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Legal news and analysis of the NFL

Setting the Record Straight – What The Cancellation of the Washington Redskins Trademarks Really Means

For the second time in 15 years, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has cancelled the federal registrations for six trademarks of the Washington Redskins on grounds that the team name is disparaging to Native Americans. The amount of incorrect information circulating about this decision is astounding. Particularly during the hours immediately following the decision, multiple major news sources were issuing incorrect or misleading reports about the impact of the USPTO’s decision. This article will attempt to set the record straight by laying out the complete history of the case and it’s reasonably certain future. No opinion on whether the name should be changed will be given.

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Drafting for the Bottom Line

The revamped rookie wage scale implemented under the current NFL collective bargaining agreement allows business incentives to influence draft choices. When first round draft picks were walking away with signing bonuses in the tens of millions of dollars this would not have been possible. The financial impact of a rookie would have done little to offset their contractual demands. But things have changed. Theoretically, if the average price of the 2,300 season tickets the Browns have sold since drafting Manziel is $1,000 then the financial impact of drafting him is approximately $2.3 million. This amounts to more than 25% of the approximate rookie contract Manziel will sign covering his first four years in the League. Perhaps in the near future teams will not only commission a study on the analytics of potential draft picks but their economic impact as well.

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Don’t Tread on Me: LaVar Arrington Can and Should Refer to Himself as a “Redskins Great”

Dan Snyder and the Redskins managed to stay out of the headlines for a few days, as they were without a first round pick for the 25th time in 79 drafts. Perhaps this motivated the team to send LaVar Arrington a cease-and-desist letter about a flier for his football tackling camps that refers to him as a “Redskins Great” and includes a photo of him in a Redskins uniform.

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Life After Hernandez: How the Potential for Off-Field Incidents Impacts Employment Opportunities

An in-depth look at how the new NFL CBA allows teams to minimize financial risk when signing players with "off-field issues."

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ON FOOTBALL AND TAXES: THE PUSH TO REVOKE THE NFL’S TAX-EXEMPT STATUS

You may have never heard of Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R) of Utah. If you have heard of him, then you likely know his general stance on taxes. I have heard of him…in fact, I met him once in Washington, D.C. And I can tell you from personal experience, a more ardent supporter of the anti-tax Tea Party movement there is not. But Chaffetz’s general stance on taxes did not stop him from recently introducing H.R. 3965, a bill which would revoke the tax exempt status of all professional sports organizations, including the National Football League, National Hockey League, and the Professional Golfers Association.

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A Return to the Past?

Stan Kroenke, Owner of the St. Louis Rams recently purchased real estate in Los Angeles. Does it signal the Rams return to L.A.? If so, what are the hoops and hurdles that must be jumped through and over in order for the original L.A. football team to return?

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Sam I Am: NFL Draft Prospect Aims to Break Barriers, Become the First Openly Gay Athlete Active in a Major U.S. Professional Sport

Throughout history, the law has been used to effect change in our culture. The law acts as the key that unlocks society’s box of possibilities. For that reason and more, Michael Sam and other players who wish to actively participate in the NFL as an openly gay man (or woman) are advised to acclimate themselves with relevant state and federal law, as well as the NFL’s Collective Bargaining Agreement (“CBA”).

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Tight End, Or Not Tight End: That is Graham’s Question

Jimmy Graham, the all-world “tight end” of the New Orleans Saints, who resembles a giraffe with a gym membership far more closely than a human, is set to become an unrestricted free agent this March. The Saints organization, however, has predictably vowed to prevent Graham from donning a different uniform this fall, even if that entails hitting Graham with the Franchise Tag.

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Super Bowl Saturday?

The Super Bowl is on Sunday. It always has been, and it always will? Every year there is a new push to make the day after the Super Bowl a national holiday. But so far, no such luck. I want to offer up a second possibility. Host the Super Bowl on Saturday. Think about it. No work the next day means no worrying about “over-consumption” (at least not from a hangover standpoint, you should never drink and drive), and no worrying about getting to bed on time.

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If Tomlin Summoned His Inner Polamalu… And Brought Jones Down

Mike Tomlin, the 2010 Lombardi Trophy-hoisting head coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers, uncharacteristically thrust himself into the limelight during a Thanksgiving night game against the rival Baltimore Ravens.  Tomlin seemingly attempted to impede kick return extraordinaire Jacoby Jones’ path to the end zone by standing extremely close to the playing …

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