The attorney for Kevin Williams during the StarCaps case is now representing Jonathan Vilma against the commissioner. It could lead to another long, drawn-out case. Plus, Matt Kalil could be in for a guaranteed contract and insider notes from around the NFL.
The presence alone of attorney Peter Ginsberg, who represented Michael Vick
and tied the NFL in knots when he represented suspended Minnesota defensive tackles Pat Williams and Kevin Williams
, makes Jonathan Vilma
's defamation lawsuit against NFL commissioner Roger Goodell more than just a nuisance case.
The veteran Ginsberg knows his way around a courtroom and has in the past parsed the nuances of the league's collective bargaining agreement.
But most legal experts concur that the New Orleans linebacker faces a difficult task in establishing that Goodell acted with intention and malice, and that the ponderous burden makes it almost impossible for him to prevail.
What Vilma may do is force the league to reveal some or all of its evidence, including testimony from past or current teammates and coaches, and that could make for an uncomfortable situation. How difficult a chore do Ginsberg and Vilma face?
The Sports Xchange has learned that at least one player and one of the suspended New Orleans executives considered similar actions but backed off when advised of the burden confronting them.
They may change their minds, The Sports Xchange was told, but understand that the ramifications will be dicey.
GUARANTEE COMING FOR KALIL?
The details weren't available yet on Friday morning, but it will be interesting to see the breakdown of the four-year contract that first-round cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick
signed with the Cincinnati Bengals early in the day.
Prior to the Kirkpatrick deal, all six of the first-round choices in the top 19 picks had their entire deals guaranteed for skill and injury. The two first-round choices signed below the 19th slot had only the first three seasons of their contracts guaranteed.
Early word is that Kirkpatrick, selected 17th, did not receive a guarantee for all four seasons of a contract that was expected to be worth about $8.5 million.
Some of the discussion at Tuesday's league meeting is expected to focus on the resurrected USFL, which is being reconstituted as a "feeder" or minor league, and on how involved the NFL should be with it. Former NFL executive Jim Steeg, who once presided over Super Bowl preparations, is chairman of the USFL's board of advisors, and that could give it some entre with the NFL.
Word is that the Jacksonville football regime isn't as enamored with the potential for a "Hard Knocks" appearance as is new Jaguars' owner Shahid Khan.
With the Friday addition of former Miami starter Yeremiah Bell, the New York Jets further addressed a safety position that struggled in 2011. But Bell, who signed a $1.4 million deal, is the second veteran safety to sign just a one-year contract with the team, joining LaRon Landry, and the Jets may have to rebuild the position again next spring.
Although Levi Brown struggled at left tackle for Arizona in 2011, Cardinals coaches seem content to leave him on the blind side. There was some thought the Cardinals might move Brown back to the right side, where he played the first three seasons of his career, and perhaps try fourth-round rookie Bobbie Massie on the left side. But it looks now like Massie, whom the Cards' coaches regard as a draft steal, will play the right side.
Buffalo officials still think there is a chance that second-round offensive lineman Cordy Glenn can play left tackle, although many scouts contend that his best position is guard.
Ravens officials regard the comments this week by safety Ed Reed, who suggested alternately that he had not fully committed to 2012 and then insisted that he wants to play several more years, as a contract play. The eight-time Pro Bowl defender is entering the final season of his contract and apparently feels his $7.2 million base salary is unsatisfactory.
Bengals defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer feels that the Cincinnati line is one of the best young, deepest and unheralded units in the league.
Look for Tennessee to play more man coverages in the secondary in 2012, and to increase its blitz ratio. The Titans traditionally have relied on their front four to generate pressure, but are expected to make some changes in that regard.
Congratulations to Hall of Fame quarterback "Ace" Parker for celebrating his 100th birthday Thursday. Parker, inducted into the Canton shrine in 1972, is the only Hall of Fame member to celebrate his 100th birthday and, according to the folks at the Hall, only the fourth former NFL player in history to reach the milestone. According to the Hall, 12 Canton enshrines reached 90 years of age or better, including three current members.
The Steelers are still in the market for some affordable veteran help on the offensive line and at linebacker, but are not likely, even with Rashard Mendenhall coming off knee surgery, to add a veteran running back.
Russell Wilson, who was the 75th player selected last month, is the highest quarterback drafted by Seattle since the Seahawks tabbed Rick Mirer with the second overall choice in 1993.
One more Wilson note: The Seahawks have noted several times that, while Wilson was the shortest of the 19 quarterbacks at the combine (by nearly 1 1/2 inches), he had a hand measurement of 10 1/4 inches. That was a bigger hand than 14 of the combine quarterbacks. The ability to wrap his fingers around the ball, however, might not compensate for the height deficiency.
With the guilty verdict against Rolando McClain, in which he was sentenced to 180 days of jail, Oakland officials were said to be fishing around to see if there were any middle linebacker options, via trade or free agency, late in the week. McClain might play all or part of the season, but the Raiders are doing their due diligence, just in case.
The last word: "I don't buy it. I'm only speaking from my personal experience, because I haven't allowed myself to buy it, and I haven't been affected. Yes, I'm aware that football is a rough sport. But instead of saying, ‘Oh, I'm doomed to brain trauma,' I said, ‘What can I do about it?' And I just started taking care of my body. I found people, places and things that really helped me. Again, I don't know what's going to happen to me in 10 years, but I look at the other things I've learned about, and the way I see the world. And to me, it's like, ‘OK, yes.' If we're going to spend six months brutalizing our bodies, I said, ‘That makes sense. (So) I'm going to spend six months taking care of my body.' I started to equip myself with tools. I started practicing yoga, and I started learning some hands-on healing stuff. I found really good chiropractors and message therapists, and I found that I was able to peel off layers of trauma on my body. I actually move better now than I did (during my playing career)." – former NFL tailback Ricky Williams, who played 11 seasons in the league, on the recent attention afforded concussions and head trauma