Good morning! The big story in the NFL world on Thursday is the latest concussion bombshell from the New York Times that reveals troubling flaws with the league's head injury research. More than 100 diagnosed concussions were left out of studies which were supposed to include every diagnosed concussion between 1996 and 2001, including six full years when the Cowboys didn't report ANY concussions.
Remember when Jerry Jones said there was no link between football and CTE?
That's problematic, not to mention dishonest, since the NFL has used that data to determine concussion rates for players as well as research the league has hidden behind to downplay the link between head injuries and long-term player health.
Hmmm, I wonder if there's another multi-billion dollar company that used faulty science to downplay the health risks of its product ... Yes, there is! And you won't be surprised to learn that the NFL and big tobacco share certain things like lobbyists and lawyers and more!
Speaking of doing things strictly for the public relations value, the NFL's annual meetings wrapped up Wednesday with a host of rule changes. Here are the five most important developments from the NFL's annual meeting.
CHOPPED: What the NFL's new chop block rule really means. The NFL passed a proposal banning all chop blocks, but there's still plenty of ambiguity with the new rule.
TOUCHBACKS: The league approved a rule that will move touchbacks from the 20-yard line to the 25-yard line. The idea behind it is to reduce the number of kick returns by removing some of the incentive receiving teams have for attempting a return out of the end zone. But it could have some unintended consequences.
PATRIOT TAKEDOWN: DeflateGate was all about the NFL sticking it to Patriots owner Robert Kraft. New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady is a mere casualty of owner squabbles, because there's nothing like a bunch of billionaires picking a fight.
CLEVELAND'S NEXT QB: RG3 to the Browns? It's just a matter of time according to one NFL insider.
DOLPHIN DOWNER: Is Miami considering trade for running back? They let Lamar Miller get away, which is consistent with their free agency strategy of letting their best players leave, but attempts to spend big on his replacement in free agency have been thwarted at every turn.
HELL YES: Bruce Arians is the high school guidance counselor we all wish we had. His candor at the NFL meetings is refreshing -- and rare.
COLTS GET A CB: Patrick Robinson signed a three-year, $14 million deal with the Colts. Robinson could be a nice addition to the secondary in Indianapolis.
BACK TO SCHOOL: Ranking all 32 NFL head coaches by how much we'd like them in college football. Some of these situations would be really fun. Many others would not.
GETTING THE BAND BACK TOGETHER: Eagles want to recapture the brotherhood they lost during the Chip Kelly era. Could the next leaders for Philadelphia be on defense?
SENSITIVE KID: Ron Rivera says Cam Newton didn't talk after the Super Bowl because he's a millennial. Rivera also says he thinks players who lose in the Super Bowl shouldn't have to speak with the media afterward.
ALTERNATE PATHS: What would NFL coaches be if they weren't coaching? If Ron Rivera wasn't a coach in the NFL, he says that he would be in the military or a police officer. See what other coaches in the NFC would be doing if they never fell in love with the game.
TRADE RUMORS: Don't be surprised if Eagles trade up for QB Carson Wentz. Are the Eagles, who already moved up five spots in the first round via a trade, looking to make another move up the board with their eye on a QB?