Patriots

NFL releases proposal hoping to win favor

NFL releases proposal hoping to win favor

By Tom E. CurranThe NFL is going all-out to win the hearts of the public in this labor battle. Just as important - creating division among the players. To those two ends, the NFL released Friday night details of their proposal to the players. The first point in the proposal saying that the NFL accepted the NFLPA's proposed cap of 161 million in 2014 is sure to make the eyes of players not in the room widen a little bit. The salary cap in 2009 was 130 million. A source on the players side told me, however, that the owners proposed to roll the salary cap in 2011 back to the level of 2007 (109 million). Here's the NFL's summary. SUMMARY OF NFL PROPOSAL1. We more than split the economic difference between us, increasing our proposed cap for 2011 significantly and accepting the Unions proposed cap number for 2014 (161 million per club).2. An entry level compensation system based on the Unions rookie cap proposal, rather than the wage scale proposed by the clubs. Under the NFL proposal, players drafted in rounds 2-7 would be paid the same or more than they are paid today. Savings from the first round would be reallocated to veteran players and benefits.3. A guarantee of up to 1 million of a players salary for the contract year after his injury the first time that the clubs have offered a standard multi-year injury guarantee.4. Immediate implementation of changes to promote player health and safety bya. Reducing the off-season program by five weeks, reducing OTAs from 14 to 10, and limiting on-field practice time and contact;b. Limiting full-contact practices in the preseason and regular season; andc. Increasing number of days off for players.5. Commit that any change to an 18-game season will be made only by agreement and that the 2011 and 2012 seasons will be played under the current 16-game format.6. Owner funding of 82 million in 2011-12 to support additional benefits to former players, which would increase retirement benefits for more than 2000 former players by nearly 60 percent.7. Offer current players the opportunity to remain in the player medical plan for life.8. Third party arbitration for appeals in the drug and steroid programs.9. Improvements in the Mackey plan, disability plan, and degree completion bonus program.10. A per-club cash minimum spend of 90 percent of the salary cap over three seasons..AOLWebSuite .AOLPicturesFullSizeLink height: 1px; width: 1px; overflow: hidden; .AOLWebSuite a color:blue; text-decoration: underline; cursor: pointer .AOLWebSuite a.hsSig cursor: default

Patriots cut ties with Cassius Marsh, sign Eric Lee to help front-seven

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Patriots cut ties with Cassius Marsh, sign Eric Lee to help front-seven

Cassius Marsh was brought to New England to help a depleted defensive end group and play in the kicking game. The Patriots wanted him badly enough that they parted with two draft picks -- a fifth and a seventh -- to acquire him in a trade with the Seahawks just before the start of the season. 

Less than three months later, they've decided to part ways with the 6-foot-4, 245-pounder. 

Marsh played in nine games for the Patriots this season, providing the team with an edge defender and someone with special-teams experience. He blocked a kick in Week 7 against the Falcons that earned him an enthusiastic attaboy from coach Bill Belichick. 

Coming off the edge, Marsh recorded one sack and 13 hurries. Against the run, he was used more sparingly, and he was one of the Patriots on the scene for Marshawn Lynch's 25-yard run in the second quarter on Sunday. He played in just two snaps in Mexico City after missing the previous week's game in Denver due to a shoulder injury. 

Without Marsh the Patriots remain thin at defensive end. In order to help bolster that spot, the corresponding move the Patriots made to fill the open spot on their 53-man roster was to sign defensive lineman Eric Lee off of the Bills practice squad. 

Lee entered the league with the Texans last season as an undrafted rookie out of South Florida. Listed at 6-foot-3, 260 pounds, Lee has bounced on and off of the Bills practice squad this season since being released by the Texans before this season.

The Patriots got a good look at Lee during joint practices last summer with the Texans at The Greenbrier in West Virginia. In the preseason game with the Texans that week, Lee played 40 snaps and according to Pro Football Focus he had two quarterback hurries. The Patriots have a history of snagging players they've practiced against, and with Lee, that trend continues

Belichick takes some heat for 'earthquake' comment

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Belichick takes some heat for 'earthquake' comment

Bill Belichick sounded less than enthused about traveling to Mexico to play a game. And his line about being "fortunate there was no volcano eruptions, earthquakes or anything else while we were down there," didn't exactly sit well with some folks south of the border.

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“Personally, I wouldn’t be in any big rush to do it again,” Belichick said on his weekly appearance on WEEI's "Dale and Holley with Keefe" show Monday. “Players did a great job dealing with all the challenges that we had to deal with. I think we’re fortunate there was no volcano eruptions, earthquakes or anything else while we were down there. I mean you have two NFL franchises in an area that I don’t know how stable the geological plates that were below us [were], but nothing happened so that was good.”

Pancho Vera of ESPN Mexico took exception to Belichick's comment on Twitter, which, translated, called out the "ignorance of the genius of the NFL." More than 200 people were killed after a quake centered near Mexico City struck in September. 

Other Twitter users said, using Belichick's reasoning, they wondered if they'd be fortunate not to be killed or wounded in a mass shooting if they were to travel to the US:

Translated, the tweets read "I also have luck in Las Vegas I was not in a shooting" and "But you are right, I apply the same when I go to the U.S. and say I was fortunate I was not in some crazy shootout."