Referees-NFL labor dispute downgrades Goodell


Referees-NFL labor dispute downgrades Goodell

With the NFL and its officials about to come to an agreement, let us say thisoff the top:The owners lost. No matter how much money they saved, they lost.Roger Goodell lost. Big time. He has been downgraded by the public from AdmiredIntergalactic Constable to Highly Compensated Functionary as he became what heis paid to be the face of bad news so the owners dont have to be. He is nowa glorified Gary Bettman or David Stern, and not nearly as publicly adept asBud Selig.Let that one rattle your brain a minute. And then be sure to thank LanceEasley for making it all happen.Easley is the side judge who first concluded that Golden Tate really did defyrules and physics to catch the winning touchdown in Mondays Packers-SeahawksGamblers Giveaway. He is the guy who stood by the pile, peered in, and shothis arms up in the air like he just didnt care.And the nation melted down, and the owners and officials found a place to stopand rest after their tail-chase.Youd like to think the officials got everything they wanted, just so theleague would understand how important good officiating is. Not that the regularboys are blameless, but when you see the chaos that resulted from underpreparedofficials, you see how much better the real guys actually were.Now maybe the plan to increase depth will help, though a concerted effort tosimplify the rulebook and add yet another official or even two to help with theunconvered angles would help even more.For the most part, though, the league got kicked in the specials because itthought people wouldnt care about officials, and they were right, and wrong.People dont care about officials, but they care very deeply about officiating.At least they do when it lowers itself to the levels the league was apparentlycomfortable with until Monday.REWIND: NFL issues statement following blown call on Monday night
Will this serve as a deterrent the next time another league wants to squeeze afew dollars from its officiating corps? No. Owners think their competitivenatures matter too, and they cant compete by playing or coaching or evengeneral managing. Theyre not equipped or trained for it, and those who tryfail spectacularly. They can only compete at something theyre putatively good at in labor negotiations,and they consider it a win only when theyve hosed the employees. Thats whatthey tried to do here, and they failed, not because their offer was insulting,but because they presumed leverage they ultimately didnt have.RELATED: Dolich -- Referee pensions major sticking point in labor talks
Oh, they had the money and the power, but they didnt have the ability toreplace their officials with other officials, and they forgot that in sportsunlike nearly every other walk of life, the on-field personnel are the productyoure selling. Locking our players or refs is like car dealer trying to lowercosts by firing the cars.You cant play without players, and you cant keep them from killing each otherwithout officials who know what theyre doing. That was the lesson the ownersand their faithful ward Rog swallowed today, and it would never have happenedwithout Lance Easley. We owe him a level of gratitude that I expect we willnever be in the mood to pay. But at least he knows we are in his debt.Ray Ratto is a columnist for

49ers select CB Ahkello Witherspoon in third round of the 2017 NFL Draft

49ers select CB Ahkello Witherspoon in third round of the 2017 NFL Draft

Position: Cornerback
College: Colorado
Height: 6-2 3/4
Weight: 193
Selection: Third round, No. 66 overall

SANTA CLARA – The 49ers selected Colorado cornerback Ahkello Witherspoon in the third round with the No. 66 overall pick.

The 49ers were also scheduled to have the next pick, but traded the pick at No. 67 for the New Orleans Saints’ second-round pick in next year’s draft, as well as a seventh-round selection this year.

The Saints used that pick at No. 67 to select Tennessee running back Alvin Kamara.

Reuben Foster: Shoulder recovery on pace for training camp clearance

Reuben Foster: Shoulder recovery on pace for training camp clearance

SANTA CLARA – Linebacker Reuben Foster is likely to be a spectator when the 49ers hold their rookie minicamp next week.

But Foster said he is on pace to be fully cleared for football activity by the time the 49ers open training camp in late July. Recent national reports have suggested Foster would require another surgery on his right shoulder.

“That’s not accurate at all,” said Foster, who took part in a press conference on Friday after the 49ers selected him with the No. 31 overall pick in the draft on Thursday. “I’m fine. I’m on schedule.”

Foster said he sustained the tear of the labrum in his right shoulder during Alabama’s national semifinal game against Washington. He played in the championship game against Clemson with the injury.

He underwent surgery on his rotator cuff that forced him to sit out drills at the NFL scouting combine in February. Foster was sent home from Indianapolis after an argument with a hospital worker while he was waiting to undergo a physical.

There were reports Foster could require additional surgery after he went through the medical re-check in Indianapolis.

“I’m making big progress,” Foster said. “I’ll be limited in OTAs. Training camp, I’ll be full-go, but if it’s my decision, I think I can go now.”

Later, Foster said the 49ers have all of his medical information.

“I guarantee they have enough X-rays, exams, MRIs to know where I stand,” he said. “I had the surgery. They already knew how many weeks I was out.”

Foster dropped in the draft over apparent concerns about his shoulder and character issues. Alabama coach Nick Saban told on Thursday that Foster did not consult him before undergoing surgery.

"Look, the way we like for things to get handled, that didn't get handled," Saban said. "We have the best doctors in the world in Dr. (James) Andrews and Dr. (Lyle) Cain who operate on most NFL players and his agent chose to take him someplace else. I think (Andrews and Cain) have tremendous credibility.

"So, you know, all these choices and decisions that you make have consequences and I hate it for our players when they do it, but he didn't seek my advice in what he should do. So, if that was an issue, that was an issue. It shouldn't have been an issue but if it was, I don't really know much about it."