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Don’t give up on Gordon just quite yet

Don’t give up on Gordon just quite yet

Ok, the NFL upheld Josh Gordon’s one-year suspension for violating the substance abuse policy. This isn’t terribly surprising news – and it doesn’t mean you should necessarily give up on his 2014 season just quite yet.

Remember back in 2008 when the league tried to suspend Pat and Kevin Williams for taking a banned diuretic. They took their respective cases to the Minnesota Court of Appeals.

The state court of appeals declined to block the NFL suspensions because the diuretic in question does not fall under the state’s workplace drug-testing laws – but also noted in the decision, according to media reports, was that the NFL is subject to state law when testing for other drugs that are covered.

Kevin Williams eventually dropped his appeal and served a four-game suspension – but he was able to finish the season. Pat Williams took the issue to the state Supreme Court. He played 14 games in 2008, 15 in 2009 and all 16 in 2010 before the Supreme Court declined to hear the case – and he retired before any suspension could take effect. Continue reading

Tingelhoff named 2015 Hall of Fame senior candidate

Photo courtesy of Minnesota Vikings

Photo courtesy of Minnesota Vikings

Long-time Vikings center Mick Tingelhoff has been selected by the Pro Football Hall of Fame senior committee as its candidate for induction in 2015, according to the hall’s website.

A select handful of the overall Hall of Fame voters met early Wednesday to discuss senior candidates and made the announcement early this afternoon.

Tingelhoff played 17 years for the Vikings, starting every regular season and playoff game between 1962 and 1978 — a total of 259. During that stretch he was a six-time Pro Bowl player and Associated Press First Team All Pro five times.

“Mick was a catalyst for our team and one of the most respected players on those teams,” says Bud Grant, Tingelhoff’s coach and a Hall of Famer himself since 1994, in a statement at Vikings.com. “I have no doubt that had he not played center he would have been a Hall of Fame linebacker. He played center with the mentality of a linebacker. Mick’s intangibles were the thing that made him so great. He was a captain the whole time I coached him and guys looked at him as an example of how to do things.”

Every year players like Tingelhoff, former Packers guard Jerry Kramer and Dallas LB Chuck Howley, among others, are debated — both by committee members and readers of this site. For a few years, former players selected by the senior committee were finding it challenging to get the necessary votes to achieve enshrinement, but in recent years it has been a bit easier. Last year’s senior candidates, punter Ray Guy and DE Claude Humphrey, both were enshrined.In 2013, Chiefs DT Curley Culp and Packers LB Dave Robinson also made the grade.

Robinson, also in the Vikings’ release, indicated support for Tingelhoff’s enshrinement. Continue reading

Hall of Fame to add “Contributor” selection

As the NFL gets set to kick off the beginning of another season with its annual Hall of Fame induction weekend, the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s board made a decision Friday that will affect – and potentially increase – enshrinement classes for at least the next five years.

In a much needed addition, the board added a “contributor” category, meaning owners, broadcasters and others who didn’t play the game but helped the NFL. There will be a subcommittee of voters selected to make the nominations for the new category. The nominees will still need 80 percent support on finalist voting day.

The move will increase to eight the maximum number of total enshrinees for any individual season — five modern-era candidates and then a mix of up to three senior or contributor candidates.

It’ll give guys like NFL Films Co-Founder Steve Sabol, former owners like the late Art Modell and Eddie DeBartolo Jr. former executives like George Young and retired commissioners such as Paul Tagliabue a better chance to earn induction since they will not be compared against modern-era players.

I’m in favor of the move – hugely in favor. There are some folks who deserve to be in who are having a hard time getting traction because of the backlog of players – who should take priority, I would think.

Details are still flowing in – there have been some media posts, but nothing official from the Hall yet that I have found. One detail I don’t understand is that contributors will get two slots every other year, at least for the next five years — I’d be fine with that except it comes at the expense of one of the senior candidate nominees. While I agree that contributors should have their own category, the backlog of senior Hall of Fame player candidates is much longer, particularly since, as I understand it, coaches are remaining in the same pool as modern-era players. Each group will get two selections one year, then two the next. At least off the top of my head, anyway, I can count 20 senior candidates that get regular discussion here at our blog to every three or four “contributors.”

If that’s the case it’s not a perfect change. But it’s a step in the right direction. It’ll definitely put some deserving candidates on equal footing so their cases can be considered when modern-era finalists are – and that is a good thing.

Reggie Wayne back to strengthen run for Hall

Among veteran WR storylines this offseason, Andre Johnson’s dissatisfaction with his situation in Houston dominated the headlines. But the preseason angle I’ll be keeping an eye on over the next couple weeks is Reggie Wayne’s recovery from his 2013 ACL tear.

Wayne is a key to the chances Indianapolis carries to keep building a team that might be one of the AFC’s best and only competitors to a Denver repeat appearance in the Super Bowl. And getting a couple more solid seasons in could solidify Wayne’s run toward an eventual enshrinement in the Hall of Fame.

Prior to getting hurt last year, Wayne had played in every game for 11 straight seasons, along the way putting up numbers that have him eighth all-time in receptions (he’s the active leader now that Tony Gonzalez has retired).

Name Receptions
5 Tim Brown 1,094
6 Terrell Owens 1,078
7 Isaac Bruce 1,024
8 Reggie Wayne 1,006
9 Hines Ward 1,000
10 Randy Moss 982

Source: Pro Football Reference

 

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Snee retires respected as a man, but long-shot HOFer

Chris Snee announced his retirement from the NFL this week after a decade of playing right guard for the Giants. His family was standing by as he reportedly choked on the words while meeting with the media, his wife and three kids apparently taking the news even harder than he did.

His father-in-law, who also happens to be Head Coach Tom Coughlin, had nothing but great things to say about Snee, who was a second round draft pick in 2004. Solid, stand-up guy who never got in trouble and always showed up in shape, ready to do his job. Quotes from QB Eli Manning leave me wondering if he’s not taking it hardest of anyone.

It sounds like he was a great guy and a superb teammate – and hopefully he continues to be a fantastic family man as he transitions to his next phase in life. It sounds like he’s the type of guy fans should love to cheer for.

But those characteristics, unfortunately at times, don’t make a player a strong candidate for the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Continue reading

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