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02-02-2007, 02:25 PM

NFL Notebook: NFLPA concerned about all the off-field incidents

Friday, February 02, 2007
The Associated Press

A shooting death in Denver, a slew of arrests in Cincinnati.

It was a black-eye season for the NFL -- something not lost on its players union. The New Year's Day murder of Broncos cornerback Darrent Williams and the lengthy rap sheet compiled by the Bengals brought player conduct to the fore in recent months.

Soon, leaders at the NFL Players Association will invite a few stars to its offices to get their opinions on the challenges today's players face off the field, and how best to meet them.

"I'm concerned, concerned about all the issues we saw off the field," union president Troy Vincent said yesterday in Miami at the NFLPA's annual news conference. "We can't go home with the players, but I hold every player responsible for their actions. We need to sit down with the up-and-coming superstars. We need to hear from them and see what's making them tick."

In other news

NFLPA executive director Gene Upshaw addressed rumblings that owners might void the new collective bargaining agreement in 2008, possibly to restructure the way they and the union do business in the salary-cap era. Upshaw favored the move because it would bring about an uncapped year in 2010. The possibility of an uncapped 2007 season helped the sides hammer out a collective bargaining agreement last March.

The NFLPA extended Upshaw's contract through 2010. The former Raiders lineman has been in his role since 1982.


Ron Rivera is ready when the day arrives. Being a head coach in the NFL is the logical next step. When and where? He's not really sure, even though his name has surfaced for yet another vacancy, this time in Dallas. Chicago's defensive coordinator, in some ways, has been the victim of his own success. With his team in the Super Bowl in Miami, he's not allowed by league rules to interview until it's over.

Rivera's wife called him after Wednesday's practice and informed him of a report that he could be a candidate to replace Bill Parcells. There is also speculation he might be offered the Cowboy' defensive coordinator's job if the head coaching spot goes to Norv Turner.

"That's something I'd address if it ever came to fruition," Rivera said. "Right now, I can't tell you because I don't know anything."


An assault charge against cornerback Adam "Pac-Man" Jones was dropped because a Nashville, Tenn., judge ruled there were too many inconsistencies in the testimony of a woman who claimed Jones spit on her at a night club. Jones was accused of spitting in a woman's face after an argument Oct. 26 at Club Mystic.


Miami will be host to the New York Giants in a regular-season game in London later this year. A person familiar with the NFL's decision told The Associated Press that the Dolphins will move a home game overseas. The source spoke on condition of anonymity because the announcement will not be made until after commissioner Roger Goodell's Super Bowl news conference today.

The Dolphins and Giants will play in September or October, and the game will be scheduled around a bye week for both teams. The schedule won't be released until early spring.


San Francisco hired San Diego linebackers coach Greg Manusky as its defensive coordinator. Manusky, who played 12 seasons in the NFL, spent the past five years on the Chargers' staff.


A federal judge in Columbus, Ohio, ruled that Korey Stringer's widow can proceed with her negligence lawsuit against the NFL and equipment maker Riddell Inc. over his heatstroke death. Kelci Stringer sued the league and Riddell after her husband's death in 2001, claiming the NFL hadn't done enough to insure that equipment used by players protected them from injuries or deaths caused by heat-related illnesses. Korey Stringer, 335-pound lineman for the Minnesota Vikings, died from heatstroke after he practiced in the sweltering heat and humidity, which pushed his body temperature to 108.8 degrees.