Owners Keep Replay

The NFL has battled with the question of instant replay for several years, but, after having replay voted on several times as to whether it should be kept or scrapped, replay won out Tuesday as the league made the system permanent.

For years there has been controversy surrounding the establishment of instant replay. While the system over the years has overturned some critical calls and let others stand as called on the field, it has been met with opposition from those who believe the system remains flawed and that it doesn't always give the right conclusion.

For those people, Tuesday was a black letter day. The league owners voted to make instant replay permanent instead of having to come back up for a vote every couple of years. In the past, it took 24 votes – three-fourths of the league owners -- to keep replay. Now it will take 24 votes to get rid of it. The final vote to make replay permanent was 30-2 with the Cardinals and Bengals voting against the proposal.

As part of the integrity of the system, the league will install high-definition replay equipment for the officials to use. That doesn't come cheap. The early estimates claim that the cost will be about $300,000 per stadium to install.

For those who don't like replay, this isn't a good news situation. For those who believe the system is in place to correct on-field mistakes, if it gets the call right just once, it has served it's purpose. If it gets most of the calls correct, it's benefit is enormous.

* The owners voted down a proposal to allow a defensive player to have a helmet with a microphone to get calls from the sidelines, similar to the sets that go in a quarterback's helmet.
* Ronyell Whitaker received an additional $139,850 in performance pay under the league-sponsored program that pays players who have overperformed their contract totals. In previous years, players like safety Brian Russell received a significant performance pay bonus.
*Former Viking Todd Steussie received $208,000 in performance pay. The most performance pay ($366,017) was paid to Ravens safety Dawan Landry.
* Talks haven't proceeded between the Vikings and center Matt Birk. Birk and his agent are looking for a contract extension, but, with the money the Vikings have paid out to Steve Hutchinson and Bryant McKinnie in the past year, it is assumed the asking price would be similar and the Vikings have currently declined.
* Vikings fans can take solace in the fact that another second-year quarterback is going to enter the 2007 season with a lot of offensive question marks. Vince Young went to the Pro Bowl last year, but in the interim has lost RB Travis Henry and WR Drew Bennett to free agency and the team still hasn't re-signed RB Chris Brown. There malaise got worse Tuesday, when running back LenDale White showed up for the offseason workout program weighing in at 260 pounds – 20 pounds more than his listed weight during his rookie season.

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