Revenue-sharing had been a cause of much consternation and internal bickering among NFL owners of late. The basic issue was how much large-market franchises (like New England) should contribute to smaller-market clubs (say, Jacksonville) to help maintain a level financial playing field throughout the League.
It was believed by many NFL observers that the owners would not be able to come to an agreement without Commissioner Roger Goodell stepping in. But on the first full day of the Annual Meeting in Phoenix, NFL owners approved a short-term revenue-sharing plan by an overwhelming 30-2 margin. The Kraft family helped bring about the near-consensus.
In an interview with The Boston Globe, Patriots Chairman and CEO Robert Kraft said, "I think there is a feeling from a number of us that we appreciate what a great league we have, and how special it is...I think everybody thought it would have to be decided by the commissioner, that there was no way we could do this."
As for the role of his son, Pats President Jonathan Kraft, in the revenue-sharing agreement, the elder Kraft revealed, "The guidelines he set up of how teams would participate was followed in this setup. He helped lay the groundwork for this."
The NFL also announced part of its 2007 national television schedule Monday. New England was thought to be in contention for either the Thursday night opener versus Indianapolis, or a Thanksgiving Day tilt with Dallas. Find out which teams were chosen for those games instead.
The Globe also has an update on running back Laurence Maroney, who's recovering from offseason shoulder surgery, while the Sun Chronicle goes in detail about extra Draft picks the Patriots received from the League on Monday.
It's no secret that New England has been a significant player in free agency this year. But what may surprise you is who's praising the Pats for their forward-thinking approach. Check out the Boston Herald for that entertaining feature. And after signing two former Tennessee Volunteer wide receivers this month, is another one on the way in next month's NFL Draft? That's the topic of another Herald piece today.
Plus, in The Providence Journal, you'll find a feature on two former Patriots who are now tackling the restaurant business.