What part of the year do NFL coaches and general managers worry about the most? The down time of the league when players are left to their own devises. The combination of money and idle time is dangerous.
The NFL rules insures that the player has no contact with the team. The separation between team and player is supposed to be a penalty for both. But the structure and discipline of the team is exactly what players that have been suspended need most. The league keeps talking about how much it cares about the players’ health and safety. And when the player needs the team the most, the league prohibits even phone calls to team management. The league denies the type of support that can help a player get his life back on track. So what should the league do?
The league needs to change the rules to require the suspended player to continue attend meetings, training room and meals with the team but prohibit him from any field practices or games. The league could require testing on a daily basis and the team can better monitor the progress of cleansing. The structure that change would provide will help the player get clean and encourage him to stay clean in the future.
All players require structure. Players that have violated league rules need it more than most. It is counter productive for the NFL to deny that structure that suspended players need. If the league is really interested in the long term well being of the players, they would change the rules for suspended players to allow the support that they need.
That is what I think. Tell us what you think.
NOTE: Check out the live News, Notes and Rumors show on Monday, Thursday and Friday at 6 PM Eastern on or http://fryingpansports.com/radio-show/. On Samantha Bunten of NBC Sports, former NFL scout Kelron Sykes and I talk NFL draft with just a little Indians and Cavs thrown in. The archive is available on http://fryingpansports.com/radio-show/. Please join us.
Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He edits http://fryingpansports.com. He has also published several novels on and a non-fiction work at http://www.merriam-press.com/. Follow him on twitter @NNRonDSN to get the schedule of Special News, Notes and Rumors broadcasts. You can hear the previous shows on http://fryingpansports.com/radio-show/ and the live show Mondays at 6 PM Eastern time on .
He also edits http://fryingpanpolitics.org/.
To keep up with the News, Notes & Rumors podcasts, follow me on twitter @NNRonDSN.