When asked about a New York Daily News article in which "several key [New York] Jets players and members of the organization" criticized the work ethic of quarterback Mark Sanchez, Nick Mangold bluntly replied: "If 'unnamed sources’ want to attack Mark, man up and put your name to it,” He may have thought he was just sticking up for a teammate, but Yahoo NFL columnist Dan Wetzel says Mangold's response and the glut of anonymous quotations in the piece eveal the real problem with how the Jets do business. NFL executives are supposed to be frustrated by players on their roster, but get to express it during the near constant self-review process that teams use to assess where they stand. That doesn't happen in New York, where owner Woody Johnson has fostered a culture where honest "self-scout analysis" is seen as an attempt to discredit and undermine both Sanchez and head coach Rex Ryan. "Any issue with Sanchez should have been raised in a team meeting, private conversation or, at the very least, in an on-the-record interview," explains Wetzel. "Here’s the thing, though: What if those people didn’t believe an internal discussion would’ve done any good and saw Daily News reporter Manish Mehta as the most effective outlet?" In a sports context, leaks happen because people have an agenda, yes, but also because there are certain things people don't want to hear about someone they have $50 million and much prestige in.. Wetzel adds: "[T]he fact that multiple players and team employees [criticized Sanchez]t anonymously could say as much about the culture of the Jets as the critics’ lack of courage." [Yahoo]
Major League Baseball owners have approved a two-year contract extension for commissioner Bud Selig, which will keep him in power and doing things people find fault with through 2014. His contract was set to expire at the end of this year, his 20th on the job. USA Today reports the new contract could pay Selig as much as $25 million a year, which is staggering, and should be the first question if anyone ever creates a game show called They Make What?! [Bloomberg]
The Patriot-News -- which has emerged as a sort of paper of record regarding the Penn State sex abuse investigation -- is reporting that former defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky watched the Nittany Lions defeat the University of Illinois on October 29 from former school president Graham Spanier's private box at Beaver Stadium. A Penn State spokesman is insisting "a search of the guest lists for the box for every Nittany Lions game during the last three seasons showed that Sandusky was never invited to the box," but the report is based on information provided to the paper by former Nittany Lions linebacker Brandon Short and "a source close to the Penn State board of trustees." Sandusky also apparently made an appearance he Nittany Lion Club, a VIP area on top of the stadium. The tickets were given to Sandusky by former Penn State athletic director Bill Curley, who has already been fired, but it's "another indication of the former assistant football coach’s full access to the campus even after Penn State officials were made aware of the state investigation." [The Patriot-News]
Former Tennessee Titans coach Jeff Fisher, the most wanted and desired man on this year's NFL coaching carousel, is apparently close to taking the Miami Dolphins job. St. Louis initially looked like the front runner for Fisher, but after he spending four hours at club headquarters interviewing, it leaked that Fisher was worried the Rams would relocate to Los Angeles in 2015. That could have just been a negotiating ploy, but one very real factor is going to be money. Rams owner Stan Kroenke reportedly won't give Fisher an annual salary higher than $6.5 million, while the National Football Post reports the Dolphins offer is for five years and worth "upwards of $8 million annually," which would make Fisher the highest paid coach in the NFL. For good measure, the team is also going to give him the title of executive vice president. An announcement could come as early as Thursday evening. [NFL.com]
Robert Griffin III, the Baylor University quarterback who is frequently and accurately described as a right-handed Steve Young, has announced he'll skip his senior season to enter the NFL draft. This was not a surprise, since Griffin is projected to be a top-3 pick. Meanwhile, the city of Washington has already begun the process of hitching their wagon, pro football-wise, to Griffin's star. [AP]
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.