From Comcast SportsNetEAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) -- The New York Giants continued their roster purge after missing the playoffs, cutting leading rusher Ahmad Bradshaw and defensive tackle Chris Canty.The salary cap-saving moves on Wednesday came one day after New York let starting weakside linebacker Michael Boley go after four seasons. The Giants also waived defensive tackle Martin Parker, who spent this past season on injured reserve with a back injury.Bradshaw, Canty and Boley were all veterans who contributed to the Giants' Super Bowl win over the Patriots a year ago, but they all had big contracts and battled injuries.Bradshaw, who has had knee and ankle injuries, was to earn 4.25 million. He became expendable with the play of rookie David Wilson. Canty, who had knee issues with the Giants after never missing a game with Dallas, was to earn 6.5 million next season. Boley, who had shoulder and hamstring injuries last season, was to make 4 million this season.The biggest surprise might have been the release of Bradshaw, who was one of the emotional leaders of the team.The 26-year-old, who played on two Super Bowl championship teams with the Giants, led the team in rushing each of the past three seasons, gaining 1,015 this past season."Pound for pound, Bradshaw is one of the toughest football players that I've been around," said general manager Jerry Reese, who took Bradshaw with the 250th pick in the 2007 draft. "Ahmad played football like Giants football should be played."One of the moments fans will remember is Bradshaw yelling at coach Tom Coughlin during a game this past season, saying he wanted the ball more. Coughlin had no problems with his fire."He is not only an exceptional football player, but he is the epitome of line up and play," Coughlin said. "Regardless of the circumstances, he's going to give you everything he's got. If you give the ball to him, he's going to get every inch of what is there -- and sometimes when it's not blocked, he still gets it."Bradshaw is sixth on the franchise's career rushing list with 4,232 yards and seventh with 921 rushing attempts. He rushed for 32 touchdowns, the ninth-highest total in team history.In his six seasons, he played in 84 regular-season games with 33 starts. He also caught 132 passes for 1,087 yards and three touchdowns.The Giants' first-round draft choice in 2012, Wilson rushed for 358 yards and four scores and also set a franchise record with 1,533 kickoff return yards. He will be backed up by Andre Brown, who rushed for 385 yards and a team-high eight touchdowns before breaking his leg in late November.Canty was signed in 2009 and played in 49 regular-season games with 45 starts, including all 20 games in the 2011 Super Bowl run. He had 155 tackles and nine sacks."Chris is a pro's pro, a true team player and competitor," Reese said. "He helped us get to the top in 2011 and it was a pleasure having him here during his time with the New York Giants."Canty missed the first six games of last season after having offseason knee surgery. He had 31 tackles and three sacks this past season, missing the finale because of a knee injury.Linval Joseph started at the other tackle for New York, which also has youngsters Marvin Austin and Markus Kuhn returning along with veteran Rocky Bernard.
Monday may have marked a low point in the relationship between the NFL and its on-field employees.
The fight between the league and its best player of the past two decades was in the headlines again. Tom Brady, tied to the NFL’s bumper and dragged around for almost 500 days, had his NFLPA legal team baring its teeth again in the Deflategate mess. The eye-gouging and hair-pulling in that imbroglio over a puff of air allegedly being removed from footballs has cost the league and the PA about $25M so far.
Meanwhile, NFLPA President Eric Winston was saying the league "cannot be trusted to do the right thing when it involves players.” That comment flowed from a Congressional report alleging the NFL tried to exert influence over who would conduct studies regarding Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE), the condition that’s been blamed for a myriad of former players winding up addled, incapacitated or dead.
I say “may have marked” because the relationship between the two sides has cratered so frequently over the past two years, it’s hard to know exactly what the low point has been. Or how much lower it can go.
And, with the 10-year Collective Bargaining Agreement only half done, there is ample opportunity for things to get worse. Because, really, why would they get better?
With the NFL’s owners safe knowing that their emperor/puppet/human shield is still in place to take the hits and do their dirty work, there’s seemingly no groundswell among that group to relieve Roger Goodell of his duties. Despite reports of growing owner discontent over Deflategate, the Ray Rice investigation, and an appeal of a case in which the league was found to have withheld $100M from players, there is no Sword of Damocles dangling over the league to cut ties with Goodell.
He was able to oversee the league’s re-entry in Los Angeles (though that “triumph” was fraught with owner acrimony), is going to get a game played in China, keeps edging closer to getting a franchise based in Europe and may even land one in Las Vegas, has enhanced the league’s reach on social media (the announcement of some games being aired on Twitter) and keeps making billions hand over fist.
Goodell’s presence won’t be an impediment to a new labor deal getting done for another five years. By then, when the issues of Goodell’s role in player discipline, drug testing and his relationship with the union come to the fore, the owners might feel compelled to cut him loose after 15 seasons in charge.
But even then, the league’s owners will be in the business of pointing out to the players how good they’ve had it under the current CBA. The league’s salary cap structure – decried as a disaster in the first years of the deal – has seen the cap grow from $120M in 2011 to $155M this year. Players’ practice time and the wear and tear on their bodies has been reduced thanks to the new limits on contact enacted. Benefits are better. Retired players are getting better care. Players have more off-field marketing opportunities with companies that want to affix themselves to the most popular sport in the United States.
As bad as the headlines have been for Goodell, in five years (or probably fewer since negotiations on a new CBA will begin in 2020) who will remember the disaster that’s been Deflategate? How inspired will players be to miss games and paychecks for the satisfaction of knowing Goodell can’t be his own arbitrator anymore?
To sum it up, Goodell’s dark disciplinary reign may well continue unabated for a few more seasons. But as long as the league rains money on its players through the end of this decade, the clock isn’t ticking on Goodell and the owners in the form of labor strife.
Tim Britton talks with Michael Felger about David Ortiz, the AL East and the possibility of adding an impact left fielder.
NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith joined the Dan Patrick Show -- hosted by Ross Tucker on Monday -- to discuss the petition that was eventually filed to the Second Circuit requesting a rehearing for Tom Brady's case.
During the discussion, Smith insisted that Brady made a settlement offer long ago that might've resolved things. But because the NFL wanted more, a deal was never struck. Now here we are, almost 500 days since the AFC Championship Game in January of 2015, and Deflategate is still a living, breathing thing.
"Tom's a standup guy," Smith said. "And I think he made a settlement offer to resolve this. The league chose not to take it, and that's where we are . . . I don't want to go into details, but it was an incredibly generous offer to resolve this. The league asked for something that no man should agree to do."
Patriots Insider Tom E. Curran explained on Monday's episode of Quick Slants that Brady was willing to accept a one-game suspension for a lack of cooperation at the outset of the investigation. But the league was looking for a face to take the blame, Curran explained.
Both Jim McNally and John Jastremski were willing to take the heat off of Brady, but Brady insisted that he would not throw anyone else under the bus because he believed that there was no wrongdoing on his part or anyone else's when it came to the preparation of game footballs.
With no one offered up to shoulder the blame, the NFL declined to agree to any proposal from Brady's camp. At that point, it would have been almost impossible to predict that this case would one day be only a step or two from getting the US Supreme Court involved.
Yet here we are.