Ejections likely to get review; catches not
INDIANAPOLIS — Stephen Jones believes the NFL will crack down on flagrant personal fouls next season.
He's just not sure what it will take for a player to get thrown out of a game.
After spending most of Tuesday inside an Indianapolis hotel, Jones emerged from an NFL competition committee meeting and acknowledged that he expects the debate over ejecting players for multiple personal fouls to be resolved as early as next month's owners meetings in Boca Raton, Florida.
The debate is all about the details.
"I think it's not really about how many, it's what personal fouls should be included," said Jones, the Dallas Cowboys' executive vice president for player personnel. "There's more to it than that (a number)."
It's yet another aspect of the growing concern over player safety in football.
New concerns emerged in December when New York Giants receiver Odell Beckham Jr. was called for three personal fouls during a loss to the Carolina Panthers. Beckham played aggressively throughout the game, but some of his penalties were so flagrant it spurred a debate whether players with more than one offense in a game should automatically be ejected.
And now that everyone is in Indianapolis for the league's annual scouting combine, which begins Wednesday, the topic is front and center.
"We've had preliminary discussions," Atlanta Falcons president and committee chairman Rich McKay said. "But it takes some amount of time to develop something like this."
The other big issue for the competition committee on this year's agenda in Indy is a retread: the definition of a catch. Over the past several years, fans, players and even coaches have argued vehemently they have had a hard time understanding the rule.
Yet Jones has seen no interest from committee members about making a change next season.
"We've gone over it again, and I think the way we have the rule now certainly makes it a lot easier for it to be consistent with the officials," Jones said. "Right now, I don't see anything changing."
Ruling brings bigger salary cap in 2016
NEW YORK — The NFL's salary cap will get an additional boost of more than $1.5 million per team next season following an arbitration victory by the players union.
An additional $50 million or so will be available for teams to spend. The official salary cap has not been determined, but before the ruling it was expected to rise by at least $10 million from the $143.5 million ceiling of last season.
The arbitrator's ruling was made last week but not announced until Tuesday.
The NFL calls the adjustment a technical accounting matter. The NFL Players Association contends that the league miscalculated or was hiding money due to the players.
"Our union will always look to enforce our economic rights under the collective bargaining agreement," the NFLPA said in a statement.
The issue was whether specific revenue the league called exempt from being applied toward the salary cap actually should be counted.
A new salary cap figure will be announced before the NFL's business year begins March 9. If it increases by more than $11 million, it would be the biggest rise since 2006, when the cap went from $85.5 million to $102 million.
In other news
Chargers: The team on Tuesday proposed building a football stadium in downtown San Diego with an expanded convention center, clashing with Mayor Kevin Faulconer, who backs another site.
The Chargers will partner with JMI Realty, which is owned by former San Diego Padres owner John Moores and has significant holdings near the convention center.
The Chargers plan to seek voter approval in November for the downtown stadium and convention center expansion, which would be financed partly by an increase in hotel room taxes.