"Roughing the Passer - A PK Frazier Novel"

My new book, "Offsetting Penalties - A PK Frazier Novel" is the follow-up to "Illegal Procedure" and "Roughing the Passer" and is now available in print and in e-formats at amazon.com, smashwords.com and iBooks. Follow me on twitter @kevinkrest.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

NFL: "NO FAIR LEAGUE" ?

Collins Gets Raw Deal: This entire piece is predicated on the supposition that former LSU and reportedly current Dallas Cowboy offensive tackle La'el Collins was not involved in the death of his former girlfriend, Brittney Mills. Mills was murdered on April 24 and the uncertainty around Collins' role in the episode caused him to drop from a likely first round pick to an undrafted free agent. Unfortunately, that drop probably cost him somewhere in the area of $5 million in guaranteed money (taking into consideration his contract with the Cowboys). I have some issues with the system, since this really wasn't caused by anything that Collins did. In addition, he tried to pursue other alternatives, but was not granted the opportunity by the NFL.

  • When it was apparent that his draft stock was dropping, Collins' agent told teams he wouldn't sign if taken after the third round. The plan was for him to enter the 2016 draft where he could return to a first round status. Not a bad plan, except that only players that are drafted but don't end up signing with a team can return to the following year's draft. Obviously, Collins' agent ended up giving his client poor advice due to a lack of understanding of the rules.
  • The supplemental draft might seem like an option, except that Collins can't participate in it because he was eligible for the regular draft. Under the circumstances, you would think perhaps the league would have considered making an exception, but they didn't.
So now the Dallas Cowboys have reportedly signed the first round quality player to a max deal allowed for undrafted free agents, guaranteed for $1.7 million. That's not a bad deal, but pales in comparison to the guaranteed money he could have made had he been drafted in the first or even second round.

My point in all of this is that there's a seemingly arbitrary nature to the way the NFL makes and enforces their rules. But Collins also needs to take some blame, or at least his agent does, because it's unlikely he would have dropped far below the third round had he not refused to sign if drafted that low. If he pans out and performs as expected, perhaps he will make some of the money back with a big second contract. However, is still bothers me that the process seemed to work against an athlete that really didn't, as assumed, do anything wrong other than to be the ex-boyfriend of a murdered woman.

Long on Words, Short on Certainty: I have to confess that I have not read the Wells report on the new England Patriots "deflategate" issue, but there doesn't seem to be a clear and conclusive finding of who was actually responsible, and why, for the deflated footballs during the AFC championship game between the New England Patriots and the Indianapolis Colts. The Pats drilled the Colts, but in the process it was discovered that the balls that New England was using were inflated below the minimum allowable under the rules. The NFL took three months to "investigate", and still there is not much clarity around the issue. If the only fact that is certain is that the Pats were responsible for deflating the balls, then fine them, tell them not to do it again and move on. It's not like they were secretly taping other teams practices or, oh wait, well, maybe that's a bad example.

Don't forget to check out my new book, "Roughing the Passer - A PK Frazier Novel" and my first, "Illegal Procedure - A PK Frazier Novel", available in print and e-formats at Amazon.com, iBooks and Smashwords.