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NFL Wraps Up Annual Meeting, Ready to Make Changes

There are still many deals to be made this NFL offseason as teams look to secure free agents to help bolster their rosters. The NFL also just finished its Annual League Meeting in Palm Beach, FL, this week. Here’s a look at some of the recent developments. 

Goodell Addresses Watson, Washington Issues

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell took questions on various topics at the end of the Annual League Meeting on Tuesday.

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When asked about potential discipline from the league against Browns quarterback DeShaun Watson, he said there had been no timeline as to if and when the league would act. Two grand juries in Texas failed to indict Watson on allegations of sexual misconduct while attending massage therapy sessions. He still faces more than 20 civil lawsuits and is still under investigation by the NFL for violation of its personal conduct policy. 

Goodell also addressed Commanders owner Daniel Snyder when asked what his current role was with the club after it was fined $10 million after investigating the team’s workplace environment. The commissioner said that day-to-day operations had been handed over to his wife, Tanya. She has been handling the CEO’s daily responsibilities and represented the team at the recent Annual League Meeting. 

Owners Approve Changes to Overtime Rules

NFL team owners approved the change to overtime rules, ensuring both teams receive at least one possession in the extra period. The vote was 29-3 in favor of the rule change, which only applies to postseason games. Since the previous format began in 2010, teams winning the coin toss were 10-2 in playoff overtime contests. 

The new postseason overtime rules won’t necessarily be adopted for the regular season, and the owners will continue to discuss rule changes every offseason. However, as the NFL continues to move forward in the modern era, it’s possible the rule change could be implemented in every game.

Colts Owner Says Wentz Era a Mistake

Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay was obviously upset after his team missed the playoffs last season and clearly blamed the team’s failure on former QB Carson Wentz. Irsay also said yesterday that the loss in the season-finale to Jacksonville was the last straw. “Your guy’s gotta pick you up and carry you through Jacksonville,” said Irsay. “He has to do it. Not an option. Has to. No excuses, no explanations.” 

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The Colts somehow found a team interested in Wentz, as he was traded to Washington for two third-round picks. Without this transaction, the team would have likely cut the quarterback before the start of training camp this summer.

The Colts were also fortunate to find Matt Ryan, a player who has a sterling reputation among his teammates as opposed to a player with a questionable locker room presence. Ryan was traded to the Colts last week after 14 seasons with Atlanta. He had two years left on his current contract but informed the team of his desire to leave instead of asking for a new deal. 

Ryan isn’t getting any younger from the Falcons’ perspective, and his salary would have been a big hit on the team’s payroll over the next two seasons. Instead, the team will now have more than $40 million in dead cap space for the quarterback but will save more than $9 million, which will help pay the salary of his replacement, Marcus Mariota.

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Erik is a writer and a sports nut who has had the good fortune to be able to experience a wide variety of world sports action up close and personal. He enjoys staying on top of the changing world of athletics and capitalizing on his writing skills to offer a unique take on what's going on in the ever-changing athletics ecosystem.

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