NFL

Super Bowl 2020: Sherman slams NFL 'hypocrisy' amid CBA talks

By Sports Desk January 29, 2020

Richard Sherman accused the NFL and team owners of putting a "price tag" on player safety in pushing for a 17-game regular season.

Plans to expand the fixture schedule have proved an obstacle in ongoing negotiations over a new collective bargaining agreement (CBA).

The existing deal expires at the end of next season and NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has insisted player welfare continues to be a priority amid "incredibly productive dialogue" with the NFL Players Association (NFLPA).

Sherman, an NFLPA vice-president, remains unconvinced, believing talks will drag on unless the league backs down.

"I don't think it's something the players are interested in, honestly," the San Francisco 49ers cornerback said ahead of Sunday's Super Bowl against the Kansas City Chiefs.

"If that's the point they're negotiating on, I think these negotiations are going to go a lot longer than anticipated.

"It's odd to me, and it's always odd, when you hear player safety is their biggest concern. And they're really standing up for player safety, player safety, player safety, but it seems like player safety has a price tag.

"Player safety up to the point of hey, 17 games makes us this much money so we really don't care how safe they are, if you're going to pay us this much money to play another game.

"That's the part that's really concerning for us as a union and us as players. They think that players have a price tag on their health and I don't think we're in the same ball park in that regard. Players have been more aware of player safety and longevity and life after football."

Sherman believes the NFL intends to use the extended season as a bridge to an even longer 18-game schedule, forcing players to "risk their bodies".

"That's what's so ridiculous about it, and nobody calls them out, nobody calls out the hypocrisy," he continued.

"I'm hoping that one day people will be brave enough to call out the hypocrisy of saying hey, we really care about player safety, but hey we always want you to play an extra game and put your body on the line and risk your career."

Related items

  • Slater: Standards don't change for Patriots after Brady exit Slater: Standards don't change for Patriots after Brady exit

    New England Patriots wide receiver Matthew Slater insisted the standards remain the same for the storied NFL franchise, despite the loss of Tom Brady.

    Brady swapped the Patriots for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers via free agency, after winning six Super Bowl titles in Foxborough.

    The exit of the legendary quarterback following a glorious two-decade run in New England leaves an obvious void, but Slater backed his team to step up.

    "I don't think the goals change at all. The standard doesn't change at all. The pillars that we stand upon, they don't change at all," the 34-year-old told reporters on a conference call on Monday.

    "If you go into the season with a defeatist mindset, then you can't expect to be successful. We have a great opportunity. We have a lot of good football players. We have a tremendous coaching staff. ... We have to go into the season expecting more from ourselves than anyone outside the building expects from us.

    "We have to go in with the same drive, the same focus, the same determination. If we don't, you shouldn't even step foot in the building, because we're already going to be beat."

    On Brady's departure, Slater – a three-time Super Bowl champion – added: "When you talk about Tom and everything he's meant to this organisation, and our team, a lot of our identity over the last 20 years has been centred around him. Any time you transition away from a player like that, it's a tall task.

    "You have to find a way to deal with that personally and process it. I think as a team, obviously, we're going to have to process that Tom is gone. Do it in a healthy way, and be able to move on.

    "We're going to have to be able to find a new identity for ourselves. I think part of that identity is going to be built upon things we've always stood for and will continue to stand for as long as this organisation is led by the people it's led by. That's going to be selflessness, hard work, doing what's best for the football team, serving one another, not having any level of expectation that things are going to be handed to us."

  • Drew Brees' rattlesnake encounter leaves Sean Payton wanting more social distancing Drew Brees' rattlesnake encounter leaves Sean Payton wanting more social distancing

    Drew Brees might not have to dodge defensive linemen and free blitzers any time soon, but Sean Payton would rather he steered clear of rattlesnakes too.

    Veteran quarterback Brees recently agreed a new two-year deal to return to the New Orleans Saints, who have suffered playoff heartache in three successive seasons under Payton.

    However, the quarterback-and-head-coach duo appear primed for another run at a Super Bowl next season having delivered the franchise's first Lombardi Trophy a decade ago.

    Yet given the importance of Brees - the NFL's all-time leader for passing yardage, pass completions and touchdowns thrown, Saints fans would rather he avoided any potential dangers this offseason.

    The 41-year-old uploaded a picture of a rattlesnake onto his Instagram account alongside the caption: "The baby rattlesnakes were out today... Saw them on the late afternoon walk with the dogs."

    At a time when people the world over are being encouraged to remain at home and limit their social interactions, the thought of Brees having a close shave with a snake prompted his head coach Payton to offer some advice.

    In a reply to Brees on Twitter, Payton wrote: "Let's find a different route. Ok?" 

    Payton was the first person in the NFL known to have tested positive for coronavirus when it was revealed he had COVID-19 on March 19.

    Less than a week later he said he had been "cleared" of the illness and was "doing well".

  • Tom Brady pitched himself to Bucs in free agency, says GM Tom Brady pitched himself to Bucs in free agency, says GM

    Tom Brady may have won six Super Bowl rings, but Jason Licht has revealed the quarterback still felt the need to state his case to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during free agency.

    Veteran Brady chose Tampa Bay as his next destination after bringing an end to a glorious two-decade run in New England, where he added six Lombardis to the Patriots' trophy cabinet.

    The Buccaneers have not been to the playoffs for 12 successive seasons but general manager Licht, a former Patriots staffer, and head coach Bruce Arians did not need to pitch Tampa Bay as an ideal landing spot for Brady.

    Instead, Licht has detailed how 42-year-old quarterback Brady tried to sway the Buccaneers' top brass in a phone call on March 18, the first day of free agency.

    "We had a great conversation - Bruce and I - we talked to him for over an hour and a half," Licht told ESPN.

    "And he made it clear in the conversation that he was very, very interested.

    "It was almost like a recruitment on his part, telling us why it would make sense for him to come to Tampa Bay. The next call we made, we signed him, but it was at that phone call that we realised, that we felt like we had him."

    In moving on from Jameis Winston, who led the NFL in passing yardage in 2019, to Tom Brady, the Buccaneers are going from a gunslinger to a far more risk-adverse QB.

    However, there have been fears that Brady, who turns 43 in August, does not possess the requisite arm strength to thrive in Arians' offensive system, which favours taking big shots downfield.

    Arians believes Brady still fits the bill for that type of quarterback, and Licht sees no sign of decline either.

    "The tape showed to us that he had plenty of arm," Licht added.

    "In fact, we thought that he had an ideal arm for Bruce in his system.

    "He can still throw it deep. We felt like the mobility was still the same as he's always had, which, he's never been able to outrun anybody, but he certainly is good in the pocket in terms of eluding pressure and with his poise and his instincts.

    "We did not see a decline in his arm talent whatsoever. And, in fact, we feel like he could still play for over two years for us, and hopefully that's the case."

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.