NFC North: AFC West

Countdown Live: 2013 NFL draft, Rds. 4-7

April, 27, 2013
4/27/13
10:00
AM ET
Join our ESPN.com NFL experts for Rounds 4-7 of the 2013 NFL draft.

Contribute your thoughts and questions beginning at noon ET. See you there.

Countdown Live: 2013 NFL draft, Rds. 2-3

April, 26, 2013
4/26/13
4:00
PM ET
Join our ESPN.com NFL experts for Rounds 2 and 3 of the 2013 NFL draft.

Contribute your thoughts and questions beginning at 6 p.m. ET. See you there.

Countdown Live: 2013 NFL draft, Round 1

April, 25, 2013
4/25/13
5:00
PM ET
Join our ESPN.com NFL experts for the first round of the 2013 NFL draft.

We'll be analyzing every pick from 1 to 32. We'll get started an hour early at 7 p.m. ET, so submit your questions and comments and we'll see you there.

Live: ESPN.com #bloggermock draft

April, 23, 2013
4/23/13
11:45
AM ET
Join our ESPN.com NFL experts as they play general manager for their divisions and execute a 2013 first-round mock draft.

Contribute your thoughts and questions beginning at noon ET. You can also participate via Twitter using the hashtag #bloggermock. See you there.

Peyton Manning/Adrian PetersonGetty ImagesWho is more derserving of the NFL Comeback Player of the Year award: Denver quarterback Peyton Manning or Minnesota running back Adrian Peterson.

Hopefully you followed along earlier Wednesday when, after a brief technological issue, I chatted via Twitter (@ESPN_NFCNblog) with AFC West colleague Bill Williamson (@ESPN_AFCWest) about the stunning comebacks this season of Minnesota Vikings tailback Adrian Peterson and Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning.

SportsNation

Who is your favorite for NFL Comeback Player of the Year?

  •  
    42%
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    58%

Discuss (Total votes: 65,264)

I was thrilled to see how many of you joined in. If you missed it, you can scroll through the archived chat in the embedded module below. Feel free to vote in the SportsNation poll in this post as well if you have a strong opinion on whether Peterson or Manning should be the NFL's Comeback Player of the Year.

The argument for Manning would note his neck injury was serious enough to sideline him for an entire season. There wasn't a ton of agreement, to say the least, that he would ever play again. He has not only played but is leading the NFL in passer rating.

We all knew Peterson would return at some point. We just didn't anticipate he could rehabilitate a torn ACL and MCL in a single offseason, a total of 260 days between injury and his first game -- and then pick up with the best 10-game start to a season of his career. Playing on a rebuilding team with an unproven quarterback, a rebuilt offensive line and the NFL's most conservative passing game, Peterson is on pace for an 1,800-yard season.

NFL: Week 5 knee-jerk reactions

October, 9, 2012
10/09/12
2:10
PM ET
You’ve heard the chatter by the sports pundits and on the talk shows. Heck, you may have even heard it here. So are the knee-jerk reactions about your team based in reality? Our NFL bloggers weigh in.

NFC Knee-jerk Reactions | AFC Knee-jerk Reactions

Week 5 NFL inactives

October, 7, 2012
10/07/12
11:30
AM ET
Here are today’s inactives from around the NFL. Click here for Tristan H. Cockcroft's inactives analysis for fantasy football.

NFL: Week 4 knee-jerk reactions

October, 2, 2012
10/02/12
11:50
AM ET
You’ve heard the chatter by the sports pundits and on the talk shows. Heck, you may have even heard it here. So are the knee-jerk reactions about your team based in reality? Our NFL bloggers weigh in.

NFC Knee-jerk Reactions | AFC Knee-jerk Reactions

Week 4 NFL inactives

September, 30, 2012
9/30/12
11:31
AM ET
Here are today’s inactives from around the NFL. Click here for Tristan H. Cockcroft's inactives analysis for fantasy football.

NFL: Week 3 knee-jerk reactions

September, 25, 2012
9/25/12
1:40
PM ET
You’ve heard the chatter by the sports pundits and on the talk shows. Heck, you may have even heard it here. So are the knee-jerk reactions about your team based in reality? Our NFL bloggers weigh in.

NFC Knee-jerk Reactions | AFC Knee-jerk Reactions

Week 3 NFL inactives

September, 23, 2012
9/23/12
11:34
AM ET
Here are today’s inactives from around the NFL. Click here for Tristan H. Cockcroft's inactives analysis for fantasy football.

Week 2 NFL inactives

September, 16, 2012
9/16/12
11:16
AM ET
Here are today’s inactives from around the NFL. Click here for Tristan H. Cockcroft's inactives analysis for fantasy football.
In the union’s continuing attempt to take the bounty appeals decision out from under the auspices of NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, the NFLPA has filed a federal lawsuit in the Eastern District of Louisiana. This suit is on behalf of three of the four suspended players -- Scott Fujita, Will Smith and Anthony Hargrove. Jonathan Vilma has asked for similar relief in two lawsuits; the first of which -- his defamation lawsuit against Goodell -- Goodell moved to dismiss Thursday. The following is the essence of Thursday’s filing by the NFLPA:

Hillis
Hargrove
Fujita
Fujita
The suit is an application to overturn the suspensions issued by Goodell based on what the NFLPA claims to be inherent and unfair bias by Goodell and all others involved in the process. It states in part: “The investigation and arbitration process that the Commissioner’s public relations machinery touted as 'thorough and fair' has, in reality, been a sham."

Further, the NFLPA argues:
(1) The NFL violated the CBA by refusing to provide the players with access to critical documents or witnesses;
(2) Goodell launched a vast public relations campaign defending the punishments he intended to arbitrate, rendering him incurably and “evidently biased”; and
(3) Goodell lacked proper jurisdiction to rule on this case, as the system arbitrator -- law professor Stephen Burbank -- has exclusive jurisdiction to arbitrate the “pay-for-performance” conduct here.

The latter argument -- that this matter is a cap issue rather than a conduct issue -- was brought before Burbank last month and denied. It currently is on appeal to the NFL appeals panel, a group of three arbitrators still not formally constituted a year after its creation in the new collective bargaining agreement. Now, in addition to the appealing Burbank’s ruling, the union argues Goodell may not seize Burbank’s exclusive jurisdiction merely by labeling the matter "conduct detrimental."

The NFLPA claims it is not asking the court to "second guess" Goodell on the sufficiency of the NFL's evidence; rather, it is asking it to vacate the suspensions based on the "sham process from which it was born."

The suit’s basic argument states: "It becomes more apparent with each passing day … that the NFL’s objective was not to follow the CBA and provide a fair process, but to validate a biased investigation and to deprive the Players of any meaningful ability to defend themselves against a preordained result."

As I have discussed and written about here, my sense is this will be an uphill battle for the players. Goodell’s power over player conduct -- both the NFL and the system arbitrator have determined this to be conduct -- is well-established and secure in the new CBA. The issue of “fairness” is a relative one; it is the court of Goodell, not a court of law. Federal labor policy favors employers and especially employers resolving differences through a collectively bargained agreement rather than going outside that process into a court.

I admire the creativity and persistence of the NFLPA and its increasingly busy legal team -- the enduring theme of football this offseason is billable hours -- but ultimately they are trying to circumvent a process that they agreed to in the swirl of negotiations to achieve other gains in the CBA.

Week 17 NFL inactives

January, 1, 2012
1/01/12
11:30
AM ET


Here are today’s inactives from around the NFL.

Week 15 NFL inactives

December, 18, 2011
12/18/11
11:31
AM ET
Here are today’s inactives from around the NFL.

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