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Chargers’ Russell Okung Looking for Fully Guaranteed Contracts for Players

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As a member of the NFL Players Association executive committee, Los Angeles Chargers left tackle Russell Okung can be the catalyst for change, and he wants to make one, seeking fully guaranteed contracts for players.

“It’s pretty simple: How much risk are NFL players taking on in correlation to how much money that we’re actually getting that’s real cash?” Okung questioned, according to ESPN’s Eric D. Williams. “I think sometimes people are so swayed by whatever is put out in the media, and you sort of have this little caveat next to it that says guaranteed money. But even with that, there’s tons of ways for teams to offset guaranteed money so that it’s not guaranteed.

“So what we want to make sure is that every player that has the privilege to play in the NFL makes the most that they can in this game. It’s just so sad because there’s so many guys that have played in this game that is susceptible to high rates of injury and have nothing to show for it, and the next thing you know they’re a dementia case.”

Okung has a right to be upset. The NFL distributed more than $8 billion in national revenue in 2017, thanks mostly to their lucrative television deals, with each team pulling in $225 million in revenue, so, the money is certainly available to institute fully guaranteed contracts.

“I’m arguing against the whole CBA,” Okung said. “It’s flawed, and I think as things change and the media landscape changes, we have to think about things differently — that includes agents, players and unions, too.

“Players are serious about it — they’re understanding that this is going to be a pivotal time. I don’t think there will be any other time like this in history. This CBA will be the biggest ever. There’s nothing like this because you have cord cutting going on, so technology companies are going to be bidding for our rights. Just in TV revenue alone, we’re looking at $3 [billion] to $4 billion maybe. That’s insane. The money at stake is changing, and the way people are going to watch games is changing. Sports gambling is coming up, and that’s going to be a huge industry for sports teams.”

 

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AFC

Bengals Place Tyler Kroft On IR

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The Cincinnati Bengals have placed tight end Tyler Kroft on injured reserve, effectively ending his season, as he will be unable to return from a broken bone in his foot, as the team had hoped, according to ESPN’s Katherine Terrell.

In a corresponding move, the Bengals promoted linebacker Brandon Bell off of their practice squad to fill the roster spot made available when Kroft was sent to IR.

Kroft, who is in a contract year, is expected to be healthy in time for free agency in the spring.

Kroft hauled in 42 passes for 404 yards and seven touchdowns while filling in for Tyler Eifert in the 2017 season.

 

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AFC

Broncos’ Max Garcia Suffers Torn ACL

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Denver Broncos guard Max Garcia will miss the rest of the regular season after he suffered a torn ACL, according to 9News’ Mike Klis.

At the time of this report there were no details available pertaining to how or when Garcia tore his ACL, but the assumption is that he suffered the season ending injury sometime during practice this week.

Garcia complained of discomfort in his knee following practice on Thursday and an MRI revealed the ACL injury.

Garcia, 27, took over starting duties when Ronald Leary went down with injury.

 

 

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AFC

Ravens Designate Kenneth Dixon For Return

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The Baltimore Ravens have designated running back Kenneth Dixon for return from the injured reserve and he officially returned to practice on Friday, according to an official team announcement.

Dixon was initially placed on injured reserve back in early September after he suffered a knee injury during Week 1 action, but the team expected that he would be able to return to action later in the season.

While on injured reserve, Dixon served a six game suspension for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy.

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