Matt Birk replaces Art Shell as appeals officer


NFL players who are fined for on-field issues have a new face to argue their case in front of, but they won’t be paying more for those fines this year.

According to the Associated Press, recently retired Ravens center Matt Birk is replacing Art Shell as one of the two appeals officers.

Teams were notified this week of Birk’s joining Ted Cottrell in the role, which is jointly approved by the league and the NFLPA.

And even though the CBA allows for fine amounts to go up 5 percent per year, they won’t be increased this year, because of the declining number of penalties.

Total fines have gone down 32 percent since 2009, from 668 to 451. There were also only 61 fines for illegal hits on quarterbacks, down from 114 in 2009.

If nothing else, holding the line on fines is a peace offering, at a time when the league and the union are trying to finalize an agreement on HGH testing, which was ostensibly agreed to two years ago.

19 responses to “Matt Birk replaces Art Shell as appeals officer

  1. Can we stop pretending that Birk will be remembered as a Raven? Yeah, he won a ring there, but that’s not the team he will be remembered for, regardless.

  2. What are the odds that a former lineman with monosyllabic first and last names replaces another former lineman with monosyllabic first and last names?

    Hey, it was a long week at work.

  3. Birk was a Viking for 11 years, but his first two years weren’t exclusively as a center and were as a backup. He also spent one full season in Minnesota and 1/4 of another out with injuries.

    4 Season in Baltimore, 4 season in the playoffs and one Super Bowl. As a fan of another NFC North team I’ll remember Birk as a stud and as a Viking, but I think he will be remembered as a Raven.

  4. He’ll be remembered as a Viking. He’s a Minnesota boy! Good position for him… honorable guy, smart, good judgment!

  5. The player better be a strict Catholic, otherwise Birk just won’t show up.

    Remember, there is no “I” in team, but there is one in “Birk”.

  6. He retired a super bowl champion, has a wife that still brings the heat, slew of kids, and is a multi millionaire. I don’t think he cares on bit how you all remember him.

  7. as a Vikings fan I love Birk, but as a person I know he is very rigid with what he believes and if he is going to be part of the league office he is not going to go against what the league says in the first place that often.

    Not sure this is a good idea. He is an incredibly smart guy, but a guy who has the feel of someone who has his opinion already made up before hearing all arguments.

  8. As a Viking fan we all know he is ours and his views reflect ours as well. There’s a reason we got rid of that big mouth Kluwe…

  9. Why is a conservative considered narrow minded and rigid when liberals are the ones who can’t accept people having a differing opinion? (Not all on either side, but majority)

  10. Birk is Harvard educated AND a Raven. That qualifies him to make good judgments. Look out Steelers, your days of getting away with all those cheap shots are coming to an end!

  11. If you’d asked me to name a former player from whom I would least expect to receive a fair hearing, I would have said Matt Birk. Interesting choice. I suppose the NFL has plausible deniability on their side.

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