Patriots owner Robert Kraft will “reluctantly” accept NFL’s punishments for “Deflate-gate”
On Tuesday Patriots owner Robert Kraft addressed the media following the NFL’s plethora of punishments against the New England Patriots, which includes a four game suspension for quarterback Tom Brady, a one million dollar fine against the team and two draft picks being taken away (first round pick in 2016, fourth round pick in 2017).
“Although I might disagree with what is decided, I do have respect for [commissioner Roger Goodell] and believe that he is doing what he perceives to be in the best interest of [all 32 teams]. I’m going to accept, reluctantly, what has been given to us and will not continue this dialog and rhetoric. We won’t appeal.”
My thoughts: I don’t think there is much more Kraft could do here. It’s been known that Kraft and Goodell have a good relationship and I think Kraft did his best to not do any damage to that friendship while facing the punishments handed his way. Now, it is all up to Tom Brady and the NFL Player’s association to get Brady’s suspension reduced or completely erased.
Do I think the punishments will get reduced? Yes. Do I think Tom Brady and the Patriots deserved them? Yes.
First of all, I think the 4 game suspension and the draft picks being taken away is a little severe. If I were Roger Goodell, I would have fined the Patriots a million dollars and given Tom Brady AND Bill Belichick a 2 game suspension. The Patriots do deserve to be punished in some way, shape or form. They have a history of line-stepping. Look no further than the “Spygate” scandal in 2007. However, this should be a lesson learned for the NFL because the whole situation with “ball-handling” needs to be addressed (Yes, I realize that “ball handling” is a little suggestive). What I am saying is the NFL should never have allowed each team to have an equipment staff that apparently can be in contact with players. Instead, the equipment staff should be working with the officials to ensure that nothing like this ever happens. This could have been avoided if the rules were different. Yes, the Patriots deserve to be punished, but not as severe as they are now. I will openly admit that I do not like the Patriots, but I hope they get their draft picks back and hope that Brady’s suspension is reduced to two games. The NFL is taking away future draft picks that had nothing to do with “deflate-gate,” which is not right.
NFL Owners vote to move Extra Point kicks from the 2 yard line to the 15 yard line
Also occurring on Tuesday, NFL Owners decided to make kicker’s jobs a little bit more stressful by moving point-after-touchdown kicks from the 2 yard line to the 15 yard line (a 32 yard kick). The rule change also states that the defending team may place a returner in the endzone to return the kick if it is no good. If they score, they are awarded two points. I have not found a source that says what happens if the defense returns a bad kick and does not score, but I am assuming that if that happens, the play is ruled dead and a kickoff takes place afterwards. I am also assuming that if a returner kneels with the ball in the endzone that play would be ruled dead too. Two-point conversions still take place at the 2 yard line.
My thoughts: Kickers are really going to be earning their money now. Before, extra points were a piece of cake, but now kickers are going to play a more crucial role in games than ever before, especially in outdoor games with bad weather conditions. I am a fan of tradition and think the NFL toys with the rules too much year by year, but I actually like this rule change. NFL teams use some of their salary cap space on kickers, so why not get the best value possible out of them? I also think this will definitely make games more entertaining, which sounds cliche but there will be more of a decision for coaches as to whether or not to go for 2 more often. The only downside with this rule change is if you have more 2 point conversions, the injury risks are higher. Overall, I am excited to see what impact this rule change will have on the upcoming season.
Dolphins sign quarterback Ryan Tannehill to a 6 year, $96 million contract
The Miami Dolphins decided to commit to Ryan Tannehill long term by signing their quarterback to a 6 year, $96 million contract. Tannehill has career stats of 11,252 passing yards, 63 touchdowns and 42 interceptions with a 84.0 quarterback rating. Tannehill, the 8th overall pick by the Dolphins in 2012, has never started a playoff game, but has improved each season and now has new weapons to work with. This offseason the Dolphins traded linebacker Darnell Elerbee to the New Orleans Saints for wide receiver Kenny Stills, and brought in tight end Jordan Cameron and wide receiver Greg Jennings. The Dolphins also drafted Louisville wide receiver DeVante Parker with the 14th overall pick.
My thoughts: Tannehill is a solid quarterback who has improved each season playing in the NFL and may have his best season to date coming up. With that being said, he is making more money per year than Tom Brady and Phillip Rivers. I understand that Brady has willingly taken pay cuts for help his team, but the yearly contracts do not add up with what we’ve seen from Tannehill and the Dolphins. The Dolphins needed to extend Tannehill’s contract and they did, but the pressure is on for the Dolphins to make the playoffs this year with Tannehill leading the pack, or it could be the end for head coach Joe Philbin.
NFL in Los Angeles talks continue
On Tuesday a transaction for land in Carson, California was done and the two teams who have been linked to this transaction are the Oakland Raiders and the San Diego Chargers. These two teams have been in the mix to move to Los Angeles, along with the St. Louis Rams. If this were to go through, both teams would share the stadium. This would also mean that one team would move to the NFC West, and another NFC West team would move to the AFC West because two AFC teams cannot share the same stadium due to scheduling issues.
My thoughts: I hope it gets worked out. I hated seeing fans, particularly Raiders fans in Oakland, protest the deal, but both teams play in the two worst stadiums in the NFL and it appears that both cities will not be able to afford keeping them there. Who knows, the move could mark the beginning of a new era for the Chargers and the rebirth of the Raiders. I am excited to see what the future holds for these two franchises.
This wraps up your NFL roundup for May 20, 2015. For more NFL updates and posts, follow the blog and keep up with WMCD’s social media accounts!
Note: I am on my summer break from classes, but am working two jobs, so I will try to post as much as possible but may only get to one or two posts a week for the time being.
Thanks for reading. Until next time,