NFL OWNERS VOTE TO APPROVE KNEE/THIGH PADS, IR CHANGE AND TRADE DEADLINE
"On Monday we
discussed the possibility of NFL owners voting to approve mandatory knee and
thigh pads for the 2013 season, and on Tuesday, the NFL owners did just that,
approving the requirement of such padding beginning in 2013.
also voted to extend the trade deadline and to make a change to the
The change in pads policy is something that
could be met with mixed feelings from the players and could ultimately be
challenged by the NFLPA. Indeed, the union issued a statement on Tuesday that
indicates they're not thrilled with the change.
"Any change in working
conditions is a collectively-bargained issue," said the union in a statement.
"While the NFL is focused on one element of health and safety today, the NFLPA
believes that health and safety requires a comprehensive approach and
commitment. We are engaged in and monitor many different issues, such as
players' access to medical records, prescription usage and the situation with
professional football's first responders, NFL referees. We always look forward
to meeting with the NFL to discuss any and all matters related to player health
Though the pads are designed to improve player safety and
minimize leg injuries, most players believe they slow them down and look silly.
The union's decision to classify the mandatory pads as a "change in working
conditions" is a clever one, and could potentially railroad the NFL's move. Of
course, there's a reason why the league waited until 2013 to institute the pad
rule -- you're seeing it right now.
The trade deadline and IR proposals
aren't locked in quite yet, however, though both are likely to be
The trade deadline proposal would move the trade deadline from
Week 6 to Week 8 and, frankly, it's just too logical not to happen. The NFL
trade deadline is the most boring of all the major sports because teams aren't
as sure about their season's status by Week 6. (I'd move it back even further.)
And the injured-reserve change essentially would allow teams to place a
"marquee" player on IR and move him back to the active roster after the eighth
week of the season. Example: Terrell Suggs suffers an Achilles tear in the
offseason but plans on returning at some point later in the year. The Ravens
could put him on IR prior to the season but return him to the active roster
after the eighth week of the season, giving them substantially greater roster
flexibility with a star player, without losing him for the year."