NFL shopping Thursday night games to networks

Thursday night sports could be expanding to other sites in 2014.

(USATSI)Thursday night football could be expanding to other networks. (USATSI)
a lot more NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE: Coaching change system | Playoff Bracket

The NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE is normally shopping an one-year monday night deal to be able to other cpa marketing networks to transmitted games setting up in Sept. 2010 2014, based on
Sporting activities Business daybook

is actually John Ourand, who provides that the bundle might share the sunday evening games with national soccer league Network.

CBS Sports NFL Insider Jason La Canfora listens to that typically the league is looking regarding about $800 million, plus the national football league Network would like in order to be able to stick late regular-season games leading up to the playoffs, but chances are that the network that royaume the deal will would like those online games.
additional from La Canfora: “This has always been the plan — to utilize the full-season bundle to obtain higher carriage charges and have on Time Warner Cable, after that sell away from half this package. inches

Primary bidders contain: FOX, Turner and possibly NBC Sports Network.
Back in October, times after Cowboys owner plus general manager Jerry smith hinted that the NFL was first considering Thursday doubleheaders, nuestra Canfora noted that advertising and marketing part of the broadcast rights will be inch[O]ne solution to get the salary cap upwards. Because the salary cap has not really moved given that year, and this brand new TV funds from typically the existing contracts still might not commence kicking in right up until 2015. “

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Draft gems and disasters

AFL Draft Day for 2013 has arrived, with nervous players from across the nation ready for his or her shot on the huge time.

 Melbourne's No. 1 and 2 draft picks in 2009, Tom Scully (left) and Jack Trengove.

Melbourne’s No. 1 and a couple of draft picks in 2009, Tom Scully (left) and Jack Trengove. Source: Information Corp Australia

We all remember the good ones. Names like James Hird, Chris Grant and Adam Goodes appear to roll off the tongue after we speak concerning the great bargains within the history of the AFL’s national draft.

For each steal, though, there are selections that the recruiters would dearly like to have again. Mercifully, these names are often forgotten.





But, as we depend down to tonight’s draft selection meeting, we thought it is perhaps timely to evaluate the efficiency of your club since the first instalment again in 1986.

You will discover the triumphs and “attempt-agains” in equal measure right here, plus a form information of sorts from the last three drafts.

For the sake of the train we’ve overlooked the likes of Docker Aaron Sandilands and Eagle Dean Cox, who headline the impressive list of names called at the national draft as rookie elevations.

Father-son selections like Gary Ablett Jr and Matthew Scarlett have additionally been omitted, because their status as draft bargains seems to owe more to good luck than shrewd recruiting on Geelong’s behalf.

Lastly, it’s price noting that our bargains and busts have been judged purely on their output at that membership, so gamers who’ve been cruelled by harm or gone on to star elsewhere have not been spared.

Enough housekeeping, here it is.

Have a learn and have your say by leaving a remark on the backside of the page.



No.1 picks: None

Greatest bargains: Graham Johncock (decide 67, 2000), Taylor Walker (75, 2007), Ken McGregor (seventy five, 1998), Rory Sloane (forty four, 2008).

Biggest busts: Laurence Angwin (7, 2000), John Meesen (8, 2004), Tom Gilligan (thirteen, 1996), Fergus Watts (14, 2003).

2012 picks: Sam Siggins (62), Rory Atkins (eighty one), Ian Callinan (95 – rookie elevation)

Previous three years: Not so much to indicate for current efforts, with penalties for the Kurt Tippett draft/salary cap shambles not serving to the Crows’ cause. Brodie Smith (choose 14, 2010) was a win and Sam Kerridge (27, 2011) appears a beauty. Jury still out on most of the rest. Jarryd Lyons was talked about as trade bait this 12 months.

Our verdict (2010-2012): 5/10


No.1 picks: Des Headland (1998), John Hutton (1991), Martin Leslie (1986).

Greatest bargains: Simon Black (31, 1997), Michael Rischitelli (sixty one, 2003), Daniel Bradshaw (fifty six, 1995), Jack Redden (25, 2008).

Greatest busts: Rory Hilton (three, 1996), Damian Cupido (6, 1999), John Hutton (1, 1991).

2012 selections: Sam Mayes (8), Marco Paparone (23), Michael Shut (32), Jack Crisp (86 RE), Niell McKeever (99 RE)

Previous three years: Oh expensive. Following the 2009 Brendan Fevola debacle the Lions had 5 picks in the top-30 in the subsequent two years and all walked out in the course of the latest trade interval: Jared Polec (5), Patrick Karnezis (25), Billy Longer (8), Sam Docherty (12) and Elliot Yeo (30). At the very least final yr’s top pick Mayes appears to be like an amazing find.

Our verdict (2010-2012): 2/10


No.1 picks: Matthew Kreuzer (2007), Bryce Gibbs (2006), Marc Murphy (2005).

Finest bargains: Aaron Hamill (seventy nine, 1994), Michael Sexton (fifty four, 1988), Brendan Fevola (38, 1998), Ryan Houlihan (73, 1999), Nick Duigan (70, 2010), Mitch Robinson (40, 2008).

Greatest busts: Luke Livingston (4, 2000), Murray Vance (6, 1998), Kris Massie (7, 1997), James Prepare dinner (2, 1990).

2012 alternatives: Troy Menzel (11), Tom Temay (35), Nick Graham (fifty four), Levi Casboult (89 RE), Zach Tuohy (102 RE)

Past three years: Blues fans are determined for the membership to add more key-position depth but recent makes an attempt have not been overly successful. Marcus Davies (43, 2009), Patrick McCarthy (34, 2010) and Luke Mitchell (42, 2010) had been all delisted this year, while Matthew Watson (18, 2010) has shown glimpses however remains very much a piece in progress, as does Josh Bootsma (22, 2011). Menzel and Graham got a taste final season and the Blues have plenty to work with there.

Our verdict (2010-2012): 5/10


No.1 picks: Josh Fraser (1999)

Finest bargains: Dane Swan (fifty eight, 2001), Scott Burns (ninety, 1992), Ben Johnson (sixty two, 1999), Luke Ball (30, 2009), Dayne Beams (29, 2008), Alex Fasolo (forty five, 2010), Paul Seedsman (70, 2010).

Largest busts: Chris Egan (10, 2004), Daryl Groves (10, 1989), Richard Cole (11, 2001).

2012 picks: Brodie Grundy (18), Ben Kennedy (19), Tim Broomhead (20), Jackson Ramsay (38), Marley Williams (94 RE)

Past three years: Recruiting genius Derek Hine has barely missed in latest occasions, with Jackson Paine (50, 2011) – traded to Brisbane this yr – the attainable exception. Fasolo and Seedsman have been bargains in 2010 and the highest three picks last 12 months will all be stars (little bit of strain on Broomhead, who missed this yr with glandular fever). You can wager his two high-10 choices tonight will not bust.

Our verdict (2010-2012): eight/10

Dane Swan has three best-and-fairests, a Brownlow and a premiership medal. Not bad for pick 58 in the draft.

Dane Swan has three best-and-fairests, a Brownlow and a premiership medal. Not unhealthy for decide 58 within the draft. Supply: News Corp Australia


No.1 picks: None

Finest bargains: James Hird (seventy nine, 1990), David Hille (40, 1999), Damien Hardwick (87, 1992).

Greatest busts: Kepler Bradley (6, 2003), Daniel McAlister (5, 1996), Andrew Payze (9, 1986), Jason Laycock (10, 2002), Scott Gumbleton (2, 2006).

2012 alternatives: Joe Daniher (10 – father-son), Jason Ashby (34), Dylan van Unen (51), Martin Gleeson (fifty three), Nick Kommer (seventy three), Sean Gregory (88), Mark Baguley (106 RE)

Previous three years: The Bombers nailed their high choose in 2010 with different golf equipment scared off Dyson Heppell (choose 8) by injury worries. Nick Kommer (73, 2012) was an awesome steal, however we’re nonetheless ready to see most of the relaxation, with Elliott Kavanagh (19, 2011) on the entrance of the queue.

Our verdict (2010-2012): 7/10


No.1 picks: Clive Waterhouse (1995), Jeff White (1994).

Finest bargains: Kepler Bradley (69, 2007), Nat Fyfe (20, 2010).

Biggest busts: Ben Edwards (7, 1995), Ryley Dunn (10, 2003), Marcus Drum (10, 2005).

2012 picks: Josh Simpson (17), Tanner Smith (36), Max Duffy (39), Clancee Pearce (78 RE), Lee Spurr (ninety three RE).

Previous three years: Not much to speak of particularly on the increased end, although they’ve had some rough luck with Jayden Pitt (20, 2010) compelled to retire by a coronary heart condition. Viv Michie (forty four) was traded to Melbourne but they bought a steal in Lachie Neale (58, 2011).

Our verdict (2010-2012): four/10


No.1 picks: Stephen Hooper (1990)

Finest bargains: Darren Milburn (forty seven, 1995), Matthew Egan (sixty two, 2004), Corey Enright (forty seven, 1999), Mathew Stokes (sixty one, 2005), Joel Selwood (7, 2006), Steven Motlop (39, 2008), Allen Christensen (40, 2009).

Biggest busts: Leigh Brockman (eight, 1996), Michael Taylor (5, 1986), Stephen Hooper (1, 1990), David Ugrinic (13, 1993), Kane Tenace (7, 2003).

2012 picks: Jackson Thurlow (16), Brad Hartman (77), Jesse Stringer (92 RE)

Previous three years: Massive tick for Stephen Wells, as if that is a surprise. Cam Guthrie (23, 2010) is a magnificence and Wells’ different selections that yr: Billie Smedts (15), George Horlin-Smith (37) and Jordan Schroder (fifty four) have all confirmed something together with Jordan Murdoch (48, 2011). The Cats do not rush their youngsters but count on to see the likes of Shane Kersten (34, 2011) make an affect quickly.

Our verdict (2010-2012): 8/10

 Mathew Stokes is another Stephen Wells special.

Mathew Stokes is one other Stephen Wells special. Supply: News Corp Australia

No.1 picks: David Swallow (2010)

Greatest bargains: Have hardly had a late choose.

Greatest busts: Too early to say.

2012 picks: Jesse Lonergan (thirteen), Timmy Sumner (5), Kyal Horsley (57 RE), Clay Cameron (58).

Past three years: The Suns were given a head-start by the AFL but have additionally shrewdly used trades to boost its drafting power, significantly within the mini-drafts that were set as much as help the growth clubs add skilled players. Instead they have bagged Jaeger O’Meara and Jack Martin.

Our verdict (2010-2012): 9/10


No.1 picks: Jonathan Patton (2011), Lachie Whitfield (2012)

Greatest bargains: Do they ever have a choose outdoors the highest 20?

Biggest busts: They’ve only been within the caper for two years, give the kids some time!

Previous two years: Can’t decide them at this stage however they’re about to land their third No. 1 choose in a row so that they’re doing something proper. Used uncommon late picks on recycled gamers like James McDonald (87, 2011) who served a purpose. Of their 11 picks within the first 15 of their first draft, they traded two away this year in Dom Tyson (three) and Taylor Adams (13) but got Heath Shaw and this yr’s pick 2 in return.

Our verdict (2011-2012): Ask us in two or three years. Signs are ominous.


No.1 picks: Luke Hodge (1, 2001), Alex McDonald (1988).

Greatest bargains: Ben Dixon (77, 1994), Jade Rawlings (ninety four, 1994), Sam Mitchell (36, 2001), Nathan Thompson (eighty two, 1997), Richie Vandenberg (seventy eight, 1997), Shane Savage (seventy five, 2008), Ben Stratton (forty six, 2009), Paul Puopolo (66, 2010).

Greatest busts: Mitch Thorp (6, 2006), Beau Dowler (6, 2005), Luke Brennan (8, 2002), Brendan Krummel (5, 1995), Clayton Lamb (13, 1986).

2012 selections: Tim O’Brien (28), Kaiden Brand (66), Michael Osborne (70)

Past three years: With the premiership window vast open it has been laborious for the kids to crack a sport however the Hawks have found a couple of gems including Isaac Smith (19, 2010), Paul Puopolo (66, 2010), and Brad Hill (33, 2011), who are actually all premiership players. They’ve killed it at the draft desk bringing in David Hale, Jack Gunston, Brian Lake and Jed Anderson in a take care of GWS, whereas Luke Breust was a rookie.

Our verdict (2010-2012): 8/10

Brad Hill (left) has a premiership medal less than 12 months after being drafted. Picture: Michael Klein

Brad Hill (left) has a premiership medal less than 12 months after being drafted. Picture: Michael Klein Source: Information Corp Australia


No. 1 picks: Tom Scully (2009), Jack Watts (2008), Travis Johnstone (1997).

Best bargains: Russell Robertson (68, 1996), Cameron Bruce (64, 1999), Stephen Tingay (50, 1987), Anthony Lovell (forty two, 1986).

Biggest busts: Luke Molan (9, 2001), Chris Lamb (thirteen, 1998), Trent Ormond-Allen (10, 1993), Jason Norrish (5, 1991), Don Cockatoo-Collins (11, 1995), Tom Scully (1, 2009), Jordan Gysberts (eleven, 2009), Lucas Cook dinner (12, 2010).

2012 alternatives: Jimmy Toumpas (four), Jack Viney (26 – father-son), Dean Kent (48), Matt Jones (fifty two), Dean Terlich (68), Dan Nicholson (71 RE), Michael Evans (72 RE).

Previous three years: The Dees largely traded their manner out of the draft this yr which raised just a few eyebrows but a have a look at the checklist of busts above might clarify their thinking. Your entire draft class of 2011 is gone – Rory Taggert (36), Josh Tynan (52), James Sellar (fifty four) – together with their high pick in 2010, Lucas Cook (12). Last 12 months’s crop seems a bit brighter with Melbourne followers big followers of the father-son rule. Jeremy Howe (33, 2010) additionally will get a giant tick.

Our verdict (2010-2012): 4/10


No.1 picks: None

Greatest bargains: Brent Harvey (forty six, 1995), David King (46, 1993), Andrew Swallow (forty three, 2005), Byron Pickett (67, 1996), Corey Jones (60, 2000).

Largest busts: John McNamara (4, 1988), Chris Lindsay (6, 1986), Robert Pyman (6, 1992), Dylan Smith (6, 2000), David Trotter (9, 2003).

2012 choices: Taylor Garner (18), Ben Jacobs (37), Mason Wooden (41), Mitch Wilkins (47), Daniel Currie (56), Taylor Hine (sixty one), Sam Gibson (seventy six RE), Aaron Mullett (81 RE), Majak Daw (103 RE).

Previous three years: Little uncovered proof to guage the Roos recruiters, though those that know say Shaun Atley (17, 2010) will be a star. Kieran Harper (27, 2010) was on the rise earlier than struggling third-yr blues in 2013.

Our verdict (2010-2013): 6/10


No.1 picks: None

Finest bargains: Dom Cassisi (50, 2000), Robbie Gray (55, 2006), Justin Westhoff (seventy one, 2006), David Rodan (86, 2006).

Greatest busts: Michael Stevens (5, 1998), John Rombotis (6, 1996), Adam Thomson (11, 2004), Paul Koulouriotis (12, 1999), Barry Brooks (15, 2001).

2012 picks: Ollie Wines (7), Tom Clurey (29), Mason Shaw (30), Tom Jonas (85 RE)

Previous three years: Port’s past two first-rounders are both already genuine stars in Wines and Chad Wingard (6, 2011), although Ben Jacobs (16, 2010) is gone. Later picks still waiting to get their probability.

Our verdict (2010-2012): eight/10


No.1 picks: Brett Deledio (2004), Anthony Banik (1989), Richard Lounder (1987).

Greatest bargains: Chris Newman (55, 2000), Andrew Kellaway (71, 1997), Shane Tuck (73, 2003), Nick Daffy (forty nine, 1990).

Largest busts: Richard Anderson (four, 1986), Richard Lounder (1, 1987), Anthony Banik (1, 1989), Aaron Fiora (3, 1999), Jarrad Oakley-Nicholls (eight, 2005), Richard Tambling (four, 2004).

2012 choices: Nick Vlastuin (9), Kamdyn McIntosh (31), Liam McBean (33), Matt McDonough (forty two).

Previous three years: It used to be an annual sport to see how badly improper the Tigers’ would get this event but they’ve consigned that to the previous with a string of high picks that haven’t missed since they snagged Jack Riewoldt with choose 13 in 2006. After that came Trent Cotchin (2, 2007), Ty Vickery (8, 2008), Dustin Martin (3, 2009), Reece Conca (6, 2010), Brandon Ellis (15, 2011) and Nick Vlastuin (9, 2012). The previous three years have also netted Jake Batchelor (30, 2010) whereas Brad Helbig (47, 2010) and Matt Arnot (55, 2011) have shown glimpses of promise. Put Liam McBean in your SuperCoach watchlist for 2014.

Our verdict (2010-2012): 7/10

 Richmond selected Aaron Fiora at pick 3 in 1999 - one spot before Freo pounced on a young forward named Matthew Pavlich.

Richmond chosen Aaron Fiora at choose three in 1999 — one spot earlier than Freo pounced on a younger ahead named Matthew Pavlich. Source: Information Corp Australia


No.1 picks: Brendon Goddard (2002), Nick Riewoldt (2000).

Best bargains: Jamie Shanahan (ninety two, 1990), Andrew Thompson (sixty two, 1996), Austinn Jones (forty eight, 1994), Sam Fisher (55, 2003), Leigh Montagna (37, 2001), James Gwilt (63, 2004).

Largest busts: Stephen Simms (2, 1986), Michael Quirk (5, 1987), Rob Malone (12, 1991), Michael Frost (8, 1993), Caydn Beetham (9, 1999), Raph Clarke (8, 2003), Jamie Cripps (24, 2010).

2012 picks: Nathan Wright (24), Spencer White (25), Brodie Murdoch (forty), Josh Saunders (forty three), Lewis Pierce (75), Sam Dunell (ninety RE).

Past three years: The years 2008-10 have been a disaster with just three (Rhys Stanley, Arryn Siposs and rookie elevation Tom Simpkin) of the 19 gamers drafted in that point nonetheless on the checklist. Things have improved since then however the jury remains out on most recruits. Jack Newnes (37, 2011) is the decide of the bunch so far. Daniel Markworth (35, 2011) had his first two seasons wiped out by injuries and will be desperate to make an influence next yr.

Our verdict (2010-2012): 5/10


No.1 picks: Darren Gaspar (1993)

Finest bargains: Adam Goodes (43, 1997), Ryan O’Keefe (fifty six, 1999), Andrew Dunkley (fifty six, 1991), Troy Luff (seventy four, 1994), Michael O’Loughlin (forty, 1994), Dan Hannebery (30, 2008), Luke Parker (40, 2010).

Largest busts: Glenn Gorman (four, 1993), Mark Kinnear (4, 1996), Jason Spinks (5, 1992), Paul Burton (6, 1991), Ryan Fitzgerald (four, 1998).

2012 selections: Dean Towers (22), Harry Marsh (forty four), Tim Membrey (forty six), Matthew Dick (64), Harry Cunningham (107 RE).

Previous three years: Not a lot enjoying time yet for recent draftees however the ones we have seen include Luke Parker (forty, 2010) and Tom Mitchell (21 – father-son, 2011). Jed Lamb (21, 2010) has gone to GWS but Mike Pyke was a rookie elevation that 12 months.

Our verdict (2010-2012): 6/10


No.1 picks: Michael Gardiner (1996), Drew Banfield (1992).

Best bargains: Brett Heady (92, 1989), Andrew Embley (fifty seven, 1998), Michael Braun (53, 1996), Mark LeCras (37, 2004), Jack Darling (26, 2010).

Greatest busts: Todd Breman (2, 1988), Andrew McDougall (5, 2000), Brandon Hill (10, 1998), Shane Porter (12, 1990), Brendan Fewster (3, 1995), Jaxon Crabb (12, 1997).

2012 picks: Brant Colledge (45), Adam Carter (59), Mark Hutchings (60), Brad Dick (79 RE)

Previous three years: The Eagles nailed the 2010 draft with Andrew Gaff (4), Jack Darling (26), Scott Lycett (29), Jacob Brennan (sixty two, father-son) all trying long-time period players. Not a lot to point out yet from the 2 years since.

Our verdict (2010-2012): 7/10

 The Eagles snared Jack Darling with a priority pick.

The Eagles snared Jack Darling with a precedence decide. Supply: Information Corp Australia


No.1 picks: Adam Cooney (2003)

Finest bargains: Chris Grant (one zero five, 1989), Brian Lake (71, 2001), Danny Southern (92, 1992), Ryan Hargrave (sixty six, 1999), Daniel Cross (fifty six, 2000), Lindsay Gilbee (forty three, 1999), Tom Liberatore (forty one, father-son, 2010).

Greatest busts: Paul Gow (8, 1990), Sam Energy (10, 2001), Jason Shields (sixteen, 1989), Farren Ray (four, 2003), Andrejs Everitt (eleven, 2006).

Past three years: The father-son rule helped the Dogs land Mitch Wallis (22) and Tom Liberatore (forty one) in 2010 and their high two picks in 2011 – Clay Smith (17) and Michael Talia (39) – are coming along properly. Tory Dickson (fifty seven, 2011) was a steal and last year’s crop of Jake Stringer (5), Jackson Macrae (6), Nathan Hrovat (21) and Lachie Hunter (49 – father-son) all look like hits.

Our verdict (2010-2012): 9/10

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Jordan says tanking games no way to build

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – As pissed off as Michael Jordan has been over the Charlotte Bobcats’ lack of success, it is simply not in his competitive DNA to tank video games.

Forget that the NBA would seemingly hand down a hefty nice and fans would most likely boycott if a workforce admitted to doing that. Jordan said Friday that purposely dropping video games in hopes of getting a high pick within the subsequent draft is no approach to fix a rebuilding franchise.

The Bobcats proprietor scoffed on the concept, telling The Associated Press, “I do not know if some groups have thought of that. That is not one thing that we might do. I don’t believe in that.”

He laughed heartily and said, “If that was my intention, I never would have paid [free agent] Al Jefferson $13 million a yr.”

Jordan, 50, hasn’t been in a position to translate his on-court success to profitable as an NBA proprietor and govt. He won six NBA titles as a player, however Charlotte is 62-168 in his three full seasons as majority proprietor. The Bobcats had been 21-61 final season.

JordanIt isn’t guaranteed [the player] you are going to get goes to be that star anyway. I did learn that certain groups are enthusiastic about doing it, however I am not one in every of them. So let’s alleviate that conversation.

- Bobcats proprietor Michael Jordan

Nonetheless, he doesn’t imagine there are shortcuts to profitable.

While the 2014 draft offers hopes to fledgling groups with proficient gamers like Andrew Wiggins at Kansas and Duke’s Jabari Parker, Jordan made it clear he isn’t enthusiastic about dropping.

“It is not guaranteed [the participant] you’re going to get is going to be that star anyway,” Jordan mentioned. “I did read that sure groups are enthusiastic about doing it, however I am not certainly one of them. So let’s alleviate that conversation.”

Jordan, who was in a relaxed mood on the Bobcats’ headquarters hours earlier than his staff’s home opener, has been broadly criticized for his failures with the Bobcats and for his struggles in the entrance workplace with the Washington Wizards.

He mentioned some of that comes with the territory.

“It is considerably unfair, however you come to expect it,” stated Jordan, who grew to become the majority proprietor of the Bobcats in 2010. “You set sure standards as a player that transcend no matter you do. It goes where you go. You’ll be carrying that around your neck in order that when people see the identify they expect the results.

“It is somewhat unfair, but it’s what it is. I don’t let it outline me.”

Jordan mentioned he stays dedicated to the Bobcats and stated he is tried to be transparent with the fans about the route of the crew.

This previous offseason, he used the amnesty clause on ahead Tyrus Thomas, a transfer that took his hefty contract off the books.

The Bobcats still should pay Thomas $18 million, however the move freed up that cash beneath the salary cap as part of a one-time coverage beneath the brand new collective bargaining agreement. Charlotte used that money to sign Jefferson to a 3-year, $forty one million contact and to re-sign guard Gerald Henderson for $18 million over three seasons.

“I imply, that was a press release,” Jordan stated of his commitment to the Bobcats. “I still have to pay greater than $17 million, but it was a transfer that we wanted to make to build and go get a guy like Huge Al.”

Jordan believes that the staff’s younger core of players – together with Jefferson’s expertise – will help the Bobcats turn out to be extra competitive.

He also looks like he finally has the right man in charge in new coach Steve Clifford, a longtime NBA assistant who took over for Mike Dunlap, who was fired after one season.

“We’re centered on what we’re making an attempt to do,” Jordan mentioned. “I think the route we’re moving is positive… It’s baby steps. Every now and again, you have a hiccup. But I must admit that we’re headed in the best direction, and I am very pleased with that.”

The Bobcats, however, together with other small-market groups, are at disadvantage in free company. The celebs need to go “the place the lights are,” Jordan stated.

He said final 12 months he did not think the new CBA did enough to help degree the playing discipline for small-market groups when it comes to helping them land – or hold – high-profile difference-makers in free company.

A year later, after seeing the system at work, he has eased up on that stance.

“It’s better,” Jordan mentioned. “We’re still going by and seeing the full effects of it. From a business standpoint, when you operate your staff in the correct way, it offers you a chance to break even or be profitable. And it makes it harder in your talent to get up and go someplace else.

“You can provide extra benefits than different groups to maintain your player. It is a fair evaluation that when you get your star, you may get parity within the league. I believe parity is starting to happen within the league.”

Jordan doesn’t really feel gamers orchestrating offers that land a trio of stars in massive markets to kind an enormous three is essentially good for the game.

“I’m not a giant advocate for it,” Jordan said. “I came from an era where it didn’t occur. If that happened to evolve from the draft, then you seemed fairly good.”


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Oneida Nation meets with NFL about Redskins

Representatives of the Oneida Indian Nation on Wednesday asked NFL executives to sanction Washington Redskins owner Daniel Snyder for conduct detrimental to the league for continuing to make use of a staff nickname and mascot that “promote a dictionary-defined racial slur.”

Within the ninety-minute assembly between Oneida Nation representatives and three senior league executives in New York City, the officers additionally asked for all staff homeowners to meet with Oneida leaders the week of Super Bowl XLVIII. And so they asked that Snyder and NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, who was touring Wednesday and did not attend the meeting, visit Oneida Nation homelands in upstate New York.

However the Oneida representatives left disillusioned, saying after the meeting with senior NFL executives Jeff Pash, Adolpho Birch and Paul Hicks that the league “defended the use of a racist name,” Oneida spokesman Joel Barkin mentioned.

“We are very disillusioned,” Barkin mentioned. “That is the beginning of a course of. It’s clear that they don’t see how this is not a unifying time period. They do not have an entire appreciation for the breadth of opposition of Native Individuals to this mascot and name.”

Wednesday’s assembly occurred one day after Goodell and Snyder met about the identical subject. In accordance with The Washington Put up, Snyder repeated to Goodell that he had no plans to vary the team’s nickname.

“We met at the request of Ray Halbritter of the Oneida Nation. We listened and respectfully discussed the views of Mr. Halbritter, Oneida Nation Wolf Clan Consultant Keller George and their colleagues, in addition to the sharply differing views of many other Native People and followers normally,” NFL spokesman Greg Aiello stated. “The meeting was a part of an ongoing dialogue to facilitate listening and learning, according to the commissioner’s comments earlier this 12 months.”

It’s rare for the NFL to discuss such issues with tribal leaders directly. In 1992, NFL representatives met with tribal leaders concerning the appropriateness of the Redskins and Chiefs nicknames, but then-commissioner Paul Tagliabue said the league had no intention of pressuring the groups to change their names.

In a two-web page letter written to Goodell and turned over to league executives Wednesday, Halbritter requested executives to amend the league’s bylaws with a rule that would prohibit the NFL from naming teams with “dictionary-outlined racial slurs,” a classification that Oneida leaders say contains Redskins.

Ray HalbritterOneida Indian Nation chief Ray Halbritter is main the marketing campaign to get the Redskins to vary their nickname.

Halbritter additionally requested Goodell to open an inquiry of Snyder below section eight.13 of league bylaws, which supplies the commissioner the ability to provoke disciplinary motion in opposition to any owner who’s “guilty of conduct detrimental to the welfare of the league or professional soccer.”

“As Commissioner,” Halbritter wrote to Goodell, “you’ve exercised your authority to act pursuant to this provision underneath circumstances that are far much less egregious than the use of a racial epithet as a group’s identify, together with imposition of sanctions for salary cap violations, prohibitions of on-area celebrations that do not replicate nicely on the sport and punishing off-subject misconduct by workforce officers.”

Regardless of increased calls by groups and journalists to change the nickname, Snyder has said repeatedly he would “by no means” change the identify. Snyder, who just lately hired lawyer and public relations advisor Lanny Davis to assist him navigate latest publicity over the issue, could not be reached for remark Wednesday. Davis additionally didn’t return requests for remark.

In the course of the meeting, Oneida representatives offered league executives with a duplicate of an Oneida-commissioned, 30-web page study that examined whether a “scientific rationale” existed for the stance that the Redskins’ staff mascot harms Native Americans. The conclusion is that it does. In response to the examine:

• The Redskins contribute to “prejudice and discrimination” towards Native People by utilizing the workforce name and mascot, which might be thought of harassment or bullying in a workplace or if used interpersonally.

• Checks have shown that the presence of Native American mascots outcomes immediately in decrease self-esteem and decrease mood within this population, as well as increased adverse associations of Native Americans among non-Native American teams. Importantly, these results happen regardless of whether or not the Native American mascot is considered “offensive.”

• Racial slurs, racial harassment and racial bullying have been associated with poor psychological health amongst Native American children, adolescents and adults, according to examine author Michael A. Friedman, a scientific psychologist specializing in how social setting can influence psychological and physical well being.

“Native Americans are the one group within the United States subjected to having a racial slur because the mascot of a distinguished skilled sports team,” Friedman wrote in his examine. “The Washington soccer team, whether or not it intends to do so or not, is contributing to prejudice and discrimination against Native People by persisting in utilizing the ‘R-word.’ With the help of the Nationwide Soccer League’s $9 billion a 12 months international marketing machine, this behavior not solely repeatedly exposes Native Individuals to a harmful stereotype, but also implicitly condones the use of this term by non-Native People, which if carried out on an interpersonal level would possibly constitute harassment or bullying.”

“Folks ask, ‘Why now?’ however Native Individuals have protested towards this nickname for 40 years,” Friedman mentioned in an interview. “There are 10 totally different studies showing the direct causal effects on Native People and the way it creates a racially hostile environment.”

Friedman mentioned that previously 25 years, 28 U.S. excessive faculties have dropped Redskins as a nickname.

This month, Snyder, who has owned the workforce since Could 1999, wrote an open letter to Washington followers saying that the nickname was a cherished a part of the crew’s heritage and would by no means be modified. “After 81 years,” Snyder wrote, “the team identify ‘Redskins’ continues to hold the memories and that means of where we came from, who we’re, and who we need to be in the years to return.”

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Canes’ Joni Pitkanen lost for season; who fills the void?

Training camps are open and all 30 teams face questions of some type heading into the season. For the Carolina Hurricanes, one in all their questions heading was the health of defenseman Joni Pitkanen.

During an April 2 sport towards the Washington Capitals, Pitkanen suffered a broken heel bone while retrieving a puck. And on Wednesday, General supervisor Jim Rutherford introduced that the 29-yr old Pitkanen will miss the complete 2013-14 season.

After undergoing surgery on the bone in April, Pitkanen suffered a setback just a few weeks ago and he underwent a CT scan final week.

From Chip Alexander of the Information Observer:

Pitkanen talked with Rutherford in the course of the summer time and Rutherford mentioned the player sounded optimistic about being on schedule along with his rehab. Pitkanen returned to Raleigh last week and underwent a CT scan, and Rutherford mentioned Wednesday the scan results indicated the surgical procedure was profitable.

“We were taken a little by surprise, three weeks before coaching camo, to learn that it was not progressing higher than it was,” Rutherford stated. “I think Joni hoped it will get better and that he may begin putting extra weight on it. But the stability was not there.”

Making issues worse is that Pitkanen’s contract is up after this season.

Rutherford also stated he’s exploring all options to fill Pitkanen’s place in Carolina’s high six. At the moment, Tim Gleason, Justin Faulk, Jay Harrison, Andrej Sekera and Mike Komisarek are slated for the blue line. Kids Ryan Murphy and Brett Bellemore may consider now that a spot has opened up.

There can also be the commerce route, with the Toronto Maple Leafs doubtlessly trying to possibly shed some salary — John-Michael Liles, anyone? — whereas making an attempt to re-signal Cody Franson. Liles nonetheless has three years and $eleven.625 owed to him, so that would appear unlikely. Engaging Leafs GM Dave Nonis with a trade offer for Franson would be cheaper.

If Rutherford needs to go along with a bit more experience than in-home kids, names resembling Ron Hainsey — who the Canes have spoken with lately — and Tom Gilbert are still on the free agent market, and the Hurricanes have room below the salary cap (perhaps much more if Pitkanen goes on LTIR). It is also 20 days before opening night time, which is an efficient time to chop a deal with a player at the moment with no job.


NFLPA expected to file grievance against Patriots over Aaron Hernandez’s unpaid $82,000 workout bonus

Aaron Hernandez’s camp will file a grievance against the Patriots (USA At present Sports activities Images)

The combat between the New England Patriots and the NFL Players Affiliation over the money that tight finish Aaron Hernandez was scheduled to receive will commence shortly because the NFLPA is making ready to file a grievance on Hernandez’s behalf over an unpaid $82,000 workout bonus, Mike Garafolo of FOX Sports 1 reports.

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Hernandez was scheduled to obtain the $82,000 exercise bonus, which was included as a part of his rookie contract, on Aug. 1. The Patriots haven’t paid that quantity to Hernandez, who has been held with out bail in Bristol (Mass.) County Jail after being charged on June 26 with first-degree murder within the June 17 killing of Odin Lloyd.

Hernandez spent a lot of the offseason in Los Angeles, however according to Garafolo, the 2010 fourth-round select of Florida had participated in a large sufficient portion of the offseason program to obtain that payment. Until the Patriots change course and make the fee to Hernandez, the NFLPA will file a grievance.

The battle over the $82,000 exercise bonus is predicted to be the primary in a collection of battles between the Patriots and NFLPA over cash that has been paid or is owed to Hernandez, who signed a 5-12 months, $37.5 million extension with the Patriots on Aug. 27, 2012.

Hernandez’s extension included a $12.5 million signing bonus, of which $three.25 million is scheduled to be paid on March 31, 2014. The Patriots are anticipated to withhold that cost as a part of their effort to get better the $10 million from last year’s signing bonus that shall be prorated in opposition to their salary cap over the subsequent two seasons ($2.5 million in 2013, $7.5 million in 2014). That effort might be hindered by the Patriots’ decision to put Hernandez on waivers after he was arrested at his North Attleboro, Mass. house on June 26.

According to Article 4, Part 9(a)(ii) of the 2011 Collective Bargaining Settlement, a participant who’s “unavailable to the staff as a result of conduct by him that results in his incarceration” has dedicated what’s calll a “forfeitable breach” and could also be required to forfeit the portion of the signing bonus (or roster bonus, option bonus, reporting bonus) for each year that a breach occurs. Had the Patriots stored Hernandez on their roster throughout his incarceration, and if the duration of his incarceration was as lengthy (or longer) than the years remaining on his contract, the Patriots would have a transparent path in the direction of recovering the $10 million that is still on the signing bonus, including the $3.25 million deferred fee that is due next March. Although that money has seemingly been spent, the Patriots would no less than obtain some salary cap reduction down the street for that quantity.


Gabriel Landeskog commits to Avs, signs seven-year, $39 million extension

Getty Images Almost a yr in the past, Gabriel Landeskog was made boy king of the Colorado Avalanche, turning into the youngest captain in NHL historical past at age 19. He handled a concussion throughout the shortened 2013 season, enjoying 36 video games, potting nine goals and recording 17 factors, however the franchise obviously sees him because the face and proclaimed that even further on Thursday by saying an extended-term extension.

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Landeskog, who’s getting into the final yr of his entry-degree contract, inked a seven-12 months, $39 million extension with the Avalanche, in accordance with the Canadian Press’ Steve Whyno. This comes a month after Matt Duchene signed a 5-12 months, $30 million extension.

Per Chris Johnston of Sportsnet, the contract breaks down like this: Year 1: $4.5M, Yr 2: $4.5M, Yr 3: $5.5M, 12 months four: $6M, Yr 5: $6M, 12 months 6: $6M, Yr 7: $6.5M. That’s three years of unrestricted free agency bought during a time when the NHL’s salary cap will likely be the very best its ever been, as long as revenues continue to grow.

From the Avs:

“Gabe is and can proceed to be a big a part of the muse of this hockey crew for many years to return,” mentioned Avalanche Govt Vice President of Hockey Operations Joe Sakic. “Signing our captain to a long-time period extension demonstrates the dedication of Stan and Josh Kroenke to this franchise and to our fan base. In simply two seasons, Gabe has already proven to be an important asset to our group each on and off the ice. The fact that he has agreed to a long-time period deal exhibits that he believes on this crew, his teammates and the route of this franchise transferring forward.”

That’s two pieces of the Avs’ core locked up for Greg Sherman Joe Sakic. Next will come the decision by Sherman Sakic on what to do about Paul Stastny, who’s an unrestricted free agent next summer, in addition to Ryan O’Reilly, who will probably be an RFA after this season.

Offensively, issues are coming together for the long run for the Avalanche. Sooner or later, they’re going to have to deal with their obvious defensive points.


Dallas Stars deny tampering with Evgeni Malkin, but did Sergei Gonchar?

Tampering isn’t taken calmly in the NHL. It may possibly value groups financially or, in excessive circumstances, price them draft picks.

So when Evgeni Malkin’s father informed SovSport that the Dallas Stars “provided my son a much bigger contract than Pittsburgh” when Malkin has never reached free company within the NHL, eyebrows (and crimson flags) have been raised.

It’s a serious enough cost that the Stars felt compelled to deal with it via Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning Information:

“Now we have seen the reports which have surfaced out of Russia claiming that we’ve tampered and they are completely unfaithful. The Dallas Stars organization respects and adheres to all guidelines and regulations set forth by the Nationwide Hockey League and any report that claims in any other case is false.”

Heika’s NHL supply informed him that the League isn’t trying into the fees because there’s been no aggrieved occasion that’s come ahead about it.

Still, one thing smells … “off” about this situation.

Listed here are the facts: The Dallas Stars traded for Sergei Gonchar on June 7 and signed him on June eight to a 2-year, $10-million deal.

This seemed odd because (a) it was nearly a month before free agency began, and Gonchar was the primary player whose UFA rights were dealt in June; and (b) $5 million annually for Gonchar was a fairly unusual amount on condition that he’s 39 years old and earned $5.5 million against the cap on his final contract.

Only one defenseman was given more money than Gonchar on AAV in the offseason: Mark Streit at $5.25 million, from the protection-starved Philadelphia Flyers.

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Malkin signed his contract on June thirteen, inking an 8-yr deal value $seventy six million with the Pittsburgh Penguins. The contract begins in 2014-15. J.P. Barry, his agent, labored into the evening on June 12 making an attempt to get the deal closed.

Again, let’s revisit Papa Malkin and his SovSport feedback:

“You recognize, Dallas provided my son an even bigger contract than Pittsburgh. And Zhenya replied ‘No, I don’t need [to go] there.’ And that’s when the Stars had already signed Sergei Gonchar. His [Malkin’s] best buddy [Gonchar] was there. Why not conform to go there?”

So here’s my Pelican Temporary on this case:

The Dallas Stars hoped talks between Malkin and the Penguins would go sideways. They signal Gonchar to be their energy-play quarterback, but also understanding his relationship with Malkin. (When you suppose this thing does not occur, please recall Tom Gilbert as the Minnesota Wild’s bait for Ryan Suter.)

Maybe it’s Gonchar, unprovoked or provoked, who mentions to Malkin that the Dallas Stars can supply him a max contract extension ($12 million per season) if he forces a commerce to Dallas from the Penguins, making him a really wealthy participant and getting out from underneath the Unofficial Sidney Crosby Salary Cap in Pittsburgh. Plus he gets to play along with his mentor/buddy Gonchar, which is comrade-riffic.

Would any of this be tampering on the a part of the Stars? They’d have plausible deniability even when they’d a hand in it.

Would it be tampering on the part of Gonchar? In fact, if he’s below contract, however good luck making an attempt to prove it.

The timing of issues and Papa Malkin’s comments mix to make me a little suspicious of the whole thing. Possibly it was just wishful pondering on the Stars’ half or something more, but I’m inclined to assume Gonchar and Malkin had an actual Suter-and-Parise coronary heart to heart about their future at some point.


San Francisco 49ers salary cap outlook: Colin Kaepernick, Aldon Smith are bargains

Colin Kaepernick is a cut price for the 49ers (USA Immediately Sports activities Photographs)

The “Shutdown Countdown” is all wrapped up. Along with previewing every group, Shutdown Nook has been taking a quick have a look at every team’s wage cap situation heading into the 2013 season and beyond. We conclude the collection with the San Francisco 49ers.

2013 Adjusted Cap Number: $one hundred twenty five.773 million (twentieth-highest in the NFL in 2013)

2013 Cap Room Remaining: $7.437 million (16th in the NFL, as of Aug. three)

Best Bargain: As is the case with the bitter NFC West rivals up I-5, the 49ers are getting outstanding worth at their beginning quarterback position. Colin Kaepernick took the league by storm halfway via the 2012 season, completing sixty two.four % of his move makes an attempt for 1,814 yards with 10 touchdowns and three interceptions with 415 yards and 5 touchdowns on the bottom in the common season before leading the 49ers to an NFC championship.

Kaepernick is entering the third season of a 4-yr, $5.124 million contract that included $3.eight millioin assured money, including $590,314 of his $740,844 base wage in 2013. With a $one hundred,000 exercise bonus, Kaepernick will take dwelling just over $840,000, which ranks 58th amongst NFL quarterback contracts. Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning, who Kaepernick might very well face in Tremendous Bowl XLVIII, will earn $882,353 per week during the common season.

All-Pro exterior linebacker Aldon Smith is also an incredible cut price with a $1,682,637 base salary and $3,922,910 cap hit in 2013. Smith’s wage ranks twenty fifth among NFL linebackers, narrowly edging out former 49ers linebacker Manny Lawson, who has 30 fewer sacks than Smith has during the last two seasons. All-Pro guard Mike Iupati will earn $1.302 million in money this season ($1.002 million base wage plus $300,000 in “per game” roster bonuses), which ranks 44th among current guard contracts.

Potential Camp Cap Casualty: The 49ers shedding cornerback Chris Culliver likely means that Carlos Rogers’ spot on the staff is protected. Nonetheless, the 49ers would possibly flip to Rogers for a pay lower. The veteran is due $5.5 million in base salary — $1.seventy five million is absolutely assured — with $250,000 in “per sport active” roster bonuses That might be too steep for a 32-12 months-old cornerback who might have been on the outs had Culliver stayed healthy and earned a beginning job.

49ers with high base salaries who could be turned to for a restructure embrace Vernon Davis ($6.072 million base salary plus $four hundred,000 in “per sport roster bonuses), Frank Gore ($3.3 million base salary, $2.seventy five million in roster bonuses) and Anquan Boldin, who’s due $6 million in non-guaranteed base wage within the final yr of his contract.

Looming Contract Issues: From a positional worth standpoint, the 49ers will probably look to address the contract of Kaepernick subsequent offseason, which will be the first opportunity they will have to lengthen his contract beyond the 2014 season. The 49ers may even should resolve by Could three, 2014 to exercise the fifth-12 months possibility in Aldon Smith’s rookie contract. Smith has 33.5 sacks during his first two seasons in the NFL and was a primary-workforce All-Pro and Professional Bowler after posting 19.5 sacks in 2012. The fifth-12 months option in Smith’s contract can be definitely worth the value of the transition tag in 2014, which for a linebacker, is projected to be worth $8.377 million if the league-wide wage cap remains at $123 million next season.

Aldon Smith (USA Right this moment Sports activities Photos)

From a current headlines standpoint, cornerback Tarell Brown’s contract could possibly be revisited after the veteran voided a $2 million base salary escalator in his contract by skipping the offseason workout program.

Other players on the 49ers’ contract “to-do” record are safety Donte Whitner, who has openly questioned if he’ll be with the staff beyond 2013, the ultimate yr of his present contract. Offensive tackles Joe Staley and Anthony Davis have signed extensions means before their rookie deals had been up, which might have Mike Iupati questioning if his contract will probably be extended earlier than 2014, the final 12 months of his rookie contract.

Long-Time period Money/Cap Outlook: The 49ers have almost 70 gamers signed for 2014 and the “High 51″ contracts have wage cap commitments totaling $117.5 million. Several gamers have base salary escalators of their deals, whereas other have “de-escalators” written into these deals, most notably Ahmad Brooks, whose salary decreased by $1.6 million this season, and Anthony Davis and NaVorro Bowman, who may lose six figures if they do not take part in the offseason exercise program.

Previous wage cap outlooks

32. Oakland Raiders
31. Jacksonville Jaguars
30. Arizona Cardinals
29. Buffalo Bills
28. Cleveland Browns
27. Tennessee Titans
26. Kansas Metropolis Chiefs
25. New York Jets
24. San Diego Chargers
23. Philadelphia Eagles
22. Miami Dolphins
21. St. Louis Rams
20. Minnesota Vikings
19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
18. Dallas Cowboys
17. Detroit Lions
16. Pittsburgh Steelers
15. Indianapolis Colts
14. New Orleans Saints
13. Chicago Bears
12. New York Giants
11. Carolina Panthers
10. Washington Redskins
9. Cincinnati Bengals
8. Atlanta Falcons
7. Houston Texans
6. Baltimore Ravens
5. New England Patriots
four. Green Bay Packers
3. Denver Broncos
2. Seattle Seahawks


The death of the salary arbitration hearing

Blake Wheeler and the Winnipeg Jets averted arbitration Friday and got here to phrases on a five-12 months, $33.6 million contract for the 26-year previous ahead. Coming off a lockout-shortened seasoned where he recorded forty one factors, it’s a good deal for both sides.

With the Wheeler case closed, that leaves three arbitration hearings nonetheless scheduled — Mark Fraser, Mats Zuccarello and Zach Bogosian — and given how things have gone this summer time, we should always anticipate three contract agreements before each side attain an arbitrator. It’s a growing trend the place groups and players need to avoid arbitration. Just read the circumstances of Sean Avery and Shaone Morrisonn for the participant’s perspective as to why they’d like to hammer one thing out before sitting in a conference room while their normal supervisor tears them to shreds, generally bringing them to tears.

For groups, the salary cap plays a job in their want to come to an answer not involving an arbitrators decision. Under the new collective bargaining agreement, groups can’t walk away from decisions until they’re not less than $3.5 million. In case you’re a GM, you’d fairly hammer out a deal that fits into your cap construction and means that you can proceed to construct going ahead.

This is what Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff needed to deal with this summer season. Through the opening of the free company interval on July 5, the Jets stayed quiet, making just some minor moves the day after. Cheveldayoff was dealing with 5 arbitration hearings with Eric Tangradi, Bryan Little, Wheeler, Paul Postma, and Bogosian, who remains to be scheduled to have his on Friday.

Spending around $12 million for subsequent season to keep 4 of the five allowed Cheveldayoff to fill out his roster and keep beneath the cap ceiling by roughly $7 million, with Bogosian left.

The variety of arbitration hearings scheduled every summer time has been dropping through the years. Groups wish to lock up their younger stars and others, who might not want fit the star mold, see it as a chance to money in after a strong season, forcing their groups to extend a multi-year provide to simply accept a elevate by way of the arbitrator.

Former Washington Capitals and Dallas Stars assistant GM Frank Provenzano, writing for ESPN Insider (sub. required), sees the writing on the wall for the future of arbitration:

Can salary arbitration return to its former prominence as a significant offseason aspect of the NHL contract panorama? Possibly. If the cap fails to develop, extra premier players may use arbitration because the path to pry dollars out of groups with limited cash and/or cap flexibility. Arbitration might also serve the neighborhood of players on the bubble of top-9 forward/high-four defenseman standing as they try to leverage themselves up the NHL monetary ladder to a rung slightly below the walk-away threshold.

The most certainly chance, for my part, is extra of what we’re seeing proper now. Fourth-line forwards, backside-pair defensemen and players making an attempt to solidify a breakthrough yr of standard NHL roster time will most likely continue to be those utilizing the cement of wage arbitration to shore up their shaky NHL performance foundations. Settlements will proceed to be the dominant norm, because the authorized prices of $forty,000-$50,000 related to bringing a case to listening to simply aren’t worth it when fighting over $200,000 dollars instead of $2 million.

And nobody needs to affix the club of having been made to cry after listening to the blunt honesty of your boss. Proper, Tommy Salo?


Jimmy Graham is in line for an extension

Jimmy Graham is in the final year of his contract (USA Today Sports Images)

The “Shutdown Countdown” is going full steam ahead. In addition to previewing each team, “Shutdown Corner” will be taking a brief look at each team’s salary cap situation heading into the 2013 season and beyond. We continue the series with the New Orleans Saints.

2013 Adjusted Cap Number: $124.619 million (11th-lowest adjusted cap number in the NFL in 2013)

2013 Cap Room Remaining: $5.173 million (11th-lowest available cap space, as of July 22)

Best Bargain: Center Brian de la Puente ping-ponged between the San Francisco 49ers, Seattle Seahawks, Kansas City Chiefs and Carolina Panthers before finding a home in New Orleans in 2010. Over the last two seasons, de la Puente has started 28 of 32 games and is coming off a season where he played in all 1,107 of the Saints’ offensive snaps. According to Football Outsiders Almanac 2013, de la Puente had nine blown blocks in 2012, a rate of one blown block every 123.1 snaps that ranked 10th among interior offensive linemen. As a restricted free agent this offseason, the Saints placed a “Second Round” tender on de la Puente, which comes with a non-guaranteed base salary of $2.023 million, which would be the 20th-highest salary among NFL centers this season.

Potential Camp Cap Casualty: To create salary cap space, the Saints cut tight end David Thomas and renegotiated the contracts of Brodrick Bunkley, Ben Grubbs, Jahri Evans, Marques Colston, Will Smith, Jonathan Vilma, Curtis Lofton, David Hawthorne and Roman Harper. With the Saints switching to a 3-4 defense, the 32-year-old Smith might have found himself on the bubble this summer. It will be interested to see how the veteran adjusts to the outside linebacker position, but at $3 million in base salary, Smith is unlikely to be going anywhere as he still has value as a pass-rusher in nickel packages.

Looming Contract Issue: Tight end Jimmy Graham is scheduled to earn $1.323 million in non-guaranteed base salary in 2013, the fourth and final season of a $3.3 million rookie contract that included just $665,140 in guaranteed money. With 215 receptions for 2,648 yards and 25 touchdowns in his first three seasons in the NFL, Graham’s next contract is expected to come in at between $7-8 million per season with $15-20 million in guaranteed money. The Saints have a little bit of leverage at the moment as they will be able to use the franchise tag on Graham next offseason. If the salary cap remains flat, the tight end franchise tender is projected to be worth $5.894 million.

Long-Term Cash/Cap Outlook: The Saints’ front office will be busy getting salary cap compliant before the start of the 2014 league year. The “Top 51″ contracts for next season currently have $143.396 in salary cap commitments, the second-highest total in the NFL, trailing only the Dallas Cowboys. That figures includes $13.9 million for Smith, who is due a $1 million roster bonus on the third day of the 2014 league year and is slated to earn a $10.4 million base salary in the final year of his contract. The Saints have only 41 players under contract for the 2015 season, but have $129.1 million in salary cap commitments, the second-highest total behind, you guessed it, the Cowboys.

Previous salary cap outlooks

32. Oakland Raiders
31. Jacksonville Jaguars
30. Arizona Cardinals
29. Buffalo Bills
28. Cleveland Browns
27. Tennessee Titans
26. Kansas City Chiefs
25. New York Jets
24. San Diego Chargers
23. Philadelphia Eagles
22. Miami Dolphins
21. St. Louis Rams
20. Minnesota Vikings
19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
18. Dallas Cowboys
17. Detroit Lions
16. Pittsburgh Steelers
15. Indianapolis Colts


Indianapolis Colts salary cap outlook: Explaining Gosder Cherilus’ cap number

Donald Brown could be a cap casualty this summer (Getty Images)

The “Shutdown Countdown” is going full steam ahead. In addition to previewing each team, “Shutdown Corner” will be taking a brief look at each team’s salary cap situation heading into the 2013 season and beyond. We continue the series with the Indianapolis Colts.

2013 Adjusted Cap Number: $124.41 million (9th-lowest in the NFL in 2013)

2013 Cap Room Remaining: $6.935 million (18th-most in the NFL, as of July 21) The Colts still have to sign first-round linebacker Bjoern Werner, who will have a first-year cap charge of $1,435,709. Once Werner is factored into the “Top 51″ calculation, the Colts will be $6 million under their adjusted cap figure.

Salary Cap Quirk: We’re adding this entry to the Colts’ salary cap outlook to draw attention to Gosder Cherilus’ contract. The right tackle signed a five-year, $35 million contract that included $16 million in guaranteed money on March 14. On paper, Cherilus will earn $15.5 million in cash this season, including a $5.5 million base salary. However, Cherilus only has a $3.9 million cap number this season.

How can that be? Well, Cherilus’ contract is not structured the way free agent contracts usually are.

Instead of a signing bonus plus low base salaries that gradually or substantially increase in each year of the contract, Cherilus’ base salary decreases from $5.5 million in 2013 to $1 million in 2014. As a result, a “50 percent down” rule in the CBA decreases the cap charge of the first-year base salary by the difference between the Year 1 and Year 2 base salaries. In this case, that amount is $4.5 million, which according to Article 13, Section 6(iii)(5) of the CBA, is treated as a signing bonus and will be prorated (at $900,000 per season) against the cap over the next five seasons. As a result of the funky contract structure, Cherilus’ cap number is $3.6 million lower than the $7.5 million figure that his signing bonus and base salary suggest it should be.

Best Bargain: Inside linebacker Jerrell Freeman was an outstanding find by the general manager Ryan Grigson. Freeman went undrafted out of (football factory) Mary Hardin-Baylor and was an All-Star for the CFL’s Saskatchewan Roughriders before signing a three-year, $1.46 million contract with the Colts that contained $20,000 in guaranteed money in January of 2012. Freeman not only earned a starting job, he would play in 98.67 percent of the defensive snaps, lead the Colts with 145 tackles, post seven tackles for a loss, add two sacks and return his one interception for a touchdown. Freeman is expected to remain in an every-down role for the Colts and will earn just $480,000 in base salary in 2013. Freeman’s $486,667 cap hit ranks 240th among current NFL linebacker contracts.

Potential Camp Cap Casualty: In the Football Outsiders Almanac 2013, 2009 first-round pick Donald Brown is compared, unfavorably, to a Mogwai (the creature from “Gremlins”, not the Scottish rock band. And in the interest of full disclosure: I wrote Brown’s player comment). Brown’s inability to solidify himself as “The Man” in the Colts’ backfield comes at a time when the team is placing an emphasis on protecting Andrew Luck and has hired an offensive coordinator (Pep Hamilton) who will involve running backs in the passing game. Neither of those are areas of the game that Brown is adept at, which puts him behind Ahmad Bradshaw and Vick Ballard on the depth chart. Barring an injury to one or both of the players ahead of him, Brown and his $1.705 million base salary may not be with the Colts when they host the Oakland Raiders on Sept. 8.

Looming Contract Issue: The Colts were unable to reach agreement on a multi-year extension with punter/kickoff specialist Pat McAfee, which seemed odd because his market appeared to be set. Recent players with his skill-set signed deals averaging between $3.25 million to $4 million per season with $6.5 million to $7 million in guaranteed money.

A second franchise tag in 2014 — which is a distinct possibility given the rest of the team’s projected unrestricted free agents — would be worth $3,572,400. If McAfee were to play out next season under the franchise tag, he would have earn $6.5494 million over those two seasons, which really makes the Colts’ decision to not extend his contract this offseason a puzzling one.

Long-Term Cash/Cap Outlook: The Colts carried around $40 million in “dead” money in 2012 and have over $8 million in “dead” money (including $4.8 million on Gary Brackett) on their 2013 cap. That’s not the case for 2014, where there’s little “dead” money and the “Top 51″ contracts currently total $89.25 million. Even if the cap remains flat at $123 million, the Colts are in position to be active in free agency and/or could start building a “carryover amount” war chest for the future.

Previous salary cap outlooks

32. Oakland Raiders
31. Jacksonville Jaguars
30. Arizona Cardinals
29. Buffalo Bills
28. Cleveland Browns
27. Tennessee Titans
26. Kansas City Chiefs
25. New York Jets
24. San Diego Chargers
23. Philadelphia Eagles
22. Miami Dolphins
21. St. Louis Rams
20. Minnesota Vikings
19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
18. Dallas Cowboys
17. Detroit Lions
16. Pittsburgh Steelers


Detroit Lions salary cap outlook: Ndamukong Suh is next on contract extension ‘to-do’ list

Nick Fairley provides plenty of bang for the buck (USA Today Sports Images)

The “Shutdown Countdown” is going full steam ahead. In addition to previewing each team, “Shutdown Corner” will be taking a brief look at each team’s salary cap situation heading into the 2013 season and beyond. We continue the series with the Detroit Lions.

2013 Adjusted Cap Number: $121.5 million (3rd-lowest adjusted cap number in the NFL in 2013)

2013 Cap Room Remaining: $5.216 million (22nd in the NFL, as of July 19, 2013)

Best Bargain: One season after drafting defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh with the No. 2 overall pick in the 2010 NFL draft, the Lions doubled down on interior defensive linemen and selected Nick Fairley with the No. 13 overall pick in the 2013 NFL draft. Suh’s contract included $40 million in guaranteed money over five seasons, while Fairley’s deal was worth a total of $9,889,000, all of which was guaranteed.

[Related: Lions are still a work in progress]

Fairley has battled injury and off-field issues during his first two seasons in the NFL, but the former Auburn standout emerged as a force inside last season. In 13 games, including the first seven starts of his career, Fairley had 5.5 sacks and was second on the Lions with 11 tackles for a loss. Of course, those plays in the backfield were accompanied by eight flags for neutral zone infractions, encroachment and offsides, three “zebraspeak” ways of saying that Fairley needs to be more disciplined in 2013. Even with the penalties, Fairley’s $1.274 million base salary and $2.697 million cap hit in 2013 are much-needed bargains for the Lions.

Potential Camp Cap Casualty: The Lions have already parted ways with expensive veterans Kyle Vanden Bosch and Stephen Peterman. The most likely candidates for release — Nate Burleson and Dominic Raiola — have already taken substantial pay cuts and should be safe, provided they’re healthy and still in key roles when general manager Martin Mayhew is shaping the 53-man roster. Backup quarterback Shaun Hill is due $2.4 million in non-guaranteed base salary and his spot could be in jeopardy if either Kellen Moore or Thaddeus Lewis can demonstrate that they’re capable of being the primary backup to Matthew Stafford this season. Veteran cornerback Ron Bartell appears to be buried behind Chris Houston and recent draftees Darius Slay, Bill Bentley and Jonte Green and his $1 million in non-guaranteed base salary could be on the chopping block.

Ndamukong Suh is next on the extension list (USA Today Sports Images)

Looming Contract Issue: On July 10, the Lions locked up Stafford with a three-year, $53 million extension that included $41.5 million in guaranteed money. Next up on the “to-do” list is Suh, who is signed through the 2014 season. To create cap space during the 2012 and 2013 offseasons, the Lions have turned to Suh to renegotiate his five-year, $60 million rookie contract. As a result, Suh’s cap number next season has reached $21.4125 million. Suh can add $1.975 million to that, which the Lions would happily accept as a portion of that ($800,000) is tied to the Lions winning the Super Bowl in 2013.

If the Lions do not reach an extension with Suh before his contract expires in 2014, he will most likely become an unrestricted as the franchise tag would not be a viable option for the team to restrict Suh’s movement. Assuming Suh triggers a relatively easy to achieve $1 million base salary escalator for 2014, the cost of franchising Suh in 2015 would rise to $26.895 million. The Lions will also be carrying $9.7375 million in leftover prorated amounts from the 2011 option bonus and pair of signing bonuses they issued in 2012 and 2013 on their 2015 cap.

Long-Term Cash/Cap Outlook: The Lions have 59 players signed for 2014 and the “Top 51″ cap numbers on those contracts account for $134.26 million in salary cap commitments. The Lions will also have $1.1 million on “dead” money after releasing Jahvid Best on Thursday. If the salary cap remains flat, the Lions will have some serious trimming to do in 2014. Count the Lions among the teams that will be hoping the money from the new television contracts hits in a major way next offseason.

Previous salary cap outlooks

32. Oakland Raiders
31. Jacksonville Jaguars
30. Arizona Cardinals
29. Buffalo Bills
28. Cleveland Browns
27. Tennessee Titans
26. Kansas City Chiefs
25. New York Jets
24. San Diego Chargers
23. Philadelphia Eagles
22. Miami Dolphins
21. St. Louis Rams
20. Minnesota Vikings
19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
18. Dallas Cowboys


Thomas Vanek and the Buffalo Sabres ‘suffering’

Getty Images GM Darcy Regier warned Buffalo Sabres fans that building a Stanley Cup champion “may require some suffering.”

One assumed that meant more tough decisions on significant players, like the trade of captain Jason Pominville at the deadline last season. Specifically, one assumed that meant goalie Ryan Miller and winger Thomas Vanek would be moved this summer, as both enter the final years of their contracts in what should be a rebuilding year for the Sabres.

Yet here we are in the middle of July, and Miller and Vanek are both Sabres.

Regier did say he wanted to see what “the marketplace will make available” for the Sabres in the offseason. Now he’s seen it, and it sounds like Miller and Vanek could start the season in Buffalo.

From Mike Harrington of the Buffalo News, on Regier’s chat on Friday:

As with every chat with Regier, the topic of Ryan Miller and Thomas Vanek came up again and the response was much the same. Asked if he’s getting resigned to the fact he may have both of them at training camp, Regier said, “I think that’s fair. The nature of this business is that as we move through July lineups get more and more settled, there’s less movement. Once training camp starts, things begin to change some again.”

Regier said most conversations he’s had with other GMs involve taking in money, a clear reference to the fact the Sabres aren’t likely to be able to move the entire contract of either Vanek or Miller in a year the salary cap is shrinking to $64.3 million.

Furthering that, via

When it comes to looking at making trades, Regier said that the cap coming down is playing a significant role and many teams are working up against that ceiling.

“The cap is a real big part of it. Any discussions that I have now involve taking back money, moving money. Money plays a very big role,” he said. “I think you can look at clubs you wouldn’t expect to be up and around $60-million-plus and they’re there.”

So Ryan Miller is a still a Sabre, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing because (a) the goalie marketplace changed dramatically in the last few weeks, leaving few dance partners for Regier at the moment and (b) he’s a damn good goaltender and better than anything the Sabres could bring in to replace him in short notice.

Vanek’s a different story. He’s one of those players you’d have expected to be gone at the draft or in the early part of free agency. So why hasn’t he moved?

The GM said there would be suffering. And the Sabres are suffering through trying to move this contract.

As Regier said, teams want the Sabres to share the freight on a deal that ships a $6.4 million salary and a $7,142,857 cap hit onto their salary cap. (Thanks again, Kevin Lowe.)

Under the CBA, the Sabres can absorb up to 50 percent of that money and hit in trading Vanek, and from the GM’s comments it’s rather clear that his peers are asked for something like that as the cap drops.

He’s a superior offensive talent – it’s not a stretch to see him replacing Ilya Kovalchuk on the Devils, if a player like that is every replaceable. He can carry a team for several games on his own. There are few players in the NHL that can claim that.

Again, though: At what cost? His contract is inflated and elephantine; if the Sabres aren’t willing to absorb some of it this season, it’s nearly toxic.

It’s also a contract that runs out next summer, which begs the next question: What is Thomas Vanek worth as a pending UFA with a huge cap hit?

Would you give up a top six forward, a prospect and a pick for one year of Vanek? One assumes a Vanek trade would resemble the Bobby Ryan trade to Ottawa, and that cost the Senators a bright young NHL player, a prospect and a pick.

But they get at least two years of Bobby Ryan. Vanek’s only there for one year if he’s acquired by a team with whom he doesn’t want to re-sign.

As Regier said at the Draft:

“Unless you’re a highly competitive team, it’s very difficult to have players on your roster whose contracts are going to expire if you either choose not to or don’t have the ability to re-up them.”

Someone – COUGH, New Jersey, COUGH – in desperate need of that kind of goal-scoring might still ante up for Vanek. But this is starting to feel like a trade deadline move for the Sabres, when his cap hit and salary are pro-rated, the price for him drops and teams willing to rent him are looking to pay it.

And then he becomes a free agent and signs with the Minnesota Wild. Oh, c’mon, we all know it’s going to happen, right?


Aaron Hernandez photo removed from Pro Football Hall of Fame

This photo of Aaron Hernandez was removed from the Hall of Fame (Mary Schwalm, The Eagle-Tribune)

A photo of former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez high-stepping into the end zone against the Green Bay Packers has been removed from the walls of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, Tom Reed of the Cleveland Plain-Dealer reports.

“In the spirit of good taste we thought we’d take it down,” said Joe Horrigan, the Hall of Fame’s vice president of communication and exhibits.

The photograph was taken by Mary Schwalm of the Eagle-Tribune in North Andover, Mass. Schwalm’s photo. Entitled “Thrill and Agony”, the photo was selected for the Dave Boss Award of Excellence and was the “Photograph of the Year” for the 2010 NFL season.

The removal of Hernandez’s photo from the Hall of Fame is the latest step by the NFL and the Patriots to disassociate themselves from Hernandez, who is charged with first-degree murder in the June 17 killing of Odin Lloyd, a 27-year-old semi-pro football player from Dorchester, Mass.

Less than two hours after Hernandez was arrested, the Patriots released the 23-year-old tight end, who less than a year earlier had signed a five-year, $37.5 million contract extension that included $16 million in guaranteed money.

Last weekend, the Patriots held a two-day jersey exchange at the team’s pro shop at Gillette Stadium. Despite the event occurring over a holiday weekend, the Patriots exchanged over 2,500 jerseys, a program that owner Robert Kraft says cost the team $250,000.


Andre Iguodala was apparently an hour away from becoming a member of the Dallas Mavericks

Dirk Nowitzki gives Andre Iguodala the Ol’ Mountain Man (Getty Images)

When their season ended in the second round of the 2013 NBA Playoffs, few thought that the Golden State Warriors would have the necessities needed to become major players in the 2013 offseason. The team was already capped-out, with cornerstones Stephen Curry and Andrew Bogut on their second contracts, and rookie deals for various helpers set to be extended into big boy deals in the coming years. It’s true that the team had a series of expiring contracts that could be used as trade bait, but over the last few years most NBA teams have stopped biting on the allure of the expiring deal.

Then Utah stepped up, and was able to pull a batch of draft picks merely for rising up to the NBA’s minimum salary and taking on Golden State’s crew of Richard Jefferson, Andris Biedrins, and Brandon Rush in return. In a clever move for both sides, the Warriors were now devoid of draft help, but rife with cap space – and a shot at do-it-all swingman Andre Iguodala.

And the Dallas Mavericks? Bridesmaids, once again. It appears as if Dre was just an hour away from signing with the Mavericks before the Warriors swooped in, all full of space to sign Iguodala to a four-year, $48 million contract. Rusty Simmons at the San Francisco Chronicle recently detailed Warrior general manager Bob Myers’ frantic attempts to both clear space, and pounce on his new centerpiece:

Myers told Iguodala’s agent, Rob Pelinka, “Don’t tease me with a player like Andre Iguodala.” Myers said he repeatedly walked into his house after 15- or 16-hour days and told his wife that a deal wasn’t going to happen.

“There were 25 moments of panic,” said Myers, who was still unshaved and admittedly exhausted. “… This thing was on life support 15 times.

“It was a very unlikely scenario that actually played out for us.”


Finally, an hour before Iguodala was to sign with the Mavericks, the Warriors made two concessions in the deal with Utah and were able to send Jefferson, Biedrins and Brandon Rush – along with two first-round picks and two seconds.

A day later, Denver wanted to be part of the deal, and the Warriors gave up a third second-round pick to the Nuggets in order to make it a sign-and-trade deal that afforded them use of the full mid-level and bi-annual exceptions and granted traded-player exceptions for $11 million and $4 million.

The Warriors used the mid-level and bi-annual exceptions to sign three free agents – forward Marreese Speights, center Jermaine O’Neal and guard Toney Douglas. Myers said the team hopes to use the traded-player exceptions to recoup a draft pick and add a player closer to the trade deadline.

That last part, like the Utah trade, involves an instance of each team getting its particular back scratched. Because of various machinations that teams engage in to work around salary cap laws, the Warriors were able to have the best of both worlds – grabbing a high end free agent with cap space, while working with the sort of exceptions that are meant to be utilized by teams that are over the cap. All while rebuilding teams like Utah and Denver get picks and flexibility to work with on their end of things.

And in the end of things, the only team to come away with nothing was the Dallas Mavericks. And this time it was for Andre Iguodala – a damn good player, but certainly not the one to guarantee the sort of rebirth that would be topped off next year with the Mavs signing yet another max-salaried stud.

That this is how bad it is. A 29-year old swingman making eight figures a year, coming off of his worst season in years and probably not a perfect fit nor someone to guarantee a return to the playoffs for Dallas, still couldn’t be lassoed into becoming a Maverick. Even ‘Plan B’ is falling short.

Again, as we’ve stated throughout this rebuilding process for Dallas, the Mavericks haven’t had great timing or luck on their side; though we do understand the front office’s approach. The most oft-heard complaint regarding the team is its refusal to compete with New York’s free agent offer for Tyson Chandler in December of 2011, but while we respect Tyson as a player and person to no end, he’s battled injuries for most of his career, he was clearly hampered by several maladies during the 2013 playoffs, and he still has nearly $28.7 million left on his contract with the Knicks.

Another complaint points to Mark Cuban passing on a face to face meeting with Deron Williams one year ago in the attempt to bring the point guard to Dallas, but was Williams going to leave more money on the table in Brooklyn (especially after the team swung a deal for Joe Johnson, a player other NBA players inexplicably swoon over) to come to Dallas just because Cuban pressed the flesh?

There is, of course, time. Because the Mavericks have so much flexibility under the cap, the team can still either act as a go-between in a three-team deal (picking up more space and/or picks, along with contributors), or it can still swing a massive deal to bring in the hoped-for second head on the three-tiered monster the team hoped to finish off in 2014. The chaos of the initial first few days of the 2013 offseason delude us into thinking that these trading periods die out by the third week of July, and that’s just not the case.

Teams can get desperate, and they can talk themselves into things – like a straight salary dump with Dallas. And then there are the various training camp scenarios that will pop up in the fall, when teams attempt to extend their youngsters on rookie contracts, and sometimes fall short and freak out – as the Oklahoma City Thunder did last year with James Harden.

That’s Dallas’ hope, at least. We’ll be watching.


Have a good goalie? Time to start worrying about his next NHL contract

Getty Images Trending Topics is a column that looks at the week in hockey, occasionally according to Twitter. If you’re only going to comment to say how stupid Twitter is, why not just go have a good cry for the slow, sad death of your dear internet instead?

Tuukka Rask finally signed his extension with the Boston Bruins on Wednesday, converting his bargain basement one-year “show-me” deal into $56 million spread out over eight years.

The immediate reaction is that this is a hell of a lot of money and years for a guy who really only has two good kind-of full seasons in the league. Obviously he was in that 1a-1b platoon with Tim Thomas in 2009-10, when he posted the best GAA and save percentage in the league and, now that the starting job was his again, nearly replicated those numbers over 36 games in this, his age-25 season. That should have been enough to convince any reasonable observer that he’s one of the best netminders on earth (even if he’s obviously benefiting to some extent from the Bruins’ system) and thus Boston had to pay him accordingly.

The problem with that is that the run on even remotely elite goaltending is going to become an arms race in short order, and if a team has such a player under contract now, they’ll soon be paying through the nose for him.

The person you can probably blame for all this is Pekka Rinne, whose deal began last season and paid him $7 million — the same dollar amount as Rask — over the following seven seasons, with one of those having elapsed already. Whether he actually “earned” that contract playing behind Shea Weber and Ryan Suter for 30 minutes a night is up for debate (and I’d argue that he didn’t,) but he got the money anyway, and thus began an era of significantly overpaying even good netminders.

Rask got perhaps the biggest deal he could reasonably expect given the Bruins’ cap situation, but on paper he probably should have received more per year than Rinne. Here’s the thing with the goalie market: Lots of guys are going to be making a lot of money starting this season. If you had to ballpark it, you’d have probably said good-to-great goaltenders used to go for about $5.5 million, but that was back when you could circumvent the cap.

Of the eight goalies I’d characterize as “good” whose deals began between 2008 and 2010 when the salary cap was in the high-$50-millions range, and run through at least the end of the 2014 season, their average cap hit comes in at a little more than $5.48 million million. Those guys are Cam Ward, Roberto Luongo, Jonas Hiller, Jaroslav Halak, Ryan Miller, Henrik Lundqvist, Miikka Kiprusoff and Marc-Andre Fleury, and obviously their deals have worked out to degrees varying from very well (Lundqvist) to disastrously (Luongo).

Back then, that kind of money was a little less than 10 percent of the cap, and that sounds at least somewhat reasonable. Now, these deals are being signed right at above that level, with Rask’s being in excess of 10 percent, though obviously next season’s CBA is special and unique and will probably return to the $70 million range within one year.

But what’s more striking about this is that teams are now paying elite goaltenders like they do elite forwards, which is something we haven’t really seen before with a few exceptions. Most notable of these is Ward, whose $6.3 million cap hit was more ludicrous then than it is today, and that’s saying something. Goaltenders tended to get something more akin to what good second-line forwards pulled, as well as non-elite No. 1 defensemen.

Consider instead what the good goaltenders on multiple-year whose deals are beginning this season will be making. The six of them (Rask, Kari Lehtonen, Jonathan Quick, Mike Smith, Sergei Bobrovsky, and Jimmy Howard) making more in the neighborhood of $5.9 million per year, which may not seem like a huge step up from $5.5 million, but one has to keep in mind that Quick is carrying $5.8 million on a long-term, semi-cap circumventing deal that pays him just $8.5 million across the last three years of the 10 agreed-to. Had his extension been signed under the current CBA, rather than in the dying seconds before the expiration of the older one, he’d be making Rask money at least, since he’s paid $7 million a season for the first seven.

Steven Stamkos, just by way of comparison, makes $7.5 million against the cap through 2016. Zach Parise and Suter make about the same. Rask and Rinne are now tied for the 16th-highest cap hit in the league, and that’s under a cap that’s expected to explode in the next few years.

This is the way the world is headed, and it’s as simple as that. Expectations that the cap will continue to rise into the $80 million range within the next three or four seasons will make these a little easier to bear, but you have to imagine Henrik Lundqvist, who’s currently 31, is looking at these Rask and Rinne deals and imagining which borough of New York he’ll buy when his extension comes in.

He has a far better and longer track record than the two previous big-money goalies and, despite his age, is likely a far more crucial part of the Rangers going forward than either of the guys to whom his agent will be comparing him in negotiations with rubber-stampin’ Glen Sather. That’s especially true because he’ll be living under a much larger cap than the one currently in place, potentially as much as 10 percent higher, in fact.

This is not a uniquely Lundqvistian issue, however. How much do you think, for example, Corey Crawford is going to get paid on his next deal? The Leafs will have the option to extend both James Reimer and Jonathan Bernier over the next two summers, respectively. Sergei Bobrovsky can start negotiating an extension in June 2014 as well, and provided he plays even remotely as well as he did this past season, he’s going to cash in as well thanks to that Vezina in his back pocket, and he’s already making $5.625 million against the cap. The same goes for Cory Schneider and Fleury (who someone’s going to pay for no good reason), and Antti Niemi and even Craig Anderson. These are all goaltenders who have the ability to cash in with even career-average performances over the next season or two, though likely not at the Rask/Rinne/Lundqvist level. Although, if Rinne’s making it, who knows what some of these guys could pull?

If you were outraged about a relatively mediocre point-accumulating forward in David Clarkson making $5.25 million against the cap for the next seven years — and you should have been — you have to think relatively mediocre goalies are going to start pulling deals in roughly the same neighborhood. That’s probably not a good thing for any team that has such a goalie currently under contract, and those whose netminders are even beyond that point better start getting out the checkbooks now just to prepare.

Good goalies (and everyone else) will be looking to cash in more given that they cannot be relatively assured payment for more than eight years in the best circumstances. If these two deals, and the coming Lundqvist extension are in any way setting the market, then the market is going to be very different from what we’ve seen in the past.

That’s probably only good for goalies.


Monta Ellis will join the Dallas Mavericks on a three-year deal, add questionably valuable scoring

See, Monta Ellis loves to pass! (Ronald Martinez/ Getty)

After missing out on this summer’s top two free agents, the Dallas Mavericks were forced to assess other, significantly less exciting options. Their next move, a deal with veteran swingman Andre Iguodala, appears to have fallen apart in literally the final hour due to the Golden State Warriors’ entry into the pursuit. So, in looking to add useful players, the Mavs have opted for veterans with histories of productions who also happen to have a few glaring weaknesses. In other words, the 2011 NBA champions are now a lot like many other teams looking for a lifeline.

Their newest reported addition exemplifies this predicament quite well. As first reported by Marc Stein of, the Mavericks have agreed to terms with Monta Ellis on a three-year contract that could range from $25 million to $28 million, depending on the team’s salary cap situation (Sam Amick of USA Today added that it will fall in at $28 million). Given Monta’s history of production and the contracts handed out to players like Sixth Man of the Year J.R. Smith and former Maverick O.J. Mayo, this deal is both the market rate for a four-time 20-ppg scorer and something of an overpay.

That’s not to say Ellis won’t provide the Mavericks with useful skills. As Dirk Nowitzki nears the end of his career, Dallas needs another scorer to shoulder the load. If nothing else, Ellis, who turns 28 in late October, has proven a willingness to create, take, and often make shots throughout his eight NBA seasons. Despite his deserved reputation as a gunner, Ellis is an adept passer who could create some exciting offensive partnerships with Nowitzki and fellow free-agent acquisitions Jose Calderon, a point guard who can keep Ellis from having to handle the ball at an inadvisable rate.

Of course, Ellis’s raw scoring numbers belie his frankly horrific efficiency numbers, which have steadily declined since he notched a 53.1 percent mark on field goals in 2007-08. While Monta’s pure talent is undeniable, his decision-making and penchant for bad shots — especially long two-pointers and way too many shots from beyond the arc, where he hit 28.7 percent on 3.8 attempts per game last season — have turned him into something of a bete noire among the league’s growing cadre of efficiency-minded analysts. In this era, a likely 20-point scorer coming off a season of 41.6 shooting from the field — his lowest rate since 41.5 percent in his rookie season — just isn’t as valuable as in the past.

These marks might be more tolerable if Ellis did in fact “have it all.” Again, his passing abilities are underrated, but Monta is a limited defender too undersized to defend most two-guards. He has elite quickness and often jumps passing lanes to create fastbreak opportunities, but it often looks as if Ellis was simply never taught how to move laterally to keep a defender in front of him. It’s no great surprise that he saw his best seasons as a pro when paired with a motivated Baron Davis, a big point guard who could facilitate the offense and allow Ellis to play away from the point of attack at the defensive end. Calderon doesn’t fit that description, which suggests that the Mavericks will need a shot-blocker — perhaps free-agent target Samuel Dalembert — to cover for perimeter mistakes.

Nevertheless, Ellis is a good enough player that this acquisition reads as an attempt by the Mavericks to stay as relevant as they possibly can. Assuming no shocking moves are on the horizon, we can pencil this team into the fight for the West’s final one or two playoff spots, although that projection may depend on Nowitzki playing more than last season’s 53 games. Ellis is the kind of established player who does just enough to keep a team in the hunt for a playoff spot without rising up to serious contention (or even dark-horse status). His quality of play, as well as the amount of money and years committed to him, figures to place the Mavericks in the middle of the pack for the foreseeable future.

It’s a questionable goal, but also an understandable one. Last Friday, I noted that Mark Cuban’s tenure as owner has involved more-or-less uninterrupted success, which could make it more difficult to kiss playoff hopes goodbye and commit to a rebuilding period. The results of these efforts to hold on could be a period of time in basketball purgatory, an unattractive prospect for any team. The silver lining here is that an extended stay could convince the organization’s brain trust and fans that a full-scale rebuild is necessary. While it’s become conventional wisdom that an Oklahoma City Thunder-style raze-and-rebuild plan is the best course of action for a middling team, it’s also true that such a decision requires a full investment to persevere through several seasons of losing. The Mavericks shouldn’t go that route until they’re ready to put up with being terrible.

None of these developments are likely to make Mavericks fans particularly happy right now, but all is not lost. While Monta Ellis is not going to win the team any championships, he is a uniquely enjoyable player to watch on a daily basis. Ellis has a flair for the impossible, an unparalleled ability to contort his body to finish at the rim, often spontaneously. Put simply, he makes a 40-win team a lot more tolerable to watch. It’s not what the Mavericks are used to, but it is one of many things that makes the NBA fun, even when a team isn’t as competitive as it used to be.


New York Jets salary cap outlook: David Harris is being paid like a Top 3 linebacker

David Harris (No. 52) is among the highest-paid linebackers in the NFL (Getty Images)

The “Shutdown Countdown” is going full steam ahead. In addition to previewing each team, “Shutdown Corner” will be taking a brief look at each team’s salary cap situation heading into the 2013 season and beyond. We continue the series with the New York Jets.

2013 Adjusted Cap Number: $126.529 million (17th-largest in the NFL)

2013 Cap Room Remaining: $9.964 million (11th-most in the NFL). The Jets still have three draft choices to sign, all of whom were selected in the Top 40 of the 2013 draft. Combined, first-round picks Dee Milliner and Sheldon Richardson, along with second-round quarterback Geno Smith, will have first-year cap hits totaling $5,042,673. Those three deals will be among the “Top 51″ contracts, which will leave the Jets with about $6.4 million in cap space.

Best Bargain: 2011 first-round pick Muhammad Wilkerson is a versatile, occasionally dominant presence on the Jets’ defensive line. Over his first two seasons in the NFL, Wilkerson has started 31 of 32 games, totaling 118 tackles, including 20 for a loss, with eight sacks, six passes defensed and four forced fumbles. As the No. 30 overall pick in the 2011 draft, Wilkerson is entering the third year of a four-year, $6.875 million rookie contract that will pay him $1 million in base salary this season.

Potential Camp Cap Casualty: First-year general manager John Idzik has already made most of the potential cuts, terminating the contracts of Sione Po’uha, Calvin Pace, Bart Scott, Eric Smith and Jason Smith, moves that would have taken place regardless of who the GM was. The Jets have also restructured the contracts of D’Brickashaw Ferguson and Antonio Cromartie to create cap space so those two players are not going anywhere this season.

The one contract that has thus far been left alone belongs to inside linebacker David Harris, who is due $10.9 million in base salary (second-highest among linebackers) with a team-high $13 million cap charge, which ranks third among all NFL linebackers. Few would place Harris among the Top 5, or even Top 10 linebackers in the NFL entering this season, so the Jets may look to address this contract before the season starts on Sept.

Looming Contract Issue: The Jets had no choice but to pay $8.75 million to Mark Sanchez this season, but the club will regain control of his contract situation after the season.

Sanchez, who will have to earn the starting job in an open competition with second-round pick Geno Smith, is due $11.5 million in 2014, but none of that amount is guaranteed. The Jets will have until the 15th day of the 2014 league year to decide on whether or not to pick up a $2 million roster bonus in the contract. Releasing Sanchez next offseason would save $11.5 million in cash and $8.3 million in cap space in 2014.

On the third day of the 2014 league year, Cromartie is due a $5 million roster bonus. Releasing Cromartie, who turns 30 next April, would save $9.5 million in cash and cap space. On that same day, wide receiver Santonio Holmes is due a $1 million roster bonus. Releasing Holmes, who turns 30 on March 3, 2014, would save $8 million in cash and $8.25 million in cap space next season.

Long-Term Cash/Cap Outlook: Once the Jets sign their top three picks in the 2013 draft, they’ll have 56 players signed for the 2014 season. Those contracts will have around $109 million in cap commitments, a number that could be much lower depending on what Idzik & Co. decides to do with Sanchez, Holmes and Cromartie.

Previous salary cap outlooks

32. Oakland Raiders
31. Jacksonville Jaguars
30. Arizona Cardinals
29. Buffalo Bills
28. Cleveland Browns
27. Tennessee Titans
26. Kansas City Chiefs


Nets ‘moving on’ from signing Bojan Bogdanovic; 2011 draft pick to stay in Turkey this season

Bojan Bogdanovic drives on Jeff Green during a 2012 exhibition game. (David Dow/NBAE/Getty Images)

UPDATE:’s Ken Berger shares a report from Turkish site TrendBasket suggesting Bogdanovic is close to a new three-year deal with Fenerbahçe, which would seem to cast even more doubt on the future prospects for his arrival in Brooklyn.

Just when the Brooklyn Nets appeared to be finished retooling their bench for the 2013-14 season, the July 10 end of the NBA’s moratorium on trades and free-agent signings presented a bit of a snag.

General manager Billy King told reporters at the NBA’s Orlando Summer League on Wednesday morning that he was “concerned” about being able to successfully import 2011 second-round draft pick Bojan Bogdanovic, with whom Brooklyn had agreed to terms on a three-year contract last week. Completing that agreement, though, would mean reaching a deal with Fenerbahçe Ülker, the Turkish team for whom the 24-year-old small forward has played the past two seasons, on a buyout of the final season of Bogdanovic’s European contract.

The most the NBA’s collective bargaining agreement would allow the Nets to contribute to such a buyout would be $575,000, according to Larry Coon’s NBA Salary Cap FAQ; Fenerbahçe had reportedly been seeking $2 million in exchange for letting Bogdanovic walk, and the balance would have to come out of his NBA salary (which reportedly would have started at around $2.5 million this season). That, obviously, is quite a gulf, and a bit of a problem for Bogdanovic, which turned into a bit of a problem for Brooklyn.

Shortly after King aired his concerns, NetsDaily reported that the Nets had “decided to ‘move on’ without [Bogdanovic] and will pursue ‘Plan B,'” with a league source terming the decision “final and definite.” Multiple sources soon confirmed as much to Howard Beck of the New York Times before King himself shared the news with Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News. So — for right now, at least — it appears that there’ll be no Bojan in Brooklyn.

“For right now” is key. The Nets will reportedly still retain the NBA rights to the Croatian forward — who’s reportedly a legitimate long-range threat who hit 40.5 percent of his 3-pointers in Euroleague play and 38 percent in Turkish League games for Fenerbahçe this season, and who can also make some things happen off the dribble — and will have another opportunity to sign him and bring him over to the States next summer. However, waiting another year opens up the opportunity that Fenerbahçe or another European club could present the 6-foot-7 (or 6-foot-8, depending on who you talk to) shooter with a lucrative long-term offer that keeps him across the sea for even longer.

In the short term stateside, the scuttling of Bogdanovic’s deal presents King and the Nets with the problem of having no real backup to soon-to-be-acquired starting small forward Paul Pierce. The ranks of available and viable three-men are growing thinner by the second in free agency, meaning Brooklyn’s brass could find themselves scrambling for a strong, depth-providing fit on the wing with only the taxpayer’s midlevel exception (which starts at just under $3.2 million this season) at their disposal in making signings. From Tim Bontemps of the New York Post:

Now the team will have to go in another direction to find depth behind him, with King saying that using the full mid-level on one player, or splitting it to use on multiple players, are both possible scenarios in play for the team if Bogdanovic doesn’t take it.

“There’s one [player worth the full exception], possibly,” King said, “and then there’s some other guys that maybe we’ll split it up and give it to a couple guys to fill the role.”

One possible option is Russian Andrei Kirilenko, who has been linked to the Nets multiple times over the last couple of seasons due to his relationship with owner Mikhail Prokhorov. But Kirilenko turned down a $10 million player option for this upcoming season to stay in Minnesota, and while he isn’t expected to get that much money on his new deal, it remains to be seen if he’d be willing to come to the Nets for the $3.183 million they’d be able to offer him using the full mini-mid level exception.

Kirilenko would figure to be an absolute godsend for Brooklyn, and the market for him appears to be less robust than he anticipated when he declined to pick up his player option with the Minnesota Timberwolves. Yahoo! Sports NBA columnist Adrian Wojnarowski reported Wednesday that contract talks between the Wolves and the Western Conference champion San Antonio Spurs on a sign-and-trade that would have landed the 32-year-old Russian forward in Texas fell by the wayside, and after myriad agreed-upon signings and trades go through, there might not be a whole lot of teams with significant cap space left.

That said, a three- or four-year deal for the mini-MLE still feels way too light for Kirilenko’s services, making it more likely that the Nets find themselves discount-shopping in search of wing depth behind the about-to-turn-36 Pierce and Joe Johnson, who last season battled plantar fasciitis in his left foot so debilitating that he called himself a “decoy” during Brooklyn’s first-round series against the Chicago Bulls. Reducing regular-season minutes and stress for Brooklyn’s veteran lineup will be key for new Nets coach Jason Kidd if he wants to have a full-strength roster ready to contend come playoff time; it’ll be interesting to see what King can dig up in the free-agent bargain bin in the days ahead.