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Thursday, March 02, 2006

Vince Young and The Wonderlic - Is Profootballtalk.com Making Fun of His Race? Sure Seems So

Hey, I like the information that Profootballtalk.com -- an NFL news website -- issues. Granted, much of it is from the newspapers online, but they do dig and ask questions.

But their cartoons, which appear fresh everyday, seem to take on a racist tone.

At first, I wondered if I was being too sensitive to the matter of race with respect to this cartoon:

As I walk around the site, the Profootballtalk.com Message Boards ask people not to be racist. So, I give them a pass.

But to test my view, I clicked around the Profootballtalk.com site and found this Al Davis cartoon within seconds:

I think what's up here is a simple case of cultural insentivity. What's the deal with showing a picture -- doctored -- of Al Davis shaking hands with Chef from South Park? Well, they're obviously making fun of the hiring of Art Shell as Raiders Head Coach. But it also seems like a kind of reach back into the past where blacks were made fun of by using cartoons of us with large eyes and super dark skin.

Look, the photo was doctored to depict this image.

I never see Profootballtalk.com lampooning Italians in the mafia, or Irish drunks, so why the focus on blacks?

Just a question -- a good one.

Colts over cap; cuts are possible - Indy Star

Colts also signed LB Gary Brackett, who caused the fumble by Jerome Bettis, and the return that nearly won the game for Indy.

Arbitrator's ruling puts team $6 million over limit

By Mike Chappell

A ruling Wednesday by an NFL arbitrator specifically regarding the contracts of quarterback Peyton Manning and wide receiver Marvin Harrison could result in several significant player cuts by the Indianapolis Colts as they attempt to comply with the league's projected 2006 salary cap of $95 million.

"They're in a tough spot,'' said Mark Levin, director of salary cap and agent administration with the NFL Players Association.
Instead of being sufficiently under the cap so they could re-sign some of their remaining free agents without cutting players under contract, the Colts are $6 million over the cap after the decision by special master Stephen Burbank, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania Law School.
Burbank's decision could be a devastating blow to the Colts' financial planning. That could change, however, if the NFL's owners and players reach an 11th-hour deal to extend the collective bargaining agreement.
At issue, for now, are roster bonuses of $9 million due Manning and $10 million due Harrison. The Colts intended to implement a normal bookkeeping maneuver that converts a roster bonus into a signing bonus and prorating it over the next four years. That would have lowered Manning's '06 cap number from $17.766 million to $10 million and Harrison's cap hit from $14.4 million to $6.9 million.
Suddenly, whether the team can re-sign running back Edgerrin James, one of 11 players who will become an unrestricted free agent Friday, might be the least of its worries. If Manning and Harrison count a combined $32 million against the cap, the Colts probably will have to jettison several players.
In the current climate, owner Jim Irsay said "it's going to be very difficult to keep Edgerrin and probably difficult to keep (starting linebacker) David Thornton."
Complicating every team's attempt at dealing with their rosters and the salary cap is the lack of a new collective bargaining agreement. Negotiations broke down Tuesday in New York. Barring a last-minute resolution, the new league year will open Friday without an extension.
An extension likely would include a higher salary cap, topping $100 million, which could help alleviate the Colts' cap problem.
The lack of an extension carries restrictive guidelines regarding player contracts, including the conversion of roster bonuses. According to NFL spokesman Greg Aiello, Burbank ruled such conversions are prohibited under the labor agreement if they violate the so-called "30 percent rule,'' which keeps base salaries from increasing more than 30 percent each year over the first year of the contract.
The special master is an arbitrator provided by the labor agreement and approved by both the owners and players.
It's believed a special master's ruling is final, but Irsay said the issue is far from resolved.
"We'll know more in a week or so,'' he said. ". . . If there are any disagreements internally on contract language, I feel we'll be OK there. Whether there will be an extended dispute with any of our guys remains to be seen. We feel that we're going to prevail and that we're in good shape.''

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