NFL adopts trade deadline, IR bylaw proposals

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NFL adopts trade deadline, IR bylaw proposals

The NFL has announced two new rules that will go into effect immediately for the 2012 season.

First, the trade deadline has been pushed back from Oct. 16 to Oct. 30. If teams want to make trades, they must be completed by 4 p.m. on the Tuesday after Week 8.

The second rule applies to players placed on injured reserve. Before, once a player was placed on injured reserve, he was done for the season (unless he negotiated an injury settlement).

Under the new rule, one player per team may be activated from IR after a major injury -- "major" meaning he must miss six weeks of practice or more. That player may be added to the team's 53-man active roster eight weeks after going on IR.

The rule is significant today because, obviously, there have already been players placed on IR.

We'll let Mike Florio from PFT explain how it works:
Heres where it gets complicated. Because teams already have cut to 75, a special procedure applies for 2012. As to teams that already have placed players on IR, the player for whom the short-term IR procedure will be used must be placed back on the active roster by 9:00 p.m. ET, August 31. Hell then count as one of the final 53.Then, after 4:00 p.m. ET on Tuesday, September 4, each team can place one player on the modified IR list.This means that teams hoping to use the new IR rule for a player already on injured reserve will have to displace another player for nearly four days, using a roster spot for the injured player and then creating a roster spot next Tuesday, when that player goes back to IR.The Patriots currently have seven players on IR -- Dane Fletcher, Josh Barrett, Ross Ventrone, Will Allen, Spencer Larsen, Jamey Richard and Brad Herman. If the Patriots think one of these players might be able to return later in the season, and they'd like to use the new IR designation on him, they'd have to make their move by tomorrow night. First, they would have to place that player back on the active roster (taking one of the 53 spots away from someone else). Then, on Tuesday, when the designation is officially placed on the injured player, a spot would open up again on the active roster.

Of course, there's some strategy involved here, too. The Patriots could wait until someone else gets injured during the season and use the new IR designation then. Remember, each team can only designate one player to the short-term IR per season.

As PFT points out, Patriots owner Robert Kraft has said in the past that if a similar rule existed in 2008, the Patriots may have used the short-term IR designation on Tom Brady after Bernard Pollard ruined the Patriots' season that year.

Belichick asked if playing at home helps: 'Go ask Dallas and Kansas City'

Belichick asked if playing at home helps: 'Go ask Dallas and Kansas City'

FOXBORO -- Bill Belichick knows that how you play, not where, is what matters most. 

That's why when he was asked on Wednesday about the advantage the Patriots will have by playing at Gillette Stadium in the AFC title game, he wasn't willing to go all-in on how a comfortable environment will positively impact his team.

"I don’t know," he said. "Go ask Dallas and Kansas City."

The Patriots apparently thought enough of home-field advantage that they played their starters throughout their regular-season finale win in Miami, exposing their best players to potential injury in order to maintain their positive momentum while simultaneously ensuring a better road to the Super Bowl. 

The Patriots fans in attendance on Sunday will help when the Patriots take on the Steelers, Belichick acknowledged. But there's much more to it than that. 

"Yeah, of course," he said, "but the game is won by the players on the field. That’s who wins football games – the players. And they’ll decide it Sunday night."

And if you needed any further proof, just ask the Cowboys and Chiefs how helpful their home crowds were in the Divisional Round. 

Tomlin not letting up on Brown after ill-advised Facebook Live video

Tomlin not letting up on Brown after ill-advised Facebook Live video

FOXBORO – Mike Tomlin didn’t sidestep questions related to Antonio Brown’s ill-advised locker room broadcast.

Instead, Tomlin actually seemed to up the ante during a conference call with New England media. Asked whether Brown seemed to get the message that Tomlin delivered and take it seriously, Tomlin said, “I think time always tells those stories.”

Tomlin easily could have used a “we’re moving on” message or talked about how Brown simply made a youthful mistake but he opted not to. Which isn’t surprising.

The number one criticism of Tomlin is that the Steelers head coach runs a loose ship and that the lack of discipline and accountability is a big issue.

Seeing Brown run a live broadcast from the locker room while Tomlin’s trying to make a point doesn’t just keep that perception afloat, it advances it to a place it’s never been.

It’s not a stretch to say that Brown’s actions imperiled Tomlin’s reputation. There’s no wonder he isn’t willing to let Brown off the hook.

Brown addressed the controversy on Wednesday saying, “I absolutely regret the Facebook Live situation. It’s a total distraction to the organization. A total distraction to my teammates. Obviously disrespect to my coach. I’ve got utmost respect to my coach so I totally regret that.”

Tomlin on Tuesday went as far as to suggest other players doing team-distracting things like Brown wind up getting passed around the league despite their great talent. “That's often why you see great players move from team to team,” said Tomlin. “Don't want that to happen to Antonio Brown.

Tomlin expressed embarrassment that the language he used in the postgame in the privacy of his locker room was served up for public consumption.

“As a parent, I’m not into public displays of that type of language so I was more embarrassed about that aspect of it not necessarily the content or the message of the video,” said Tomlin.

As to referring to the Patriots as “those a*******,” Tomlin said, “Man, you could have applied that sentiment to any opponent. You could have made that tape two weeks earlier and applied it to that opponent. It’s not about the nameless great faces that we play, it’s about our overall preparation and that was the sentiment of the message that I was sending to the guys not necessarily about the New England Patriots, they just happened to be who we’re playing this week.”

Tomlin also addressed the time element he referenced in his postgame speech when he said the Patriots had a day-and-a-half head start on his team. 

“I was just trying to instill a sense of urgency in our group regarding preparation and I wanted them to understand that we didn’t have a lot of time to pat ourselves on the back based on the performance of the last game,” he explained. “That we needed to transition and transition quickly and start the preparation, whether it was actual preparation or just from a mentality standpoint.”

Because of Brown’s decision, it’s probably been a lot harder to make that transition than Tomlin ever hoped.