NFL owners may trim draft
NASHVILLE, Tenn. ” If Titans coach Jeff Fisher had a vote, he’d favor trimming some time off the draft.
Fisher, co-chair of the NFL’s rules committee, won’t be part of the NFL owners’ talks Tuesday with commissioner Roger Goodell about shortening selection times in the first and second rounds of the league’s draft. But he has been part of discussions with Goodell about picking up the pace on draft day.
“I think we could arrive at a good number of minutes whether it be 10 for the first round or seven for the second. I think it would work. I would be willing to give it a shot,” Fisher said Monday.
The topic of trimming the current 15 minutes for a first-round selection and 10 during the second came up only days after the NFL endured its longest first round ever last month ” 6 hours, 8 minutes.
Goodell called members of the competition committee, and the committee has had a few conference calls on the subject. The commissioner will discuss the topic with NFL owners at their spring meeting in Nashville, a few miles from the Titans’ headquarters.
“Teams just typically use all their time, and I don’t think it would affect your ability to execute trades, not only picks, but also players,” Fisher said. “That’s the thing that’s being examined right now. “
This one-day meeting is for owners only. A final decision on trimming the draft isn’t expected Tuesday.
The owners will have a major vote on the agenda. They will award the 2011 Super Bowl to Indianapolis, North Texas or Glendale, Ariz., which is hosting the game Feb. 3 in the Arizona Cardinals’ new stadium.
Tampa hosts in 2009 followed by a return to South Florida in 2010.
Indianapolis and North Texas are the favorites, and both are tapping into star power to make the 15-minute pitch to owners Tuesday morning, with Colts coach Tony Dungy and Hall of Famer Roger Staubach, chairman of the Texas committee.
Dungy will be joined by Tony George, chief executive officer of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and Tom Jernstedt, executive vice president of the NCAA.
“Tony obviously is such a great representative for our franchise and the league, but so is Roger,” Colts owner Jim Irsay said.
“It’s going to be competitive just like all of our games, and I know whoever gets it is going to be a deserving city. And we can’t forget Arizona as well. I think they’re very much in the mix as well. It’s going to be competitive, and we’re just going to do our best and hope things turn out our way.”
Indianapolis is using cash, at least $20 million already committed, and touting the city’s history of hosting Final Fours, the Indianapolis 500 and the new domed stadium that opens before the 2008 season.
North Texas will counter with a stadium opening in 2009 that can seat up to 100,000 in the Dallas area. Staubach was flying in Monday night, and he isn’t ready to call it a two-bid race with Arizona trying to add a third Super Bowl. Tempe hosted in 1996.
“I’m not privy to say how much they’re in the running, but Indy definitely will be formidable,” Staubach said.
“We’re really going to have the best bid. I really believe that based on the resources we have to be able to deliver the bid.”
But Irsay has been lobbying his fellow owners, even reminding them the vote is on this agenda. He reminded reporters the Colts will celebrate 40 years as a franchise in 2011 and that Indianapolis failed on its previous bid, losing out to Minneapolis for 1992.
“You have to be a good partner over the years, and I think that’s the biggest part about what I think will get us over the hump is it is our time and we have waited our turn,” Irsay said.
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