NFL's Annual Meeting To Address Issues

The NFL will address several key issues this Monday at their annual meeting. Rule changes, the CBA, scheduling, and other items of interest will be discussed.

The NFL will begin their annual meeting this Monday in Dana Point, California. Like in previous years, rule changes will be discussed. However, according to Rich McKay, co-chairman of the NFL's Competition Committee, there will be only seven rule change proposals, most of which will essentially address player safety. The competition committee will likely vote on the proposed changes on Wednesday.

Although it likely won't be addressed in full until the league's May meeting, a proposed anti-tampering rule for a 5-7 day contract negotiations period being able to take place with other teams prior to the start of free agency will be discussed. According to McKay, who confirmed the proposal was brought up at last year's annual meeting, the proposal gives agents the ability to negotiate a contract on behalf of their clients with other teams. However, no contracts can be signed and players cannot take a physical with another team. The league has acknowledged in the past that tampering is a problem, so this proposed rule is a way to keep the negotiations that are being done before free agency out in the open.

"The tampering proposal that we talked about last year we have reintroduced again into the discussion. It will be in our report. It will be something that we will talk about with the membership and potentially propose in May," McKay said.

McKay was also asked if the committee had a position on the tampering and what he'd like to see done, if anything.

"I would say more typically we wouldn't give you our positions on votes, but on tampering, we last year proposed that there be some type of dead period or moratorium period if you will, some five to seven days before the start of free agency, at which time you could negotiate with a player, you could not bring him in for a physical and you could not sign a contract, but we thought it was a good way to deal with the period right before free agency. We will propose as a committee something along those lines, pending discussion with the membership, because I think we want to go back and talk to the clubs, especially in the football operations meeting on Monday, and see where they would stand on such a proposal. Last year we really never invented the proposal. We proposed it as a committee, and we again were unanimous in support of it again, but I think we want to see where the membership is with respect to it."

Also of note, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell will address the owners on Monday morning on the state of the league. In addition, the league is expected to begin discussions on a new collective bargaining agreement.

As has been the case in the past during three-day meeting, the league will announce some of the national television schedule (Thursday, Sunday, and Monday night games) and they will also announce compensatory selections.


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