: Round 2, 2015 (61), Round 4, 2015 (128).

Tampa Bay Trades: Selection Choices: Round 3, 2015 (65), Round 4, 2015 (109) from St. Louis.

Buccaneers selected Hobart and William Smith center Ali Marpet at No. 61. Pick No. 128 was traded to Oakland.

Colts selected Florida Atlantic cornerback D’Joun Smith at No. 65 and Central Florida safety Clayton Geathers at No. 109.

ROUND THREE

Seattle Trades: Selection Choices: Round 3, 2015 (95), Round 4, 2015 (112) from New Orleans, Round 5, 2015 (167), Round 6, 2015 (181) from New York Jets.

Washington Trades: Selection Choice: Round 3, 2015 (69).

Seahawks selected Kansas State wide receiver Tyler Lockett at No. 69.

Washington selected Florida running back Matt Jones at No. 95, Alabama offensive guard Arie Kouandjio at No. 112 and Virginia Tech safety Kyshoen Jarrett at No. 181. Pick No. 167 was traded to the Saints.

Houston Trades: Selection Choices: Round 3, 2015 (82), Round 5, 2015 (152), Round 7, 2015 (229) from Cleveland, wide receiver DeVier Posey.

New York Jets Trade: Selection Choice: Round 3, 2015 (70).

Texans selected Arizona State WR Jaelen Strong at No. 70.

Jets selected Louisville linebacker Lorenzo Maudlin at No. 82 and Texas A&M offensive guard Jarvis Harrison at No. 152. Pick No. 229 was traded to Jacksonville.

Kansas City Trades: Selection Choices: Round 3, 2015 (80), Round 6, 2015 (193).

Minnesota Trades: Selection Choice: Round 3, 2015 (76).

Chiefs selected Georgia wide receiver Chris Conley at No. 76.

Vikings selected Louisville defensive end B.J. Dubose at No. 193. Pick No. 80 was traded to Detroit.

Detroit Trades: Selection Choices: Round 3, 2015 (88), Round 5, 2015 (143) from Chicago.

Minnesota Trades: Selection Choice: Round 3, 2015 (80) from Kansas City.

Lions selected Stanford cornerback Alex Hunter at No. 80.

Vikings selected LSU DE Danielle Hunter at No. 88 and Southern Illinois tight end MyCole Pruitt at No. 143.

Cleveland Trades: Selection Choices: Round 4, 2015 (111), Round 5, 2015 (147), Round 6, 2015 (202) from Baltimore.

New England Trades: Selection Choices: Round 3, 2015 (96), Round 7, 2015 (219) from Tennessee.

Browns selected Washington State defensive tackle Xavier Cooper at No. 96 and USC linebacker Hayes Pullard at No. 216.

Patriots selected Florida State offensive guard Tre’ Jackson at No. 111 and Arkansas tight end A.J. Derby at No. 202. Pick No. 147 was traded to Green Bay.

ROUND FOUR

Carolina Trades: Selection Choices: Round 4, 2015 (124), Round 5, 2015 (161), Round 7, 2015 (242).

Oakland Trades: Selection Choice: Round 4, 2015 (102).

Panthers selected Oklahoma offensive guard Daryl Williams at No. 102.

Raiders selected Florida linebacker Neiron Ball at No. 161 and Kansas cornerback Dexter McDonald at No. 242. Pick No. 124 was traded to Tampa Bay.

Jacksonville Trades: Selection Choice: Round 4, 2015 (103).

New York Jets Trade: Selection Choices: Round 4, 2015 (104), Round 7, 2015 (229) from Cleveland.

Jets selected Baylor quarterback Bryce Petty at No. 103.

Jaguars selected Louisville safety James Sample at No. 104 and Notre Dame tight end Ben Koyack at No. 229.

Detroit Trades: Selection Choice: Round 3, 2016.

Philadelphia Trades: Selection Choice: Round 4, 2015 (113) from San Francisco.

Lions selected Auburn defensive tackle Gabe Wright at No. 113.

Arizona Trades: Selection Choices: Round 4, 2015 (123), Round 6, 2015 (198), Round 7, 2015 (241).

Cleveland Trades: Selection Choice: Round 4, 2015 (116) from Houston.

Cardinals selected Delaware State defensive tackle Rodney Gunter at No. 116.

Browns selected Washington State wide receiver Vince Mayle at No. 123, USC tight end Randall Telfer at No. 198 and Oregon cornerback Ifo Ekpre-Olomus at No. 241.

Oakland Trades: Selection Choice: Round 4, 2015 (124).

Tampa Bay Trades: Selection Choices: Round 4, 2015 (128) from Indianapolis, Round 7, 2015 (218).

Buccaneers linebacker LSU linebacker Kwon Alexander at No. 124.

Raiders selected Miami (Fla.) offensive guard Jon Feliciano at No. 128 and Tennessee State offensive lineman Anthony Morris at No. 218.

ROUND FIVE

Atlanta Trades: Selection Choices: Round 5, 2015 (146), Round 6, 2015 (185).

Minnesota Trades: Selection Choice: Round 5, 2015 (137) from Tampa Bay.

Falcons selected Clemson defensive tackle Grady Jarrett at No. 137.

Vikings selected Maryland wide receiver Stefon Diggs at No. 146 and Oklahoma offensive tackle Tyrus Thompson at No. 185.

Green Bay Trades: Selection Choices: Round 5, 2015 (166), Round 7, 2015 (247).

New England Trades: Selection Choice: Round 5, 2015 (147) from Cleveland.

Packers selected UCLA quarterback Brett Hundley at No. 147.

Patriots selected Navy long snapper Joe Cardona at No. 166 and Marshall cornerback Darryl Roberts at No. 247.

Indianapolis Trades: Selection Choices: Round 5, 2015 (165), Round 7, 2015 (244) from Dallas.

San Francisco Trades: Selection Choice: Round 5, 2015 (151).

Colts selected Stanford nose tackle David Parry at No. 151.

49ers selected Clemson punter Bradley Pinion at No. 165 and Florida offensive guard Trenton Brown at 244.

ROUND SIX

New Orleans Trades: Selection Choices: Round 6, 2015 (187), Round 6, 2016.

Washington Trades: Selection Choice: Round 5, 2015 (167) from Seattle.

Saints selected Georgia cornerback Damian Swann at No. 167.

Washington selected Ohio State wide receiver Evan Spencer at No. 187.

ROUND SEVEN

New York Jets Trade: Selection Choice: Round 7, 2015 (224) from Chicago.

St. Louis Trades: Running back Zac Stacy.

Rams selected Baylor linebacker Bryce Hager at No. 224.

Dallas Trades: Selection Choice: Round 6, 2016.

San Francisco Trades: Selection Choice: Round 7, 2015 (246) from Indianapolis.

Cowboys selected Texas tight end Geoff Swaim at No. 246.

Permalink 3 Comments Feed for comments Back to top

The final PFT mock draft

Draft AP

We’ve been tinkering with a final mock draft since Sunday night.  It’s a process that has entailed more and more tinkering as more and more 11th-hour information emerges on guys that causes guys like Shane Ray to fall, guys like La’El Collins to slide out of round one (and perhaps the next six, too), and teams like the Eagles to do whatever it takes to reunite quarterback with coach.

So here it is.  Second and final version.

Read it, critique it, bash it, trash it.  At this point, we just want to get the draft started.

1.  Buccaneers:  QB Jameis Winston, Florida State.

2.  Eagles (from Titans):  QB Marcus Mariota, Oregon.

3.  Jaguars: LB Dante Fowler Jr., Florida.

4.  Raiders:  WR Amari Cooper, Alabama.

5.  Washington:  DT Leonard Williams, USC.

6.  Jets:  WR Kevin White, West Virginia.

7.  Bears:  LB Vic Beasley, Clemson.

8.  Falcons:  LB Bud Dupree, Kentucky.

9.  Giants:  OT Brandon Scherff, Iowa.

10.  Rams:  OT Ereck Flowers, Miami.

11.  Vikings:  WR DeVante Parker, Louisville.

12.  Titans (from Eagles through Browns):  WR Breshad Perriman, UCF.

13.  Saints:  DT Malcom Brown, Texas.

14.  Dolphins:  RB Todd Gurley, Georgia.

15.  49ers:  CB Kevin Johnson, Wake Forest.

16.  Texans:  WR Nelson Agholor, USC.

17.  Chargers:  OT D.J. Humphries, Florida.

18.  Chiefs:  OL Cameron Erving, Florida State.

19.  Browns:  DT Danny Shelton, Washington.

20.  Titans (from Eagles):  DT Arik Armstead, Oregon.

21.  Bengals:  OT Andrus Peat, Stanford.

22.  Steelers:  CB Byron Jones, Connecticut.

23.  Lions:  CB Trae Waynes, Michigan State.

24.  Cardinals:  DE Randy Gregory, Nebraska.

25.  Panthers:  OT T.J. Clemmings, Pitt.

26.  Ravens:  DE Mario Edwards, Florida State.

27.  Cowboys:  S Damarious Randall, Arizona State.

28.  Broncos:  LB Eli Harold, Virginia.

29.  Colts:  S Landon Collins, Alabama.

30.  Packers:  LB Eric Kendricks, UCLA.

31.  Saints:  WR Dorial Green-Beckham, Oklahoma.

32.  Patriots:  LB Shane Ray, Missouri.

Permalink 112 Comments Feed for comments Back to top

Draft trades still follow the chart

jimmy_johnson_424_370x278 Getty Images

The old draft trade chart popularized by Jimmy Johnson’s Dallas Cowboys has been around so long that it feels like it must have grown obsolete. Surprisingly, it hasn’t.

A look at the trades from last year’s draft shows that teams still more or less follow the chart to determine what constitutes a fair trade. The trade chart assigns point values for every pick, and gives teams a general idea about whether they’re getting a good deal if they make a particular trade. For instance, the 16th pick is worth 1,000 points, the 26th pick is worth 700 points and the 60th pick is worth 300 points. So if a trade swapped No. 16 for No. 26 and No. 60, that would be a fair deal for both sides. If you believe the chart.

And teams do believe the chart. On the first day of the 2014 NFL draft, there were four trades involving only 2014 picks, and all four of them more or less followed the chart:

Minnesota sent No. 8 (1,400 points) to Cleveland for No. 9 (1,350 points) and No. 145 (33.5 points).

Arizona sent No. 20 (850 points) to New Orleans for No. 27 (680 points) and No. 91 (136 points).

Philadelphia sent No. 22 (780 points) to Cleveland for No. 26 (700 points) and No. 83 (175 points).

Seattle sent No. 32 (590 points) to Minnesota for No. 40 (500 points) and No. 108 (78 points).

Draft trades rarely result in exactly equal swaps of points because two teams looking to trade rarely have the picks that would add up to an exactly equal trade. But they’re usually pretty close.

What does that mean for this year? Here’s about what it would take for a few different teams to trade up to the No. 2 pick (2,600 points) and get Marcus Mariota:

The Browns have the ammunition if they want to do it. Cleveland could package No. 12 (1,200 points), No. 19 (875 points), No. 43 (470 points) and No. 77 (205 points) for a total of 2,750 points. That’s a deal the Titans would have a very hard time turning down.

The Jets would have to trade their entire draft and it still wouldn’t add up: The Jets’ picks are No. 6 (1,600 points), No. 37 (530 points), No. 70 (240 points) No. 104 (86 points) No. 223 (2.3 points) and No. 224 (2 points). That adds up to 2,460 points, which isn’t enough for the No. 2 pick to be a fair trade for the Titans. The Jets would have to trade not just this year’s first-round pick but also next year’s first-round pick for the Titans to bite.

The Eagles can’t even come close. Philadelphia’s entire draft adds up to about 1,544 points: The Eagles own No. 20 (850 points), No. 52 (380 points), No. 84 (170 points), No. 113 (68 points), No. 145 (33.5 points), No. 156 (29 points) and No. 196 (13 points) and No. 237 (a fraction of a point). If the Eagles are moving up to get Mariota, they’ll have to give up players or future draft picks, because this year’s picks won’t cut it.

Permalink 39 Comments Feed for comments Back to top