A higher standard of what ? More bullshit and then some ? …

A higher standard of what ? More bullshit and then some ? …

.Nothing good can now be obtained from the indifference and lack of consistency being shown by the NFL hierarchy and several of their franchises as they come under persistent attack from the media and women’s groups alike , for their lack of dealing with the issue of domestic violence and spousal abuse. Take into account this has been an ongoing situation , which the league and union (NFLPA) have failed to discuss in spite of repeated incidents involving a number of the league’s players. Commissioner Roger Goodell has remained steadfast in his opinion the league is doing enough to deal with this acute issue , having brought in several women to recommend and in working with former FBI Director Louis Freeh to come up with a credible plan to deal with the matter and further deflect the continued criticism the league has received from almost every corner of the public’s attention and view.


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Unfortunately , this is all too little , too late , when the NFL itself has repeatedly failed to punish players for their egregious behavior , while apathetic fans are calling for the matter to be dealt with purely by the justice system. In large part the US Justice System has far too often failed the victims of such crimes , especially in the numerous cases of sexual assault , where far too often , it has been left for a State Attorney General’s Office to obtain a plea deal from a defendant simply to obtain a guilty plea without having to go to trial , or when there is a judicial case , more often than not , the leniency of sentences applied to such crimes , do lead many to wonder how is justice being served ? Anger management classes and the chance the league itself will actually welcome you back , after having beaten a spouse does make this issue seem to meaningless, when it comes to the case of domestic violence.

These cases have now been highlighted by the incidents surrounding Ray Rice of the Baltimore Ravens who is now taking legal advice about whether or not he can appeal his indefinite suspension by the NFL. The player will be provided a lawyer by the union , as is customary in such cases, where a player seeks to appeal a suspension . The Minnesota Vikings’ running back Adrian Peterson now finds himself in the midst of a firestorm after his being charged with child abuse charges and his lawyer , Rusty Hardin now seeking to quell the latest allegations that this was not the first such incident of Peterson abusing a child . Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton (Rep- MN) has called on the Vikings to suspend the player pending the outcome of the investigation now being conducted in the state of Texas by the state’s Department of Child Welfare working in conjunction with the Texas State Attorney General’s Office . Minnesota Vikings’ owners, Zygi and Mark Wilf reinstated Peterson , having conferred with the team’s Chief Legal Counsel , but have stated the matter remains under review pending the outcome of the investigation ongoing in the state of Texas.

Greg Hardy of the Carolina Panthers having been charged with domestic violence was still allowed to take part in the Panthers’ most recent game , albeit , head coach Ron Rivera stated he felt the player warranted still being a member of the team. It is clear the league hierarchy have not given teams any indication as to how they should treat such matters and there seems to be no consistency in terms of how the league treats these incidents . To further heighten the ongoing absurdity , Jed Yorke and Trent Baalke of the San Francisco 49ers have seen fit to have Ray McDonald on the team’s roster even after the player recently acknowledged in a press interview with members of the local press in San Francisco , he had in fact been involved in an argument with his pregnant fiancĂ©e, where he is said to have physically assaulted her. Whatever else might be needed for the Niners to take some form of action after his admittance, has to leave everyone in a state of bewilderment about the sheer absurdity in the reasoning of Yorke and Baalke . I would suffice to say , the league itself has to be wondering when and where the next incident will come from, to further blacken the eye and image of the league , while apathetic fans continue to gesticulate and make prognosis as to what is still said to right about the NFL.

In trying to now justify the NFL’s stance would be in a similar vein of suggesting the Congress has been prudent in how they have dealt with the economy and pieces of cumbersome legislation passed which has left the country still in a quagmire. The Federal Reserve for all of its prudent gauging of the economy, has created a false premise under which on a daily they are selling billions of dollars in Treasury Bonds, merely to keep the government and the economy afloat while suggesting the country itself is on an even keel. Nothing could be further from the truth , as now being witnessed in the jobs’ marketplace . Federal Reserve Chairperson Janet Yellen has to sleepwalk us through the subterfuge her agency creates . The league , likewise , has created its own charade of being able to deal with its own underlying issues , when in fact it is lacking credibility , leadership and where the owners are simply looking for their lapdog , Roger Goodell to steer a course , where the only thing that matters are rising revenues , profits and to take one or two knocks to its image, while what they deem to be an image makeover is nothing more than window dressing.

Week two in the NFL brought about some highs and lows . The Seattle Seahawks were quickly brought back down to earth , suffering their first regular season loss and loss of any kind since December , 2013 . Last season’s Superbowl champions seemed almost invincible in their week one victory over the Green Bay Packers , but somehow the Philip Rivers’ led San Diego Chargers got the better of Richard Sherman and his teammates. Sherman for his part, had little to say after the team’s loss , which might suggest his bravado has been quelled for the moment. How the Seahawks recover from the defeat will tell us a great deal about the team and whether or not there is still justification for them to be viewed as a legitimate candidate to make a successful defense of their title. Seattle will play host to the Denver Broncos this upcoming Sunday in a rematch of their Superbowl duel with the AFC West based franchise.

Far be it for me to suggest , but when a head coach makes the statement , ” we need to get and play better ” . I feel it is very much a warning sign , things are very much in danger of getting worse , with the likelihood the coach’s job might be in danger ! Dennis Allen of the Oakland Raiders has seen his team get off to an 0-2 start and there seem to be no signs of life from anyone of the roster. There were great hopes that they had a player in Derek Carr capable of leading the Raiders as the franchise’s starting quarterback , but the being placed into the lion’s den as a rookie has shown that the player still has a great deal to learn , with the alternatives at the position being exceedingly thin. Veteran quarterback Matt Schaub is certainly not the answer with his best years now in a rear view mirror , rather than being ahead of him.

The Raiders’ two opening season losses have been by margins of five and sixteen points and with the team’s defense being among the worst in the NFL. If those defensive issues cannot be addressed by Dennis Allen and his coaching staff , the possibility of the Raiders being remotely competitive within their division will not be a reality at all. Never mind the fact the head coach’s position is likely to be in jeopardy. Oakland will need to find some semblance of life if they are to avoid going 0-3 through the first three games of their schedule. Dennis Allen will take the Raiders on the road in week three , where his team will face the New England Patriots (1-1) in an all AFC clash at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro’ Massachusetts ,.

Terry Pegula seems destined to become new owner of the Buffalo Bills, who are surprisingly are off to a 2-0 start within the NFL , with the team responding to Doug Marrone’s apparent coaching philosophy for this season. Whether or not these changes have come about by way of the draft or through free agent acquisitions. There now seems to be a new resolve about the team and the organization in general. Buffalo leads the AFC East , though it is still early in the season, the Bills will seek to make further inroads into the year when they play their next scheduled game , a match-up against match-up against the San Diego Charges on Sunday afternoon at Ralph Wilson Stadium in Orchard Park , New York,.

A home win for the Bills would push their record to 3-0 and place them with a very good lead within the division. It would certainly place pressure on the New England Patriots , reigning divisional champions whose own regular season start has been underwhelming even with taking into account their lopsided victory over the Minnesota Vikings in week two. What this might now suggest about the Patriots will be put to the test for Bill Belichick and his players over the course of this season . For Tom Brady , as he approaches the twilight of his career , it has to be said the quarterback remains as hungry as ever for another postseason appearance with a Superbowl victory being the ultimate goal , for the three-time winning Superbowl player. New England’s contest against the Oakland Raiders will give more of an idea as whether not this team is capable of making another postseason ,for which many NFL prognosticators believe the Patriots are once again capable of achieving.

The Carolina Panthers are the only unbeaten team in the NFC South , both the New Orleans Saints and Tampa Bay Buccaneers are not looking anything like serious contenders within the division. I have long-held the contention that neither the Saints or Buccaneers can play consistently and both defenses on the pair of teams in question are at best , average , if not worse . Matt Ryan and the Atlanta Falcons continue to disappoint , even if they are now 1-1 within the division. Mike Smith’s job is likely to be on the line this season if the Falcons fail to compete , a divisional title or a playoff berth has to be the goal for the team . Anything short of those goals and team owner Arthur Blank is likely to make the call for the firing of Smith along with several members of the coaching staff . GM Thom Dimitroff may well find his job will also be in jeopardy if Atlanta fails , as he and Smith have been the primary architects of the current roster through the draft and most recent free agent acquisitions .

With Cam Newton being sidelined in week one , the Panthers won convincingly and then followed up with an emphatic victory over the vastly overrated Detroit Lions . From my own perspective , I believe with the disastrous starts by the New Orleans Saints and Tampa Bay Buccaneers they will be hard pressed to make a real battle of the division and the NFC overall. In week three Carolina will take on the Pittsburgh Steelers , while the Falcons will play hosts o the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and New Orleans will entertain the beleaguered Minnesota Vikings .



Picture gallery .

This NFL season has been nothing short of ridiculous with the audacity of the league hierarchy as led by Roger Goodell and their belief by simply making a number late proactive moves the adverse publicity can be turned around. Having hired Louis Freeh to oversee an investigation and seeking advice from number of women’s groups has been nothing short of idiotic on the part of the NFL. Goodell and the owners have simply lost sight of the mere fact they have done little to truly address prior bad acts of the players , as well as dealing with numerous issues which have affected the league over the years. Do you believe the NFL can recover from the adverse publicity it is now receiving and has the league done enough to deflect the negativity it is now engulfed in ?


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(1) Roger Goodell , beleaguered NFL Commissioner , who has s to deal with the news that two major corporate endorsers are disatisfied with the league’s recent handling several scandals which has engulfed the nation’s most beloved pastime . Billion dollar commercial behemoths McDonalds and Inbev SA (makers of Budweierser Beer and several other global brands) have been extremely critical of the NFL’s handling of the Ray Rice affair and other recent headline making news deemed negative for the NFL. AP Photo / Paul Cross …

(2) Prime Vikings owners Mark Wilf ,left and Zygi Wilf see fans lining a second-floor railing Monday in the Minnesota Capitol. Having won the state legislature’s approval for new stadium the franchise now find itself beset by the episode now surrounding the guilt or innocence of Adrian Peterson and allegations of child abuse. Both Mark and Zygi Wilf have made the decision to have Peterson sit out the Vikings’ regular season schedule pending the outcome of an ongoing investigation of the allegations . The player is being represented by famed Texas attorney Rusty Hardin . Getty Images / Peter Marsh …

(3) Carolina Panthers’ defensive end Greg Hardy , who has been charged with domestic abuse and violence , and is now awaiting trial on the charges . The player meanwhile has to deal with negative publicity surrounding his actions as well as the criticism aimed at the Panthers’ franchise. AP Photo / Carol Harris ….

(4) Dennis Allen head coach of the Oakland Raiders is off to another disastrous season with his team playing haphazard football and lying at the bottom of the AFC West division. AP Photo/ Paul McGregor ….

(5) Terry Pegula , the new owner owner of the Buffalo Bills and also owner of the NHL’s Buffalo Sabres . UPI / Tim Matthews ….

(6) Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ head coach Lovie Smith watches as the team’s quarterback Josh McCown makes a pass during a team practice session. The Buccaneers are win-less and struggling to make sense of their season under their new head coach. Tampa Bay Times / all rights reserved ….



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Liar , liar , pants on fire ………..

Liar , liar , pants on fire ….

Liar, liar, pants on fire

In recent years the NFL has really gone through so many pratfalls , many of them of their own making . Image problem , well let’s just say while idiot fans champion the popularity of the brand and sport , with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell , simply espousing the league’s ever increasing revenues , you simply have to wonder if the NFL does have a compassionate side. In conjunction with the NFLPA (Players’ Union) , the league’s handling of the issue for game based injuries , in particular the matter of CTE (chronic traumatic encephalopathy ) and other neurologically based disorders. For the better part of the past two decades, the well-chronicled issue has remained a hot topic debate. Now, in light with the ongoing stories of the bureaucratic mismanagement of the Veterans Administration (VA) and the calls for the firing of VA Secretary General Eric Shinseki .

(4) Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ wide receiver Mike Evans , center is seen here with team GM Jason Licht ,left, is also seen with team head coach Lovie Smith , far right . Evans provides a receiving threat that the team rarely possessed last season . AP Photo / Collin McMillan …..


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The issues of the NFL and how they have dealt with the injuries of their retired veteran players and how the US military veterans are now treated by that governmental agency , does seem to bear a remarkable resemblance. Therein, lies the idiocy of the fans, who continue to make light of this topic with their inane comments, that the players themselves knew the risks when they first entered the NFL . Perhaps , if the league chose not to subvert a great deal of their own in-house research conducted by their own medical staff and researchers , this matter could have been handled with more authority and urgency . Instead, both Goodell and his predecessor Paul Tagliabue, hid behind a veil of secrecy, deceit and lies.

There are now several cases at various levels within the Justice System where the NFL is now a lead defendant in numerous civil suits brought by current and retired players. In recent days, former Miami Dolphins’ quarterback and Hall of Fame inductee Dan Marino, has added his name, to a suit , that seeks unspecified and punitive damages. That civil suit details what the player believes were actions, that sought have himself and many of his peers to be subjected to use painkillers and antidepressants , to remain on the field during a game. While I believe that there is a great deal of justification in the players taking this route, with a civil suit , I do believe that there that has been a great deal of hypocrisy on the part of the team owners , league hierarchy and specifically the Players Union , itself ! That body’s Executive Director DeMaurice Smith has proven to be no different from that of his predecessor the late Gene Upshaw in taking this matter with a great deal of urgency and actually doing something proactive. A settlement that in some circles was greeted with a great deal of derision , awarded 2,300 players $ 775 million , with a further $1 billion being set aside , for what Roger Goodell suggested would be in-depth research into the cause and effect of neurological disorders , suffered during an NFL game .

With their own prior research, the league and commissioner suggested, there was actually no cause and effect , with their being absolutely no connection between the issues in question. Now an about-face , and here we have the NFL seeking to show its compassionate side without any admission of guilt on their part. Meanwhile , the union with a vested interested in this issue ., has simply done little to benefit their retired veterans on the matter . As I alluded to earlier, the glaring similarities of the league’s actions and that of the VA and Barack Obama’s own handling of this issue, now shows why the NFL and government remains a damn farce , where they are simply lacking real leadership , much less leaders, who really can be viewed as individuals who have any credibility.

With further evidence about how much of a mess, this whole chapter has become , it is now being reported that Dan Marino will withdraw his name from the civil suit against the NFL . As to the reasons behind this change of heart does seem ambiguous and unclear, by the Dolphins’ legend. My belief behind this all, stems from the fact, Marino’s credibility will come into question. His private life remains in turmoil in spite of his act of contrition, after repeatedly denying he was the father of a child born to a former CBS female intern . An act, the quarterback suggests was completely out of character, which brought about some unwanted attention and a great deal of embarrassment for himself and his family.

The more this story remains in the spotlight, with no real conclusion in sight, the less credibility there remains within the NFL , its hierarchy , union and among the owners themselves . There has been way too much rhetoric coming from the league, along with the usual amount of pragmatism one would come to expect from a group of individuals, where greed remains the key and their being little compassion from anyone within the groups mentioned.

As this NFL off-season comes more into the spotlight, as teams prepare for the upcoming preseason and then their regular season schedules . A number of franchises have sought renegotiate deals or cut some players, from their rosters. Meanwhile, this season’s group of rookies have begun to acclimatize themselves with the rigors of the NFL at the professional level. Jadeveon Clowney , beyond all the hype has seen his teammate and defensive counterpart JJ Watt show to him that it will not be that easy to just simply step unto an NFL field and believe that an opponent will simply pay him homage and respect.

For Clowney, before he gain that respect , he will have to pay reverence to those before him and to many of the players he is likely to face over the course of this season . The Houston Texans are expecting a great deal out of the number one pick from the 2014 NFL Draft. A losers of fourteen consecutive games , once they entered their week three schedule of last season, it was easy to understand why the Texans fell apart at the seams under the coaching of Gary Kubiak and his coaching staff . The woes of the Houston Texan were well-chronicled, to the point where many wondered if the team and staff could actually dig themselves out of the hole created. At season’s end, their record of 2-14 was a true reflection of the Houston Texans and how bad this team was said to be.

Bill O’Brien, who succeeded Gary Kubiak , after his expected dismissal, will now look to resurrect the fortunes of this franchise , where there are not seen to be many major challengers to the Indianapolis Colts’ and their dominance of the AFC South in recent years. Houston’s regular season meetings with Andrew Luck and his teammates , should provide us with a great deal of evidence about the aspirations of the team. Those two regular season contests in week six and fifteen , may well be something , O’Brien can use as a gauge, about where the Texans will need to be, in order that they are considered a legitimate threat within the AFC this upcoming season.

The firing of Greg Schiano , as the head coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the aftermath of another horrendous season by the franchise, in reality , was of no great surprise . Schiano’s brash demeanor, simply could not hide the fact, he was clearly out his depth as a head coach in the NFL . He brought absolutely no discipline to the team from a coaching standpoint and once again, the idiotic claims by Buccaneers’ fans, there was a sense of consistency to the Buccaneers , was nowhere to be seen , all season long. Beyond that, the franchise then had to the issues of their troubled former quarterback Josh Freeman , whose career with the franchise can be best characterized by saying it was simply one of abject failure. Indeed this organization has not had a quarterback with any great sureness in several years and that includes their Superbowl winning quarterback Brad Johnson , whose 2002 season was understated even with the Superbowl victory among his personal achievements.

Schiano’s firing and the Buccaneers’ decision not to extend the contract of GM Mark Dominik , has led to a new structural hierarchy within the front office . Jason Licht replaces Dominik and the return of a former Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ assistant Lovie Smith to claim the reins of Greg Schiano , begins a new chapter for the organization. Smith’s coaching philosophy is one of a defensive mindset , with the players being held accountable and where the opportunities that arise on offense are duly taken . With Greg Schiano , it was simply a hodgepodge of schemes , with no clear path about what was being achieved. . As damning an indictment as that statement appears to be , the truth cannot be overlooked and the Buccaneers in 2013, were one of the worst performing teams in the NFL , in a wide variety of areas. At no point in the season could one believe that this team was actually in with a chance of winning the NFC South , much less be viewed as a legitimate contenderwithin the NFC . This preseason, a number of dubious prognosticators are now suggesting that this might be the year that the Buccaneers actually turn things around. A few off-season acquisitions and a moderately average draft will not put this team in the driver’s seat within their division. If anything, the Buccaneers at best are likely , to be no better than the third or fourth best team within the NFC South and record within the conference was a clear reflection of who they are within the league as a whole last season.

I believe Lovie Smith brings a great deal more credibility to the role as the head coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and he does a proven track record, unlike that of his predecessor . Granted , the issue of this organization I believe stems from the ongoing mindset of the Glazer family and where their intentions truly lay. Is it their ownership of the NFL franchise or the ownership of the far more successful ownership of their English Premiership (EPL) team Manchester United ? Within both entities, over the past six weeks we have seen some major upheavals . The firing of David Moyes as manager of the EPL giants after only a year, was welcomed in all circles because of David Moyes’ continued mishandling of team affairs and his level of incompetence . Certainly, United’s failure to win a domestic trophy and their poor showing in the UEFA Champions League played a part in his own downfall. Moyes’ successor , is the no-nonsense and highly regarded Dutchman Louis Van-Gaal , who is likely to be more demanding of his players, while taking more input from the members of his coaching staff and the team in general . Something, David Moyes was unaccustomed to doing throughout his entire tenure with Manchester United.

Away from the field of play, the recent death of Glazer family patriarch Malcolm Glazer, there has been renewed speculation that the family may well seek to sell one , if not both of their professional sporting interests. Tampa resident Eddie DeBartolo Jr , former owner of the San Francisco 49ers is known to be seeking a return to the NFL in some capacity. In the UK, the continued calls for the sale of United continues unabated, because of the lackluster showing of the team, but more so, because of the family’s incompetence in their ownership of the soccer club and then their placing the club with a mountain of debt , that still stands at unprecedented level . That figure in some circles, is being reported to be as high as $1 billion and as low as $600 million . The real issue, is whether or not this upcoming season, will the club fall in line with the UEFA mandate of the “Fair Play Act” , in meeting the financial requirements to be eligible for all UEFA sanctioned club competitions ? The financial windfall the Champions League provides, is something that the club counts on, beyond the revenue derived from the domestic competitions in the England of which the two most important are the Premiership and the FA Cup . Competitions where Manchester United have attained a great deal of success in recent years, as well as throughout their history.

Joel and Bryan Glazer have been emphatic, that neither Manchester United, nor the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will be put up for sale, but I cannot help, but wonder , if their appetite has not been whetted by the recent $ 2 billion bid made by Steve Ballmer to buy the NBA’s beleaguered franchise the Los Angeles Clippers ? Pending, the league’s approval, that will be the highest price paid for an NBA franchise in league history. We also witnessed in 2013, the Los Angeles Dodgers being purchased for the seemingly unbelievable price of $2.156 billion . This sum, I believe in many ways, was forced upon the winning syndicate by the behind the scenes shenanigans of MLB Commissioner Bud Selig , in demanding that the sale not only take place , but his forcing his will upon the presiding judge in the US Bankruptcy Court, in the state of Delaware.

Far too often in recent years we have seen the Tampa Bay Buccaneers fail to live up to expectations and I do not believe that this season will be any different . A new coaching staff , rookies and the inexperience of second year starting quarterback Mike Glennon is a great deal to ask of a team , where last season in their old guise they simply fell apart at the seams .

If Glennon is not up to the task, the insertion of a durable veteran such as Josh McCown is by no means a guarantee of success for the Buccaneers. Their rivals within the NFC South , the Carolina Panthers, Atlanta Falcons and New Orleans Saints are likely to be considerably better than they were in 2013 , by way of the NFL Draft and through their own off-season acquisitions . It is highly unlikely that Ron Rivera , Mike Smith and Sean Payton would have stood by and waited to see what was being done by the Buccaneers . But this has been the mindset of the moronic tendency of the print and television media within the Tampa Bay area, with their prognostications concerning the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ upcoming regular season . How many times, have they and the fans got those assessments wrong and would they be willing, to admit that fact ?

The Buccaneers’ draft class of Mike Evans , Jenkins Seferian , Charles Sims, Kadeem Edwards , Kevin Pamphile and Robert Herron are thought to be the players Lovie Smith believes will be able to complement his roster and be productive throughout the course of this upcoming season. Their preseason schedule should prove to be interesting , with their first contest being against the Jacksonville Jaguars, at Ever-Bank Field in Jacksonville , Florida on Friday 8th August , 2014. The remaining three exhibition games will be against the Miami Dolphins, Buffalo Bills and Washington Redskins . The team’s first regular season contest will be a home game at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa against Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers , reigning NFC South champions. Tampa needs a sound regular season start and what better way than to obtain a win against a divisional rival , who this season has to be viewed as one of the favorites within the NFC .

I will say this, for Trent Baalke, as the general manager of the San Francisco 49ers as he has busy during the off-season, in acquiring players in such a creative way, while also trying to stay within the salary cap . Yet , his biggest accomplishment might well have been in succeeding to have Colin Kaepernick sign a five-year contract extension for a quarterback who if anything, has made the Niners, a team to watch for the foreseeable future . Kapernick now has the weapons to succeed , but the question remains , has he grown as a player, showing maturity, as well as the potential leadership qualities sought by head coach Jim Harbaugh ? These are the traits that will be genuinely sought by the Niners’ coaching staff and their fans as the team embarks on their preseason and regular season schedule. A postseason berth and the likelihood of a Superbowl appearance are the ambitions of the Niners , where Kaepernick, can seek to avenge the loss suffered at the hands of the Baltimore Ravens in 2013.



Picture gallery.

Your thoughts on the points raised within this article and how best do you believe that the NFL can best solve the ongoing legal issues that they are now embroiled in ?


Picture and slideshow details below .


(1) Hall of Fame quarterback , Dan Marino and now an NFL analyst with CBS , who at first signed on to be plaintiff in a legal suit against the NFL , concerning the league’s actions in forcing players to deliberately take painkillers and other prescriptive medications , that may well have caused unnecessary harm and other health issues. Marino has since withdrawn his name from the suit, but has not offered a full explanation as to the reasons , behind the change of heart. Getty Images / Paul Matthews …..

(2) NFLPA Executive DeMaurice Smith ,left. is seen here with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell . Smith has been extremely critical of Goodell and his handling of Indianapolis Colts’ owner Jim Irsay’s sobriety issues and the fact the owner has now received his second DUI in the past five seasons . It was widely known that Irsay’s issues were ongoing and that his dependency upon alcohol and wide variety of narcotics (cocaine, marijuana and Oxycontin). While his criticism may well be valid , Smith is not without blame as it relates to his own lack action concerning the issue of retired NFL veterans and their being unable to receive their rightful medical benefits. AP Photo / Glenn Mitchell ….

(3) The Houston Texans’ Jadeveon Clowney ,left, is seen here with the team’s General Manager Rick Smith as the player addresses the convened press at the Texans’ Reliant Stadium in Houston , Texas. Having signed his rookie contract , Clowney now becomes a part of a team that will be looking to revamp its reputation as one of the league’s worst performing defenses in 2013. AP Photo / Samantha Mitchell ….

(4) Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ GM Jason Licht , left, is seen here with the team’s number one first round draft pick , wide receiver , Mike Evans , center and team head coach Lovie Smith . The head coach and executive hope that Evans can provide a deep receiving threat they sought last season , but was rarely seen during last season , leading to the franchise having one of the worst offenses in the NFL in 2013 . AP Photo / Samantha Morton ……

(5) Buccaneers’ starting quarterback Mike Glennon (8) is seen here with teammate and seasoned veteran Josh McCown . Lovie Smith has emphasized that Glennon remains the starter but it is clear that McCown is there to challenge the second-year player for that position. AP Photo / Rick Barnes …

(6) Colin Kaepernick (7) is seen here with San Francisco 49ers’ head coach Jim Harbaugh . Kaepernick , already with back to back postseason appearances to his career as well as a Superbowl appearance now hopes to lead the franchise to another appearance in the NFL’s biggest showcase event of their postseason. Getty Images / Sam Harris …


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