Niblets for March 2010–We're BACK!


Best comment of the month: “The retired NFL players are pawns in the CBA negotiations.”

by Marvin Cobb on Mar 19th, 2010

Well said, Bill. Thank you for speaking up for us old timers, as we continue to find our voice and stand up for ourselves. The Independent Advocates for Retired Players are gathering for the second year in a row in Las Vegas next month to educate and inspire our fellow former players to find our voices and stand up for better pensions and a reformed disability system that takes into account our unique health challenges. Again, thank you for your support.

I really appreciate all the comments we get. Your comments keep me writing this site. Marvin, I can not add anything to what you have said. Too often both the owners and active players seem to forget that it was the Jim Browns and thousands of other players that have made the game what it is today. Had it not been for them, the current guys would not be getting anything close to the money they enjoy.


Updates on previous columns:

What does the Williams’ case mean for the NFL’s drug policy?

We should know in 6 weeks the outcome in Minnesota state court. Hennepin County Judge Gary Larson has set an April 2nd deadline for both sides filing their final briefs and said that he would have a decision within 6 weeks of that date. On the line is every professional and college sports drug policy in the country. While this one judge will not be the final arbiter, it will one side the advantage of precedence.

American Needle v. NFL

We are still waiting for the decision of the US Supreme Court on this case. If the NFL loses the entire nature of professional leagues will be changed. We will keep you advised.

Does the NFL need to change the overtime rules?

The rule change was approved 28-4. That sounds very close to the vote on the last Collective Bargaining Agreement (30-2) and look how nicely that turned out.

The retired NFL players are pawns in the CBA negotiations.

Hopefully the new CBA will include more for the retired players. I have outlined DeMaurice Smith and the NFLPA’s options on dated March 18th. I outlined the leagues options and what a 2011 season without a CBA might look like in the article dated March 22nd. Check that out.


Niblets fresh from the cob:

Cleveland goes 19-0 and wins the 2010 Super Bowl–kind of.

Unfortunately that was not the Cleveland Browns, it was my Cleveland team in the Elway League. If you are missing fantasy football, try a free league at It lets you trade players and draft choices, draft, and play a season a month. It’s great fun and it is absolutely free.

The nature of the 2010 NFL Draft

“It was the best of times and the worst of times.” No, I am not rewriting the great novels of history but this draft is exactly that. There are not a lot of big school top picks or the traditional senior “name brands” that the casual fan will recognize in this draft. Part of that is because there are so many juniors coming out this year. But this draft is the deepest draft I have seen in the last 10 years. Understand that I have been studying the draft since 1960 so I am kind of new at this.

The D prospects are particularly deep with a lot of small school guys that are outstanding prospects. Check out my “under the radar” columns in the blog area for the guys that I think will be real steals in the later rounds of the draft.

The NFL teams are taking advantage of the uncapped year.

Teams have used this uncapped year to eliminate bad contracts for overpaid players and cut their total salary liability. 12 teams are now under the 2090 minimum salary and more are headed there soon. DeMaurice Smith once said the NFLPA would never agree to a salary cap in the future. He is now preaching the value of a salary cap. That shows us all how much the economic downturn has impacted the teams.

That’s what I think. Tell me what you think.

Your fantasy football doesn’t have to be over. Run a pro football franchise all year long for free at . Tell them Coach Smith sent you.

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 is a senior writer for and edits He is a regular contributor on Cleveland Sports Radio Monday afternoons at 1 Eastern. He has also published several novels on

and edits .

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