NFL is going to study making narrower uprights. The Toronto Sun talked to Dean Blandino, the NFL’s senior vice president of officiating, who confirmed that the league is looking into putting microchips in footballs in order to study how close they travel to the uprights. For now, the testing will be limited to preseason games, but could be expanded to Thursday games and others. Once the NFL has enough data, the competition committee will take up the issue next spring.
NFL bigwigs thinking the kicking game is too easy is not new. Last year the league moved extra points back to the 15-yard line. It worked; kickers missed a total of 71 attempts after missing just eight the year before. The NFL declared it a success, but now it appears they might not be done.
You know what would eliminate the headache of narrowed uprights and longer extra points? Going for two. Just do it.
BREAKING DOWN THE FRANCHISE TAG DEALS (AND NON-DEALS): On the latest edition of SB Nation's NFL podcast, Stephen White and I are digging into the unique situations for the players who did and didn't get deals at last Friday's deadline. Be sure to subscribe on iTunes.
MADDEN DREAMS COME TRUE: NFL teams are seriously thinking about signing contracts with pro gamers. At least three NFL franchises are considering offering a contract to some of the top Madden NFL pro gamers to represent their franchise at Madden tourneys.
HOW THE JETS & WILKERSON GOT A DEAL DONE: Behind Jets’ Mo Wilkerson deal: How hasty emails, calls sealed it. It started to sink in for Muhammad Wilkerson and his camp last weekend that a long-term contract with the Jets was not going to happen. Five days later, Wilkerson signed a five-year, $86 million deal with the Jets, shocking the NFL. Here's how things turned around. Wilkerson is expected to begin training camp on the PUP list.
WENTZ ON THE BENCH: Doug Pederson says Carson Wentz will likely be inactive Week 1. There's taking it slow with a young quarterback, and then there's this.
ARIAN FOSTER COMING BACK? The Dolphins are scheduled to workout Arian Foster on Monday. Foster also has interest from the Lions.
FOOTBALL DREAM TEAM: Here's what an Olympic football dream team would look like. Aaron Rodgers would be a nice backup quarterback.
FINDING ANOTHER COUSINS: Washington's brass believes they can find another Kirk Cousins, if they need to. Guest writing at the MMQB this week, Mike Florio reveals that Cousins wanted at least $44 million guaranteed, but Washington had a perfectly good reason for waiting to talk about a long-term deal. In fact, they may not even approach the subject until 2018.
BRADY & THE UNION WILL KEEP FIGHTING: Brady has authorized NFLPA to continue his appeal. The NFLPA has to take this thing to the Supreme Court, if the court will hear the case. It gives the union the chance to get Goodell out of the arbitrary discipline process and reduce his powers ahead of the next CBA. It's something they'd have a much harder time getting at the bargaining table.
CONCERNED IN SEATTLE: Could this be the last year for Pete Carroll and John Schneider in Seattle? The Seahawks haven't done anything on the contract front with their head coach and GM, and ESPN's John Clayton is wondering if both men could bolt after the 2016 season. More specifically, he speculated about Carroll leaving for Los Angeles to replace perpetual mediocrity machine Jeff Fisher.
SUPER BOWL FAVORITES: Patriots are still Super Bowl favorites even though Tom Brady is suspended. A little suspension can’t stop the Patriots from being the NFL’s best team.
BORTLES IS LEARNING: Blake Bortles reached out to Aaron Rodgers, Carson Palmer for advice. The Jaguars' young quarterback is reaching out to some of the top quarterbacks in the NFL to figure out how he can take that next step.
BEST TO THE OLYMPICS: Former Lions running back Jahvid Best named to St. Lucia Olympic team. The former Lions running back is resurrecting his athletic career as a track and field competitor.
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