Friday, July 21, 2023

Badger Countdown: Star linebacker wears number 44 with UW


Thu, Jul 20, 2023, 2:04 PM EDT·1 min read

The college football season is approaching and the Badgers are now 44 days away from their 2023 opener against Buffalo on Sept. 2 at Camp Randall. Luke Fickell and his coaching staff are entering year one at the helm and they’re expected to remain one of the best defenses in the nation.

One of the best linebackers in Wisconsin history, Chris Borland, wore number 44 while in Madison. A member of the Badgers from 2009-2013, Borland became a star in Madison.

He finished his Wisconsin career with 420 total tackles, including 17 sacks, while also recording three interceptions, nine forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries. The tackle total is good for sixth highest in program history and it’s the most since the turn of the century. Additionally, he won the 2013 Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year award.

Borland was selected in the third round (77th overall) of the 2014 NFL Draft by the San Francisco 49ers and recorded 108 tackles in his one and only NFL season.

Monday, July 17, 2023

Titans LB Ben Niemann 1 of 9 players to not miss a tackle in 2022


Shaun Calderon 

One of the sneakier additions of the offseason for the Tennessee Titans was the addition of veteran linebacker, Ben Niemann.

The former Arizona Cardinals linebacker is coming off a season in which he played in all 17 games for Arizona, starting in nine of them.

The Iowa product wasn’t dominant by any means, but he did provide a steady and relatively reliable presence for the Cardinals whenever his number was called.

In fact, Niemann was one of nine players who didn’t miss a single tackle throughout the entire 2022 campaign (minimum 45 tackles), finishing with the third-most tackles (70) without accounting for a single whiff.

What’s most impressive is Niemann didn’t exactly have a small sample size. According to Pro Football Focus, he played a total of 484 defensive snaps, with 249 coverage snaps and 195 snaps against the run.

In total, Niemann accounted for 70 combined tackles, two tackles for loss, and one quarterback hit en route to finishing the 2022 season with an overall grade of 71.0, per PFF.

Looking ahead to 2023, Niemann is vying for one of the starting spots at linebacker for the Titans. He’ll be competing against guys like Azeez Al-Shaair, Monty Rice, Chance Campbell, Jack Gibbens and UDFA Otis Reese.

Monday, July 10, 2023

Aaron Kampman named to All-Brett Favre and Aaron Rodgers Green Bay Packers team


The All-Brett Favre and Aaron Rodgers Green Bay Packers team

Zach Kruse 

The book is now officially closed on what can only be labeled as the oustanding eras of Brett Favre and Aaron Rodgers as the starting quarterbacks for the Green Bay Packers.

Favre, a first-ballot Pro Football Hall of Famer, was a 16-year starter from 1992 to 2007; Rodgers, a future first-ballot Hall of Famer, was a 15-year starter from 2008 to 2022. Together, the pair threw 1,001 touchdown passes for the Packers during the regular season and playoffs.

If not for Tom Brady and Bill Belichick, the Favre-Rodgers Packers would have been the NFL’s gold standard of the last 30 seasons. They’ll settle for silver.

Between 1992 and 2022, the Packers won 314 regular-season games, the second-most in the NFL trailing only the Patriots (323). The Packers also scored 12,451 points between 1992 and 2022, the most in the NFL, and had the second-highest point differential (plus-2,208). The franchise won Super Bowls XXXI and XLV (losing Super Bowl XXXII) and was second in both playoff games (43) and playoff wins (23), again trailing only the Patriots.

Favre and Rodgers won 15 NFC Central or North titles and made nine NFC title game appearances.

There is no doubting the greatness of either quarterback. But all great quarterbacks must be surrounded by great players to win so many football games and achieve so many milestones.

In an attempt to acknowledge both the quarterbacks and the supporting cast, Packers Wire enlisted over 25 Packers-based media members to organize the definitive All-Brett Favre and Aaron Rodgers Packers team spanning the franchise’s incredibly successful run between 1992 and 2022:



Edge rusher (4)

1. Reggie White (1993-98)
2. Clay Matthews (2009-18)
3. Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila (2000-2008)
4. Aaron Kampman (2002-2009)

Just missed: Rashan Gary (2019-present), Julius Peppers (2014-16), Za’Darius Smith (2019-2021)

White and Matthews dominated the voting process. White, one of the greatest free-agent signings in NFL history, needed only 94 games to produce 68.5 sacks. He was a transformational force for the Packers franchise and a Pro Bowler during all six of his seasons in Green Bay. Matthews, a first-round pick in 2009, produced four seasons with 10 or more sacks and made six Pro Bowls. He intercepted six passes, forced 15 fumbles and scored three defensive touchdowns. “KGB” had four 10.0-sack seasons and six with 8.0 or more. He was a Pro Bowler in 2003, had 13.5 sacks in both 2001 and 2004 and finished his Packers career with 74.5 sacks and 17 forced fumbles. Kampman, a two-time Pro Bowler and All-Pro, was dominant during a three-year stretch spanning 2006-08, when he created 37.0 sacks and 84 quarterback hits in 47 games. His 15.5 sacks in 2006 are the third-most in a season in Packers history. Gary, who could emerge as an elite edge rusher for the Jordan Love era, just missed the cut based on vote count.

Youth Football Return on Investment



More than 150 youth football players took part in the first annual Thompson Family Football Camp on Saturday, Feb. 4, at the Matthew Gilleran Field at the Truman Waterfront Park. Led by Carolina Panthers tight end Colin Thompson and his family, several of his Panthers teammates and coaches, as well as Jacksonville Jaguar running back and Key West native Mekhi Sargent and numerous college and high school coaches took part in the two-hour camp. Each registered camper got a T-shirt, lunch and a goodie bag.

Mekhi Sargent signed hundreds of autographs on shoes, shirts, caps and balls for the second annual Key West Football Camp.


Jul 8, 2023

A whole lot more time, money and effort were invested in youth football during the past year.

Before the Key West Junior Football League kicked off in August of 2022, the second annual Summer Football Camp was conducted at the George Mira Football Field with NFL and hometown hero Mekhi Sargent along with collegiate and prep coaches bringing their expertise to more than 100 local youth.

The Key West Junior Football League started with a football jamboree in August, with the regular season commencing on Saturday, Sept. 3, and running through Saturday, Nov. 12.

Before the season ended, Homecoming festivities took center stage as Dakota Lettie was named Homecoming Queen.

The final whistle sounded on Saturday, Nov. 12, as three teams completed the regular season with perfect marks.

In the B Division, the Shrimp Pimp Seahawks finished with a 6-0 record, while the Lass Re Captive Packers ended with a 7-0 mark in the C Division and AOK Realty Gators topped out at 7-0, too, in Flag play.

Things did not go so well for Key West in the postseason. On Saturday, Dec. 10, the Miami-Dade Extreme Youth Steelers won all three games against Key West All-Stars, two via shutout. The Key West U9 squad came close but made too many mistakes against the seasoned Steelers teams.

Just because the season ended, it was not the end, rather just the beginning for the 2023 season.

On Saturday, Feb. 4, NFL players converged on Key West to hold the first Thompson Family Football Camp. More than 150 youth football players were at the Matthew Gilleran Field at the Truman Waterfront Park. Led by Carolina Panthers tight end Colin Thompson and his family, several of his Panthers’ teammates and coaches, as well as Jacksonville Jaguar running back and Key West native Mekhi Sargent and numerous college and high school coaches took part in the two-hour camp.

And that’s not the end, just the beginning.

According to summer camp organizer Miguel Gonzalez, the third annual offering is slated from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 5, at Mira Field. The camp is free for youth players from the age of 5-14. Contact Gonzalez at 305-684-6727 for information.

Thursday, July 06, 2023

Iowa Hawkeyes tout two of CBS Sports' top 10 NFL tight ends


Riley Donald 


Peanut butter and jelly. Steak and potatoes. Pancakes and syrup. These all go together just about as well at the Iowa Hawkeyes and tight ends. No one produces NFL-caliber tight ends like the Hawkeyes do.

This production has earned Iowa the rightful ownership of “Tight End U” and for good reason. The pipeline from Iowa City to the NFL is strong and only continues to grow as Sam LaPorta just joined the Detroit Lions.

Two of Iowa’s former tight ends are standouts in the NFL. George Kittle of the San Francisco 49ers and T.J. Hockenson of the Minnesota Vikings are some of the best at the position in the league. Their production has earned them spots inside CBS Sports’ top 10 NFL tight ends ahead of the 2023 season.

Coming in at No. 5 is T.J. Hockenson. The Minnesota Viking seems to have found his home with Kirk Cousins at quarterback and is a big beneficiary of offensive talent around him like Justin Jefferson at receiver helping open things up between the hashes.

Hockenson was a revelation for Minnesota’s offense after being acquired in a midseason trade with the Lions last year. In 10 games played for the Vikings, he hauled in 60 passes for 519 yards and three touchdowns. If you take that period when he first arrived in Minnesota and project that throughout a full season, Hockenson would have posted over a hundred catches with Kirk Cousins as his quarterback. His 20 contested catches were also eight more than any other tight end, according to PFF. In that same vein, there’s also the potential for his touchdown totals to increase in 2023 in the aftermath of Adam Thielen — who had 21 red zone targets last season — being released this offseason.


While the former top-10 pick already has a solid reputation entering 2023, we’re bullish that he could be on the verge of a career year. – Sullivan, CBS Sports

Coming in at No. 2 on the list is a fan favorite in Iowa and beloved by Hawkeyes fans across the globe. It is George Kittle. While he is at No. 2 on this list, there is a case that he is the most well-rounded tight end in the league when you look at his blocking.

George Kittle may be the most well-rounded tight end in the league. While some are strictly blockers or pass catchers, Kittle not only can do both but do so at an extremely high level. He is routinely among the top blockers at his position and ranked as the third-best run-blocking tight end last season, according to PFF. Kittle is just as dynamic as a receiver and can stretch the field up the seam and destroy any would-be tacklers after the catch. Surprisingly, the 2022 campaign was the first time in his career that Kittle was able to produce double-digit touchdowns, notching 11 scores throughout the regular season. So long as San Francisco has its quarterback situation hammered out, Kittle should continue to be among the game’s best. – Sullivan, CBS Sports

Iowa has terrific tight ends in the league. Meanwhile, Luke Lachey and Erick All figure to terrorize defenses in the Big Ten in 2023. Younger names in Iowa City such as Addison Ostrenga, Grant Leeper and Zach Ortwerth look like they’re going to ensure the Hawkeyes’ tight end tradition continues.

It’s Not Yurcich SZN for 247 Sports


by Joey Lovell
22 hours ago (July 5, 2023)


Don’t feel bad Kaytron Allen, you’re not the only one at Penn State getting snubbed. In a recent article discussing the top 15 quarterback developers in college, Penn State’s offensive coordinator/QB coach Mike Yurcich was completely disrespected when he didn’t even make the list. The level of bias towards Penn State knows no boundaries.


Who coached Jalen Hurts?

No fewer than three coaches in this list were credited with the development of the current Philadelphia Eagles signal caller. The article mentioned both Lane Kiffin and Steve Sarkisian as helping with Hurt’s development in his time at Alabama, and then when Hurt’s transferred to Oklahoma, he flourished under Lincoln Riley.


Jalen is an incredible talent and I have no do whatsoever that he learned from each one of those men. But using him as an example for three different coaches seems a little excessive.


The System Makes the QB 

Chip Kelly makes the list, largely in part because of his incredibly successful system that took athletic quarterbacks and had them producing video game numbers during his six seasons at Oregon. He was credited with developing Dennis Dixon, Jeremiah Masoli, Darron Thomas, and of course Heisman Trophy-winning Marcus Mariota. Both Dixon and Mariota made the NFL, but Dixon threw 58 passes in three seasons (although he did get a Super Bowl ring with the Steelers) and Mariota is still in the league but has definitely failed to live up to his hype. Masoli is still playing in the CFL and Thomas bounced around a little up there and the Arena league.


Kelly attempted the NFL challenge on his own, and after two moderately triumphant seasons during which he gradually dismantled the team that Andy Reid had constructed over 14 years, he was dismissed following a disappointing 6-9 performance in his third season, not even getting the chance to finish the season. San Francisco took a chance on him but quickly came to rue that decision when he managed a dismal 2-14 record. This serves as a reminder that college offensive systems don’t always transition effectively to the NFL.


Bobby Who??

O.K., I admit, I know exactly who Bobby Petrino is, although I confess I didn’t know he coached at Arizona State when Jake “The Snake” Plummer was there. Yes, he did coach Lamar Jackson when he won the Heisman, and he even coached the late Ryan Mallet while he was at Arkansas, which oddly wasn’t acknowledged in the article. But does that qualify him to be listed in the 11th position? I don’t believe so.


The biggest grievance of them all

O.K., I’ll be the first to admit, my feelings toward Ohio State are similar to my hatred of liver and snakes. However, just as Wes Mantooth was telling Ron Burgundy when saving him from the pit of bears “I pure straight, straight hate you…but G*^####&t I respect you”, so goes my feelings towards the Buckeyes. I happen to think that Ryan Day is a good offensive mind that has overseen some good collegiate play. For example, in 2019, OSU’s QB Justin Fields also put up video game numbers. The funny thing is, guess who was the quarterback coach and passing game coordinator for that season? None other than Mike Yurcich. So, who do you think had a bigger hand in the success of that year?


Yurcich’s own resume

Besides the aforementioned job with Fields, he was the OC/QB for the Oklahoma State Cowboys from 2013-2018. During his time there, the Cowboys’ averaged scoring 38.0 points per game. Mason Rudolph, a 3-year starter, left the program as the undisputed passing leader in every statistical category, by wide margins. For his career, he threw for 13,618 yards with 92 TDs against 26 INTs.


After his one incredibly successful season in Columbus, Yurcich went down to Austin during the Covid season to be Texas’s OC/QB coach. Sam Ehlinger put up very solid numbers in a 10-game schedule, finishing the year with a 150.7 QB rating.


Perhaps the most validating example of Yurcich’s genius is what he accomplished while at Penn State. When Sean Clifford came to Happy Valley, he was a four-star recruit that much was hoped for. There were some glimpses of that talent, but for the most part, he was average his first two years as a starting quarterback for the Nittany Lions. In Yurcich’s first season as his play caller, Clifford experienced his best year-to-date, throwing for over 3,100 yards. During his senior season, while not as prolific in the yardage category (2,822 yards) every other metric increased, most drastically. His completion percentage jumped over 3 percentage points. He reduced his INTs, albeit only by one, while increasing his TD passes. His QB rating of 150.5 was the highest of his four years as a starter.


The knock against him was he could never win the big game. Yet, he was 2-2 against Michigan in his four seasons as the signal caller. Sadly, while he never did beat Ohio State, in his final two games against the Buckeyes he was 67-99 (67.7%) with four TDs and four INTs. Of course, those were the first two years of Yurchich’s calling plays.


Perhaps the most maligned quarterback ever at Penn State, he DID win the Cotton Bowl and the Rose Bowl, not to mention Rose Bowl MVP. While it remains to be seen what his pro career amounts to, the quarterback whose haters “guaranteed” wouldn’t play past college, not only got drafted but went in the fifth round.



So, while this list is a good start, without including Mike Yurcich, it is widely incomplete. From working with players that other coaches were credited with, to overseeing the development of two programs’ all-time leading passers, Yurchich’s body of work speaks for itself.


Nevertheless, I sense that in the upcoming years, his name will invariably come up whenever analysts discuss Drew Allar’s potential destination in the first round of the 2025 NFL Draft.


Monday, July 03, 2023

Peeling Back the Curtain



 Some billion-dollar franchises are still getting away with penny-pinching measures; NFLPA team report cards aim to expose them



Photo by Kirby Lee – USA Today Sports


Vince Lombardi will forever be credited for popularizing “Winning isn’t everything, it’s the only thing,” even though Lombardi felt his words were taken out of context. The Packers’ legendary head coach of the 1960s clarified sometime later that he had meant to emphasize “the will to win.” Regardless, the overall message remained the same: winning ranks above all else.

But does it still?

This offseason, the Washington Commanders were expected to sell for a record $6.05 billion. The club has not won a Super Bowl since the 1991 season and has claimed only three playoff victories in the 31 NFL seasons since (its most recent in January 2006).

The NFL is a brand — a very lucrative brand — whose teams sell tickets, merchandise and sponsorships, regardless of success on the field. When it comes to the business of pro football in 2023, winning isn’t the only thing; it may not even be the most important thing.

But one thing that did cast initial doubt for the Washington sale was the toxic culture that had been portrayed by media and former players. Turning a losing franchise into a winner can happen in a few seasons with the right changes and a little luck. But turning around a toxic workplace? It’s something NFL franchises have largely neglected up to now.

This offseason, the NFL Players Association released team report cards to assess how well franchises are being run off the field. It was a bold move — one that’s been in the works for some time — and it exposed where teams invest back into the workplace to benefit “the product” that is largely responsible for ever-growing franchise valuations.

Wrote NFLPA President JC Tretter in March to accompany the report: “ ... for the first time, we are peeling back the curtain on issues that we talk about among ourselves as players but have been unable to organize and publish in a centralized way.”



The more than 1,300 players surveyed were asked to critique their team’s performance in eight categories: treatment of families, nutrition, weight room, strength staff, training room, training staff, locker room and team travel. Players scored each category on a 1-5 scale and were encouraged to provide comments, where applicable. The only team to receive an A rating in all eight categories was Minnesota. Miami received A grades in seven of eight.

There was little correlation between overall team scores and recent on-field success. In fact, the top five-rated teams (Minnesota, Miami, Las Vegas, Houston and Dallas) were a combined 43-41-1 last season, with only the Cowboys winning a playoff game. The Texans’ 3-13-1 record brought the numbers down and the other four teams were a combined 40-28. Here’s a snapshot of some of the feedback collected from players surveyed for the report:


• Because the Jaguars do not offer a family

room, players’ wives have breast-fed their

babies on the floor of the stadium’s public



• If Cardinals players would like dinner,

staff will box one up, but the team charges

them via payroll deduction (apparently the

only club in the league to do so).


• Some Washington players complained

that there is a lack of warm water and poor

drainage in the showers.


• Cincinnati’s lockers do not have outlets

for players to charge devices.


• The Colts are one of only six teams that

require young players to have roommates

during road trips, and one of seven teams

that do not offer first-class tickets to any


To some, this may sound like entitlement, but others would argue multi-billion-dollar organizations can afford basic amenities for the lifeblood of these organizations.

When he heard of Washington’s valuation, Miami head coach and one-time Washington assistant Mike McDaniel quipped, “Wow, the organization’s worth that much? And I couldn’t get free coffee!?”

Agent Neil Cornrich has been representing his clients’ best interests for more than three decades. For Cornrich, that has always involved looking beyond what’s outlined in the player’s contract.

“We’ve always tried to tilt the playing field toward the player being selected by an organization which optimizes his best opportunity for success and longevity,” he said.

According to Cornrich, many of the clubs he deals with understand that little things can make a big difference in a player’s development and overall happiness. The report cards, he believes, could incentivize the other clubs to step up their game.

“These are $6 billion organizations now. There’s no reason they can’t invest in these areas to make it a healthier work environment.”



In his March letter, Tretter outlined the three primary objectives of the team report cards: highlight positive clubs, identify clubs that need improvement, and highlight best practices and standards.

Some clubs took offense to the exercise. “They didn’t want help; they wanted shock factor and embarrassment,” one league executive told The Athletic’s Kalyn Kahler this spring.

Motives aside, the team report cards illustrate that NFL players are largely underwhelmed by how much teams are investing in facilities and essential services. One-third of teams received a C grade or lower for their weight room, and one-half of teams received a C grade or lower for their training room. Only four teams received an A grade for their treatment of families.

Still, why should we believe that teams lagging behind the curve will succumb to peer pressure? Washington ranked 32nd in the NFLPA’s first-ever team report cards and the news broke before owner Daniel Snyder received the $6 billion-plus bid — a number more than seven times the $800 million he paid for the club in 1999.

The answer could be the NFLPA’s resolve. NFL management and labor have always been at odds. Prior to the 1970 season, as the NFL and AFL merged into one league and the two respective players’ associations did the same, the players threatened their first strike. But management still had a stronghold over labor, and the players were poorly organized and lacked clear purpose.

“The guess was the players were primarily concerned about pension, insurance, disability benefits and things of that nature,” said players’ union attorney Ed Garvey in 2011. The players made small strides in 1974, 1982 and 1987 until securing the right to free agency in the early 1990s.

That long journey has allowed today’s players to shift their focus from financial objectives to better workplace conditions. It fits the times we live in; a 2018 Gallup poll found millennials value working for an employer who cares about their well-being above all else.

But critics warn that unless players begin to weigh NFLPA report card findings heavily in free-agent considerations, this all will be nothing more than an annual news release.

Cornrich believes it’s something that has always factored into player decisions.

One of his former clients, eight-time Pro Bowl guard Marshal Yanda, was a third-round selection by the Ravens in the 2007 NFL Draft. He spent his entire 13-year career in Baltimore, and many believe Yanda will soon be enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

“He had opportunities twice in free agency to go other places for more money and chose to stay in Baltimore because they were always successful and they treated people right,” Cornrich said.

The Ravens scored favorably in several areas, but ranked near the bottom of the league in the weight room and strength staff categories. Just prior to the report card’s release, the team fired strength and conditioning coach Steve Saunders.

Perhaps more than anything, the NFLPA report cards provide a glimpse into how players feel about ownership. Every Ravens player surveyed gave owner Steve Bisciotti a positive grade, probably because Bisciotti has been one owner who has consistently responded to the needs of his organization.

“It all comes from the top,” said Cornrich. “Eddie DeBartolo is in the Hall of Fame for a reason, and Robert Kraft will be shortly.”



Tretter suggested the NFLPA will collect player feedback annually to measure progress and incentivize teams to invest in the workplace. At least a few teams have pledged they’re prepared to do so.

The reigning Super Bowl champion Chiefs ranked 29th in the report, scoring no higher than 12th in any single category. Kansas City owner Clark Hunt told reporters during 2023 NFL Draft weekend: “Nobody likes criticism, but you know, from my standpoint, feedback is always positive, and so you know we’ll take and learn from it.”

The Arizona Cardinals ranked secondto- last in the report, but owner Michael Bidwill quickly took note. When Bidwill hired Jonathan Gannon to be the team’s new head coach, the two talked at length about improving many of the areas that were later outlined in the report.

“The directive (from Bidwill) was, ‘I want a fresh set of eyes on everything that we’re

doing with football operations, and I want to know between you and (general manager Monti Ossenfort), how it can be better and how we can improve that,’” Gannon told reporters. “So, not really concerned about what went on in the past. I’m concerned about how we move forward to help our team win.”

Later, at the league meeting in March, Gannon said some “big-time changes” had already occurred.

“I’m not going to get too much into it,” he added, “but food, weight room, facilities, contracts, Michael has been fantastic. He came in my office the other day saying he wanted technology (talked about) and graded. We had a couple meetings with the heads of departments and we said, ‘We need this, this, and this; we don’t need this,’ and he’s pulled the trigger on all of it.

“Everything I’ve said that I felt we wanted or needed has come to fruition.” Some have suggested there is a need to refine the next round of the report cards’ criteria and add categories. Said Cornrich, “One thing these report cards don’t mention, which I think they should, is medical staff. That’s different from training staff.”

There really is no limit to what the players can evaluate — practice and playing field conditions, team traditions, community outreach — but ultimately change will come when teams believe that a better work environment is marketable to prospective free agents, coaches and corporate sponsors. Those elements lead to wins, franchise stability and revenue.

Speaking to reporters at the Combine, second-year Vikings head coach Kevin O’Connell said his team’s high scores are a reflection of the organization’s commitment to building the right culture and connecting with players.

“Culture is people and it’s something we strive to work on every single day, and I think our players feel that,” O’Connell said.

He added, “One of the things that I look back on a year ago and I think about using words like connecting with our players and the collaboration that goes into what pro football should be at this level. It goes so much beyond those words and people kind of chuckle sometimes as you use some of these cliché-like words; well, they’re not cliché when you go to work every day and try to join with a great group of people and a great support staff at every level of our organization. It’s not a cliché when people make that our mission statement, to provide the premier place to go to work and improve both personally and collectively as a team in our league means a lot to us.”

The Vikings didn’t lure any high-profile talent to the Twin Cities this offseason selling culture, and they aren’t among the favorites to compete for the Super Bowl. But nothing happens overnight in pro football. A few years from now, the March release of the NFLPA’s team report cards could be necessary reading for players heading into free agency.

And while no one is arguing that state-ofthe- art training rooms and first-class tickets lead to more wins, or even higher franchise valuations, what the NFLPA is saying is that taking better care of the players (and those around them) will lead to better management/labor relations and possibly a higher probability for prolonged success in the league.

“Happy, healthy players usually have happy, healthy careers,” said Cornrich. “Everyone should be in favor of that.”

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