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Saturday, May 16, 2009

League Lowdown

May 16, 2009:

I'm checking in with the latest NFL stories and updates. There has been a lot of league news and team happenings in the past week that will shape the upcoming season. We have everything from salary cap news to possible former quarterback returns to cover. So, without further adieu, here is your league lowdown.

Salary Cap Increase for 2008
NFL teams will not feel the effects of the national recession during the 2008 season; at least not in their salary caps. The cap has been increased by $12 million for the 2009 season, giving teams a total of $128 million to spend on their rosters. This is the largest increase in three years. Much of this is due to a decrease in team spending on players last year. That figure was below 59.5% of the total league revenue.

However, things still remain up in the air for the 2010 season. Owners opted out of the Collective Bargaining Agreement last year and if another CBA isn't agreed upon, the NFL will go without a salary cap next season.

Michael Vick Preparing For Football

Mike Vick has decided to work with a trainer on football related workouts upon his release from prison on May 20th. Vick was convicted of felony dog fighting charges and was sent to prison in the fall of 2007. He still has two months left in his prison term, which he will serve out in home confinement. Still technically a member of the Atlanta Falcons, Vick has eyes on getting back into the NFL. As of now, he is indefinitely suspended from the league and is at the mercy of commissioner Roger Goodell.

Goodell has expressed his views on Vick's return. "Before I make my decision, it will be up to Michael to demonstrate the genuineness of his remorse and how he plans to be a positive influence" the commissioner has said. There is no indication that Vick will make it back to the NFL for the upcoming season. The Falcons want to trade him, but have received no interest from any NFL teams in obtaining Vick thus far.

Favre...... Again.

This story just doesn't want to go away. After reiterating his desire to retire in a phone conversation with Minnesota head coach Brad Childress, former Packer QB Brett Favre is getting his throwing arm checked out; just in case. It has been reported that Favre is seeking the opinion of world renown orthopedic surgeon Dr. James Andrews regarding his throwing arm.

By most accounts, Favre wants to avoid surgery if at all possible. The arm is still giving him trouble though, so Favre and Andrews are implementing an exercise regimen that would allow the arm to naturally heal, sans surgery. Viking team officials are keeping things close to the vest, but do not deny their continued interest in obtaining Favre for their roster. As we the fan (and, of course the media) speculate about Favre's heart and head in making a decision to return to the sport of football, it would appear that the final decision will be made by his arm.

Ocho-cinco On Jersey-O

In the ridiculousness that is Chad Johnson, the league has decided that he can actually wear the name Ocho Cinco on his jersey next season. Johnson legally changed his name to the Spanish number moniker last August. However, when he changed it, he wrote it down as Ochocinco, not the two word phrase he previously (and shamelessly) promoted. So the league is obliging the man formerly known as Chad Johnson. However, his jersey will read "Ochocinco" just as he wrote on his name change form in Florida.

Bruce Smith Charged With DUI

The NFL's all-time sack leader Bruce Smith was charged with driving under the influence on Friday in Virgina Beach. Smith was stopped for speeding and refused a breath test. Smith has been charged for DUI twice before, although he has never been convicted. No news of a hearing date for the hall of famer at this time.

That's the lowdown on the league for the week. You are up to date on most of the league news and happenings. My next post will be on Tuesday for your weekly top ten.

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