TheSTN – NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell National Conference Call Transcript

On what the dynamics with the owners were in the wake of Monday night’s call:

The owners obviously were very informed on these negotiations. Jeff Pash led the negotiations for close to a year, and there were regular updates to the ownership that Jeff would provide. We had four owners that were primarily involved in at least advising Jeff and also who participated in some of the negotiating sessions going back a few months ago. But I think the dynamics were that there were strongly-held views about certain aspects. We certainly wanted to make sure we could do everything necessary in this agreement to improve officiating for the long-term and to make it better. There were strong views toward issues like full-time officiating; creating a pool of developmental officials. The owners felt strongly that the pension program was something that needed to be addressed, that we needed to get into a defined contribution program as opposed to a defined benefit program. Of course, the officials also had strong views. When you have that kind of a conflict, it is a process. The owners and the officials were respectful. I got much more engaged probably a month ago and understood what the dynamics were and what the conflicts were. These things don’t get resolved quickly. The Monday night game – we were in such intensive negotiations over the last three weeks that it may have pushed the parties further along, but we were really in intensive negotiations for the last two weeks.

 

On what was learned from this experience, if anything:

You try to learn from every experience. They key thing is when there is conflict, sometimes it takes time to resolve. What you have to do is make sure you respect the principle points of the two conflicting parties and make sure you get the long-term agreement that is respectful to both sides, and it can create a win-win situation. You don’t want to enter into a bad agreement for either side. The fact that we came out of this with an eight-year agreement is important. We will continue to be able to improve officiating. That is good for the game. That is our primary concern – making sure we get what is good for the game here. Obviously when you go through something like this it is painful for everybody. Most importantly, it is painful for our fans. We are sorry to have to put our fans through that, but it is something that in the short-term you sometimes have to do to make sure you get the right kind of deal for the long-term and make sure you continue to grow the game.

 

On how he would assess the cost of using replacement officials for three weeks in order to get the right deal:

You always have costs for the short-term, but you sometimes have to experience that to get to the right place for the long-term. That is always a painful thing, but you have to sometimes do that. In this case, we were not going to shut down football. We wanted to make sure we delivered football, so we had to be prepared with the replacement officials. It got us closer to the point where both parties were able to make the necessary compromises and get to the position where we could get an agreement that worked for the long-term. That is really where we got to. It is really painful in the process, but that is what labor-management disputes normally result in.

 

On if logistically getting the deal done last night allowed the locked-out officials to be on the field for Thursday’s game and if that was important with consistency for the games this weekend:

Both parties probably felt comfortable that there was an agreement near eight o’clock last night. We discussed how we would get back onto the field. Of course, I was very interested in getting [the locked out officials] back to the field as quickly as possible. The logistics of being able to do that within 24 hours and getting back on the field were challenging. I think both parties worked very hard to make sure that got done in the right way. Reaching out to Gene [Steratore], which was a crew we identified – the union was also involved with that. We reached an agreement that ensures that all of the games will have the regular officials back on the field. That is good for football.

 

On Gene Steratore:

It is great that he will be doing the game. He was anxious to do it. He stood up quickly and said that he was ready to go. That is a real tribute not just to Gene and his crew but to the officials in general, that they wanted to get back on the field and wanted to do what they love doing and make a contribution to the game. That is a tribute to them.

 

On if the officiating mistakes Monday are acceptable for the NFL:

I would start with the fact that life is not perfect, and unfortunately neither is officiating. Unfortunately, mistakes occur. That is something that has happened in the past and unfortunately will happen in the future. The point you want to try to get to is to limit those mistakes and create consistency in officiating. Some of the things that we are now going to be able to focus on in a positive way – like full-time officials on a limited basis, like having a resource or developmental pool of officials – will allow us to train, improve officiating, and do the things that are going to be necessary to limit those mistakes, because they do happen. We have brought technology in the game with instant replay and have different approaches in trying to limit those mistakes. But it is not realistic to thing that officiating is going to be perfect.

 

On his reaction to Monday’s game and where he was:

I was home. When you see any controversial play when you work at the league office – I have been doing this for 32 years now and we like to say at the league office we are rooting for the officials – we want to see the games properly officiated. You want to make sure that controversial plays are not factors in games. But that is not reality. It happens. It has happened frequently in our history, and unfortunately it will happen again. When it happens, you feel for all of the people involved. You want to make sure that we properly communicate what the decisions were on the field. We immediately went in to focusing on that and making sure that people understood at least what was called and how it was called and make sure our fans understood that.

 

On if the NFL considered having replacement refs on the field a player safety issue:

I would say that we look at everything through the lens of player health and safety, and try to make sure that we do everything we can to make sure that we are doing what is necessary to make the game safer. I do not believe that this put any greater risk to player health and safety. There is no data to back that up. We obviously have all kinds of backup systems that exist when you are using either replacement or regular officials such as film review, where we evaluate intensively every play of every game. From time to time, plays are missed where we think calls should have been made and discipline can follow – even when the call is not made on the field. Discipline can follow that can be in the form of a fine or suspension. So that happens. But these officials were trained for three months with a very intensive focus on making sure that player health and safety was their first priority.

 

On if any league partners and sponsors expressed concern about what the replacement refs were doing to the image of the game:

No, they didn’t. Obviously I spend a great deal of time talking to our partners, and there are a lot of people that have an influence on me that called during the last month or so – players, coaches, CEO’s and business partners – that always give helpful advice and are influential on me in at least my thinking in keeping the perspective of the game and the big picture of how we continue to make sure our brand is strong for the long-term and our game is strong for the long-term. Those perspectives are critically important, and I appreciate them. It is part of not only partnership, but relationships in helping you to think through and how to find solutions to what are very complex problems.

 

On if he was taken aback by the level of the firestorm in the aftermath of Monday night’s game:

No, I would not say that. I have come to learn in the NFL, particularly with the popularity of the game and the influence it has on today’s society – not much surprises me about what happens in the NFL and the influence and attention that it gets. Again, that is a reaction not only of our passionate fan base, but this moved quickly into mainstream media. That is a signal of the influence of the game in today’s society.

 

On what grade he would give the replacement officials and how he feels they performed:

That is one thing I do not have in my job duties is grading our officials, either the replacement officials or the regular officials. We obviously have a crew doing that. I would say the folks on the field during the last three weeks were under unprecedented scrutiny. Everything they did, every call, was magnified. They kept the game going. They worked hard. They trained hard. They were incredibly focused and dedicated. We were allowed obviously by their services to make sure the game continued to go and get to the point where we had a resolution and get the regular officials back on the field. I thank them for that dedication. But I am also glad that we can move forward and get on to focusing on football.

 

On if he would say that Monday’s controversial call was an interception and not a touchdown:

The first mistake that was made on that play was the pass interference and the fact that they did not call offensive pass interference. That clearly was a mistake. I have not had the opportunity to look through it with our officiating department because I have been in negotiations almost non-stop since the game. Their view was that on the field, when you have a call that close, that it stays with the officials on the field. Replay was not in a position to be able to get evidence that they think was sufficient to overturn it. That is a close call. Those are decisions that our officiating department will make. They felt that standing behind the officials’ call was the appropriate thing, and I will stand behind that.

 

On if he believes part of the outrage was created by not saying the pass was intercepted:

That is the beauty of sports and the beauty of officiating, that there are controversial calls and people see them differently. I understand that. That is the beauty of sports.

 

On if he feels the deal they got could have been struck in August and the damage done to the shield the last two weeks:

When you have a conflict and you have different views and you are making significant changes to an agreement – which clearly occurred in this agreement – some were economic, like the pension program and the changing of that. That is a dramatic change, and not easy. The owners felt strongly that the defined benefit pension program needed to be changed to a defined contribution. They were willing to make a change into the defined contribution program to replace that. But that was a very strongly-held view that we needed to do that. We were able to find a compromise that made sense that the process would occur over a five-year period. I think that is intelligent and a good move. We felt very strongly about full-time officials and starting to move into that on a limited basis, having a pool of officials that we can develop. So there are some strongly-held views from a principle standpoint, and then obviously there are other issues that you are always prepared to work to compromise on that I think are important to be able to do. But you have to make sure it works for both parties. The economics had to work for the officials and for the owners. You can’t always force an agreement at a particular time. That is the frustrating thing about labor-management negotiations or any dispute or any conflict – you can’t always force it. You have to move people to a place that they are comfortable making the kinds of concessions and long-term commitments that are going to be necessary that improve our game for the long-term. I think that is where it got to.

 

Unfortunately, it happened after three weeks, which goes to the second part of your question. You obviously want to try to avoid this situation. All parties worked hard to try to avoid it, but we had to keep the game of football going, and you had to get to the point where people were prepared to make those kinds of concessions. In the short-term, that is difficult, and we are sorry for our fans that had to go through that or other people that had to be carried through that period of time. But it is unfortunately part of getting to a long-term agreement that makes sense. Both parties worked hard over the last three weeks – intensively, to the point of exhaustion – in getting this resolved for the good of the game. I appreciate the officials doing that, I appreciate the owners doing that and I appreciate both negotiating teams. It was intensive and it was a lot of hard work.

 

On if the NFL gained enough economically by ending the pension plan after five years:

You’re focusing on one specific issue rather than the broader. This wasn’t all about economics. Clearly, as I said, pension was one of those economic issues, but we’ve discussed getting to the point of full-time officiating. That was one of the last items discussed last night. It’d been discussed several times, but that was the last piece of the agreement allowing us to move into full-time officiating on a limited basis and to be able to do that in a way that was constructive for the officials, but also going to help improve the game for the long-term. It’s new. It’s different. It’s going to be something that we’re going to do with the officials in being able to talk to them, but I think that’s a positive development, same with creating a pool of officials. I think that’s a critical thing to be able to develop younger officials, give them the experience, give them the training so they can come onto the NFL field and make the contributions that they want to make and improve officiating.

They weren’t all economic issues. There’s no question in my mind that the owners didn’t go into this thinking that they were going to try to approach this negotiation from saving money. They wanted to make sure that the right kind of agreement was struck. It was going to allow them to continue to not only manage officiating, but also manage their business in an appropriate fashion.

On it being easier to get a deal done if the economic issues were not a part of the negotiations:

That’s the difference. Those are all issues that you have to address in negotiations. On principle issues, you don’t always compromise quite as quickly. On issues where you have some flexibility – economics is an example – that was very important to the officials. It was important to the owners, but I think the owners were much more focused on making sure that the system, the overall agreement worked and I think the officials were also in the same place. You have to respect the different perspectives and try to reach an agreement.

On how much more the NFL offered to get a deal compared to their offer in August:

I think several things changed there. I think the economics are relatively close. There were compromises, obviously, during that period of time, but the big issue probably was the length of the deal. You were discussing a five-year deal there and now, we have an eight-year deal. When you have that kind of long-term deal, it makes it easier for you to make some concessions, particularly on the economics, because that gives everybody long-term stability.

On the pool of officials:

It was never about adding the pool and having that calculated in the cost of officiating. That is a cost that we always knew of. Training officials and having full-time officials was going to be a cost outside of their actual compensation. The question, and it gets into a little bit of specifics, is when one of those officials from the pool comes onto the field, they are going to be paid within that pool and at the same levels and become a member of the union as the other officials. We are going to be paying the other officials at different rates. That’s our decision as management and we will make those decisions as we go, but they will be paid outside the pool to our current officials.

On how the process of grading and changing officials reflected in the deal:

No. From a broad standpoint, I’d say that the management rights and the commissioner’s authorities, those areas of the Collective Bargaining Agreement did not change at all. That continues to be something that would be management’s prerogative to do what they think is necessary to improve officiating. Obviously, there’ll be a great deal of reach out to the union to get their perspective and to understand the officials’ perspective of how to make these changes that, ultimately, we think will improve the quality of the game.

On what he would say to some of the Packers players after Monday night and the possibility of the game result coming back to haunt them in making the playoffs:

Again, I just go back. I’ve been in touch with a couple of the Packers. I understand the frustration. We get that. Unfortunately, on a regular basis here throughout any season when there are controversial calls, particularly as you point out the importance of each game, that’s frustrating. It’s frustrating for the players. It’s frustrating for the coaches, the teams and our fans. I understand that after 32 years. It’s particularly intensive, obviously, because replacement officials were on the field. We get that and we understand it. Certainly, it is something that we want to do everything to make sure that the officiating going forward will avoid mistakes, but it’s not practical. Officiating is imperfect and we’re going to have mistakes, whether they’re replacement officials or regular officials, it will happen on the field. You just got to do everything you can to limit that. I think that anybody in sports, whether you’re a fan; player; coach; commissioner; you understand that. It’s just part of sports.

On if he is concerned at all about there being any long-term damage from Monday night:

I think it’s broader than that on anything. I think you’re always worried about the short-term impact on your brand and the long-term impact on your brand. Obviously, this has gotten a lot of attention. It hasn’t been positive and it’s something that you have to fight through and get to the long-term. That’s what we’ve been able to do by getting to an eight-year agreement. We always are going to have to work harder to make sure we get people’s trust and confidence in us. We’re going to have to work harder to do that and we will. I think this agreement and getting it behind us and now moving back into football, improving officiating, making sure we do the kind of things that have made the NFL great, that’s a positive thing for us and we look forward to moving on to that.   

Jim Ross – @JRsBBQ WWE RAW Thoughts & Preview + More

Good to be back in Norman as it will be a busy week preparing for the upcoming OKC RAW that hits Chesapeake Arena this Monday night. Here’s a few random thoughts.

Although Monday was a 22 hour day from the time I arose until I laid my head on the pillow, I had a great time working with @MichaelCole Monday night on RAW in Albany, New York.

On the current path that @CMPunk is traveling, the WWE Champion and “Best in the World” aligning with @HeymanHustle Paul Heyman seems to be working well and will only get better…or worse depending on one’s interpretation.

Obviously, Punk doesn’t need a ‘mouthpiece’ as @RealMickFoley so accurately and passionately pointed out Monday night but the Punk/Heyman duo comprises one of the most compelling presentations that WWE has had in recent memory.

Mick’s presentation Monday night was one of the year’s best in ring, verbal performances and was one of the highlights of the three hour program from where I was sitting.

The WWE Referees had a better night than did the #NFL officials in Seattle. I don’t expect the WWE zebras to strike any time soon for the record.

AJ Lee is evolving into an intriguing RAW GM but she has huge shoes to fill considering that men like Mr. McMahon and @RealKingRegal once filled that role so precisely.

Speaking of WWE referees,  Monday night was the first time in a long time that the men in the striped shirts names were mentioned on WWE TV.

I spoke with @JohnCena Monday and took a look at his surgically repaired elbow while he was doing rehab at the arena with Dr. Amman and the elbow and John’s arm in general looked gnarly. For those that don’t know, doing rehab on a repaired joint like an elbow is massively painful.

In my opinion, it was highly admirable that Cena was even at RAW Monday considering the pain he was in but it speaks to the dedication and passion of the polarizing former WWE Champion who looks to be out of action somewhere between 6-8 weeks.

When Dr. Jim Andrews was able to get inside Cena’s el;bow he found it to be in much worse condition than previously thought especially since John had been competing with the injury for several weeks. It was described to me that Dr. Andrews found a “junkyard” of loose debris and was amazing that Cena was able to compete in the condition the elbow was in.

Knowing Cena’s mindset and his mental toughness, it’s impossible to say exactly when he will be medically released to step back in a WWE ring however I’d wager a case of JR’s Original BBQ Sauce that it will be sooner than anyone else that I can think of at the moment.

I loved helping Cole call the Dolph Ziggler vs. Kofi Kingston bout Monday night. I thought the two, young superstars had a superb outing and that they truly maximized their in ring minutes to perfection. It was one of the better TV bouts that I have seen in quite some time. Bravo to both men.

Team Hell No, Kane and Daniel Bryan, are elevating the tag team scene and making that area more relevant by the week. The WWE Tag Team champions are becoming a valuable asset to WWE events with their unpredictable brand of entertainment and in ring skills.

Thursday morning I will be on OKC’s Fox 25 morning show at around 8:45 am to talk WWE RAW in OKC and the Celebrity Poker Tournament that I’m playing in Sunday afternoon at eh Lucky Star Casino in Concho, Oklahoma which is just west of OKC. this Texas Hold ‘Em tournament is being hosted by OKC Thunder big man Kendrick Perkins.

I’ve enjoyed sitting in for the King with @MichaelCole, who I really enjoy working with, but don’t know how much longer that arrangement will last but I’m going to have fun with every outing that’s afforded me.

For those speculating on when Jerry will be back, that’s all it is or can be at this time is speculation. Obviously, Jerry will be welcomed back with open arms when he is medically cleared but that is a work in progress. He’s feeling better by the day but it takes time to rebound after such a serious health scare so @Jerry Lawler returning to RAW is undetermined at this time and he will be given all the time that he needs.

I’m excited about “Jim Ross Appreciation Day” in OKC this Monday and hope that we have a good turnout for Monday Night RAW.

Follow me on Twitter @JRsBBQ for more info on several media appearances that I will be making between now and Monday night.

Save 25% on orders of JR’s products NOW with a $60 purchase from http://www.wweshop.com. Hurry as to not miss out on the savings.

Boomer Sooner!

J.R.      

         

TheSTN – NFL: What To Look For… Week 4

FINE FINISHES: Close games have been a staple of the 2012 season as 28 games have been decided by eight points or fewer, tied with 1988 for the most such games through a season’s first three weeks.

If 10 games in Week 4 are decided by eight points or fewer, it will mark the most such games through the first four weeks of a season in NFL history. 

The most games decided by eight points or fewer in a season’s first three weeks and four weeks:

MOST GAMES DECIDED BY

EIGHT POINTS OR FEWER

 

MOST GAMES DECIDED BY

EIGHT POINTS OR FEWER

SEASON

THROUGH THREE WEEKS  

SEASON

THROUGH FOUR WEEKS

2012

28

 

2011

37

1988

28

 

1988

37

2011

27

 

2010

36

2010

27

 

1999

35

Five tied

25

 

Two tied

33

IT’S STILL EARLYIn the first three weeks of 2012, 30 of the 32 clubs (93.8 percent) earned one or more wins, including 27 (84.4 percent) which own a 2-1 or 1-2 record. Both are the highest such totals in a season through three games since realignment in 2002.

The 30 teams with at least one victory through Week 3 tie 2005 (30 teams) for the most through four games since realignment in 2002. If CLEVELAND (at Baltimore on Thursday Night Football) or NEW ORLEANS(at Green Bay) wins this week, 2012 will have the most teams with one or more victories through four games since realignment. 

The most teams to win one or more games through three games and four games in a season since 2002:

YEAR

TEAMS WITH ONE OR MORE WINS

THROUGH THREE GAMES

 

YEAR

TEAMS WITH ONE OR MORE WINS

THROUGH FOUR GAMES

2012

30

 

2012

30*

2005

28

 

2005

30

Five tied

27

 

Three tied

29

 

 

 

*Through three games

PERSISTENT PASSERS: Last week, New Orleans quarterback DREW BREES recorded his 46th consecutive game with at least one touchdown pass, while New England quarterback TOM BRADY extended his streak to 35 games. 

With one touchdown pass at Green Bay, Brees can tie Pro Football Hall of Famer JOHNNY UNITAS (47) for the most consecutive games with a touchdown pass. Brady can tie BRETT FAVRE (36) for the third-longest such streak when the Patriots travel to Buffalo to face the Bills. 

The quarterbacks to throw one or more touchdown passes in the most consecutive games:

 

PLAYER TEAM DATES CONSEC. GAMES W/ TD PASS
Johnny Unitas Baltimore Colts 12/9/1956-12/4/1960

47

Drew Brees New Orleans 10/18/2009-present

46*

Brett Favre Green Bay 11/4/2002-11/29-2004

36

Tom Brady New England 9/12/2010-present

35*

Dan Marino Miami 11/10/1985-11/22/1987

30

*Active streak      

SCORES GALORE: NFL teams scored 731 points in Week 3 to bring the season total to 2,287 points, the most scored in any three-week span of an NFL season. Teams combined to score more than 725 points in three consecutive weeks (791, Week 1; 765, Week 2) for the second time in NFL history (Weeks 10-12, 2010) and the first time to begin a season.

With 675 points in Week 4, the 2012 season will feature the most points of any four-week period in NFL history. The current record is 2,961 in 2004 (Weeks 12-15).

If 725 points or more are scored, it will be the first time the mark is reached in four consecutive weeks.

The most points scored in four consecutive weeks and through the first four weeks of an NFL season:

SEASON

WEEKS

TOTAL POINTS

 

FIRST FOUR WEEKS

TOTAL POINTS

2004

Weeks 12-15

2,961

 

2011

2,916

2011

Weeks 14-17

2,931

 

2002

2,719

2011

Weeks 1-4

2,916

 

2008

2,712

2007

Weeks 11-14

2,899

 

2009

2,628

2004

Weeks 13-16

2,894

 

2007

2,622

TOP CARDS: Sparked by the team’s best start (3-0) since 1974 (7-0), ARIZONA can become the ninth NFL franchise to reach 500 regular-season wins with a victory against Miami on Sunday

The Cardinals, who have won 10 of their past 12 games, can also reach 4-0 after starting the 2011 season 1-3. With the win, Arizona would become the 11th club in the past nine years to start a season 4-0 after beginning 1-3 or 0-4 the previous year. Nine of those 10 teams qualified for the playoffs.

Teams in the past nine years to start a season 4-0 after a 1-3 or 0-4 start the previous year:

YEAR

TEAM

PREVIOUS YEAR

SEASON RESULT

2004

Atlanta

1-3

Advanced to Conference Championship

2004

N.Y. Jets

0-4

Advanced to Divisional Playoffs

2005

Cincinnati

1-3

Advanced to Wild Card

2005

Tampa Bay

0-4

Advanced to Wild Card

2006

Baltimore

1-3

Advanced to Divisional Playoffs

2006

Chicago

1-3

Advanced to Super Bowl XLI

2007

Green Bay

1-3

Advanced to Conference Championship

2008

Buffalo

1-3

Advanced to Playoffs

2009

Minnesota

1-3

Advanced to Conference Championship

2011

Detroit

0-4

Advanced to Wild Card

2012

Arizona*

1-3

???
*3-0 in 2012

 

 

CHARGING CHARLES: Kansas City running back JAMAAL CHARLES rushed for 233 yards and a touchdown (91 yards) in the Chiefs’ 27-24 overtime win at New Orleans. Charles, who rushed for 259 yards on January 3, 2010, has two career games with at least 230 rushing yards. Only Pro Football Hall of Famer JIM BROWN (three) has more.

Charles followed his first 230-yard rushing game with 92 rushing yards and one touchdown against San Diego in the 2010 season opener. In this week’s game against the Chargers, he looks to surpass Pro Football Hall of Famer O.J. SIMPSON (203 rushing yards) for the most rushing yards following a 230-yard performance.

The players with the most rushing yards following a 230+ yard game:

PLAYER, TEAM GAME 1 OPP.

RUSH YDS.

TDs

GAME 2 TEAM

RUSH YDS.

TDs

O.J. Simpson, Buf. 11/25/1976 Det.

273

2

12/5/1976 Mia.

203

1

Jerome Harrison, Cle. 12/20/2009 KC

286

3

12/27/2009 Oak.

148

1

Corey Dillon, Cin. 10/22/2000 Den.

278

2

10/29/2000 Cle.

137

1

Walter Payton, Chi. 11/20/1977 Min.

275

1

11/24/1977 Det.

137

1

Jamal Lewis, Bal. 9/14/2003 Cle.

295

2

9/21/2003 SD

132

1

Mike Anderson, Den. 12/3/2000 NO

251

4

12/10/2000 Sea.

131

2

Corey Dillon, Cin. 12/4/1997 Ten.

246

4

12/14/1997 Dal.

127

1

     

   

Jamaal Charles 9/23/2012 NO

233

1

9/30/2012 SD

?

?

 

TheSTN – NFL/NFLRA 8-Year Agreement Details

The NFL and the NFL Referees Association agreed to the terms of a new eight-year collective bargaining agreement that will return the game officials to the field for this weekend’s games, beginning with Thursday night’s Cleveland at Baltimore game.

The agreement, the longest with the game officials in NFL history, was reached in New York between the negotiating teams for the NFL and the NFLRA with the assistance of Scot Beckenbaugh and Peter Donatello of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service. The agreement must be ratified by the NFLRA membership. Under the commissioner’s authority, Commissioner Goodell can enter into this agreement without a vote of the NFL clubs.

Commissioner Goodell temporarily lifted the lockout so that the officials can work Thursday night’s Cleveland at Baltimore game prior to their ratification vote. The officials will meet Friday and Saturday to vote on the agreement.  If it is approved, a clinic for the officials will be held following the vote.

“The long-term future of our game requires that we seek improvement in every area, including officiating,” Commissioner Goodell said. “This agreement supports long-term reforms that will make officiating better. The teams, players and fans want and deserve both consistency and quality in officiating.”

“We look forward to having the finest officials in sports back on the field, and I want to give a special thanks to NFL fans for their passion. Now it’s time to put the focus back on the teams and players where it belongs.”

The agreement includes the following key terms:

-  Eight-year term covering the 2012-2019 seasons.

-  The current defined benefit pension plan will remain in place for current officials through the 2016 season (or until the official earns 20 years of service). The defined benefit plan will then be frozen.

-  Retirement benefits will be provided for new hires, and for all officials beginning in 2017, through a defined contribution arrangement, which will have two elements:  an annual league contribution made on behalf of each game official that will begin with an average of more than $18,000 per official and increase to more than $23,000 per official in 2019, and a partial match on any additional contribution that an official makes to his 401(k) account.

-  Apart from their benefit package, the game officials’ compensation will increase from an average of $149,000 a year in 2011 to $173,000 in 2013, rising to $205,000 by 2019.

-  Beginning with the 2013 season, the NFL will have the option of hiring a number of officials on a full-time basis to work year-round, including on the field.

-  The NFL will have the option to retain additional officials for training and development purposes, and may assign those additional officials to work NFL games. The number of additional officials will be determined by the NFL.

 

TheSTN – NFL: NFC Players Of The Week Announced

Wide receiver LARRY FITZGERALD of the Arizona Cardinals, defensive end CHRIS CLEMONS of the Seattle Seahawks and kicker LAWRENCE TYNES of the New York Giants are the NFC Offensive, Defensive and Special Teams Players of the Week for games played the third week of the 2012 season (September 20, 23-24).

 

 

 

OFFENSE: WR LARRY FITZGERALD, ARIZONA CARDINALS

  • Fitzgerald had nine catches for 114 yards and a touchdown in the Cardinals’ 27-6 win over Philadelphia.
  • He became the youngest player (29 years, 23 days) in NFL history to reach 700 receptions, surpassing the previous mark by over a year (JASON WITTEN, 30 years, 133 days).
  • Fitzgerald has 33 career 100-yard receiving games, the most in franchise history.
  • In the second quarter, he helped the Cardinals extend their lead to 17-0 with a 37-yard touchdown reception. In his career (including the playoffs), he has nine TD catches in five career games against the Eagles and is averaging 114.0 yards per game.
  • The Cardinals are 3-0 for the first time since 1974 and the team has won 10 of its past 12 games, the best record in the NFL during that span.
  • In his ninth season from Pittsburgh, this is Fitzgerald’s second career Player of the Week Award. He was honored last year (Week 10, 2011) for his performance (seven catches, 146 yards, two touchdowns) against Philadelphia.
  • Fitzgerald and ROY GREEN (Week 11, 1988) are the only wide receivers in franchise history to be named Offensive Player of the Week.

DEFENSE: DE CHRIS CLEMONS, SEATTLE SEAHAWKS

  • Clemons had a career-high four sacks in the Seahawks’ 14-12 win over Green Bay.
  • His four sacks in the first half were the most by a player since Pro Football Hall of Famer DERRICK THOMAS (November 8, 1992).
  • He recorded all four of his sacks in the second quarter and he is the first player with four sacks in a quarter since 2002 (VONNIE HOLLIDAY, December 22, 2002).
  • Clemons led a defensive unit that recorded eight sacks in the first half, the most by a team since the New York Giants had nine on October 3, 2010.
  • Seattle’s defense held the Packers to 12 points, 268 total yards, 184 passing yards and 84 rushing yards.
  • The Seahawks have allowed the fewest points in the NFL (39; 13.0 per game).
  • In his ninth year from Georgia, this is Clemons’ third career Player of the Week Award and second with the Seahawks. He was honored last year (Week 11, 2011) with Seattle and in 2008 (Week 17) with Philadelphia.
  • Clemons joins JACOB GREEN (three times) as the only Seahawks defensive ends to be named NFC Defensive Player of the Week multiple times.

SPECIAL TEAMS: K LAWRENCE TYNES, NEW YORK GIANTS

  • Tynes had a career-high five field goals in the Giants’ 36-7 win at Carolina.
  • He converted all five field-goal attempts (47, 49, 30, 36 and 27 yards) and all three PATs for a total of 18 points.
  • Tynes is the first Giants kicker with five field goals in a game since 2005 (JAY FEELY, October 30, 2005).
  • He is one of four kickers in team history to convert at least five field goals in a game without a miss. He is the first to accomplish the feat since 2004 (STEVE CHRISTIE, December 26, 2004).
  • In his ninth season from Troy, this is Tynes third career Player of the Week Award and first with the Giants. He previously was honored twice with Kansas City (Week 7, 2005 and Week 5, 2006).
  • Tynes is the first Giants kicker to be named NFC Special Teams Player of the Week since JOHN CARNEY was honored in Week 3, 2008.

2012 NFC PLAYERS OF THE WEEK

  Offense Defense Special Teams
Wk 1 QB Robert Griffin III, Washington DB Ronde Barber, Tampa Bay K Blair Walsh, Minnesota
Wk 2 WR Hakeem Nicks, New York Giants DE Calais Campbell, Arizona P Tim Masthay, Green Bay
Wk 3 WR Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona DE Chris Clemons, Seattle K Lawrence Tynes, New York Giants

Other nominees for NFC Offensive Player of Week 3 as submitted by NFC clubs:

  • Dallas wide receiver MILES AUSTIN, who had five catches for 107 yards in the Cowboys’ 16-10 win over Tampa Bay.
  • New York Giants running back ANDRE BROWN, who rushed for 113 yards and two touchdowns in his first career NFL start.
  • Minnesota quarterback CHRISTIAN PONDER, who threw two touchdown passes and rushed for a TD in the Vikings’ 24-13 win over San Francisco.
  • Atlanta quarterback MATT RYAN, who completed 30 of 40 passes (75.0 percent) for 275 yards with three touchdowns and an interception for a 107.8 passer rating in the Falcons’ 27-3 win at San Diego.
  • Seattle wide receiver GOLDEN TATE, who had two touchdown receptions and averaged 22.7 yards per catch.

Other nominees for NFC Defensive Player of Week 3 as submitted by NFC clubs:

  • New York Giants linebacker MICHAEL BOLEY, who had an interception, a half-sack and six tackles.
  • Atlanta safety THOMAS DE COUD, who had two interceptions, a fumble recovery, three passes defensed and three tackles.
  • Minnesota linebacker CHAD GREENWAY, who had 13 tackles and two sacks.
  • Chicago defensive end ISRAEL IDONIJE, who had 2.5 sacks and five tackles in the Bears’ 23-6 win over St. Louis.
  • Arizona safety KERRY RHODES, who had a sack and forced fumble that resulted in JAMES SANDERS’ 93-yard fumble-return touchdown. Rhodes finished with four tackles and a pass defensed.
  • Dallas linebacker DE MARCUS WARE, who had two sacks, two forced fumbles and five tackles.

Other nominees for NFC Special Teams Player of Week 3 as submitted by NFC clubs:

  • Detroit kicker JASON HANSON, who connected on four field-goal attempts and punted three times in the Lions’ 44-41 overtime loss at Tennessee. Hanson is the first player since 1976 to kick four field goals and punt three times in the same game.
  • Seattle punter JON RYAN, who averaged 51.5 yards per punt with a net average of 49.5 yards. He had a long of 73 yards and placed three of his six punts inside the 20-yard line.
  • Minnesota rookie kicker BLAIR WALSH, who had a 52-yard field goal and is the first rookie in NFL history with a 50-yard field goal in each of his team’s first three games to start a season.