Many of you know that I am not a professional journalist. However, even I can figure out whether something is newsworthy. The whole notion that someone on twitter says something so I will report it is ludicrous. It is not journalism. Today, this was taken to all new heights. Let’s go through the background so you understand how crazy this is.
At 8:47 a.m. this morning, a guy named Adam Caplan (@caplannfl), from Poppieville, PA send out the following tweet:
Rams won't be using the franchise tag on WR Danny Amendola, but are considering other options in order to keep him.
The next tweet from Mr. Caplan was:
Funny/rediculous rumor is that they are considering using the transition tag ($5.194 M) for him as a TE.
I will readily acknowledge that Mr. Caplan did nothing wrong. Aren’t we all free to say what we want on twitter? If I later learn that Mr. Caplan wants to be thought of as a serious journalist, then I will take exception to his tweets. However, for now, I will assume he is the standard radio sports talk jock who will say anything to get attention. In this case he admitted that the "rumor" was rediculous (actually spelled ridiculous).
Unfortunately, journalism being what it is today, Mike Florio decided to take this and run with it. Mike Florio is writer I respect, but that doesn’t mean he can’t make a mistake. At 9:15 @ProFootballTalk sent the following tweet:
Rams are “considering other options” for Danny Amendola, including a potentially crazy one, via @caplannfl, http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2013/03/04/rams-plans-for-amendola-arent-clear/
Let’s stop here and review. A guy sitting in Poppieville, PA sends out a random tweet, which even he admits is ridiculous. Is there any reason to believe that he has an inside source? He did not claim an inside source. Instead, he clearly indicated that he heard a rumor. From whom, is my question. If my crazy Aunt Sally told me something, is that worth reporting?
As an amateur journalist, my first question was “I wonder if Mike Florio called anyone to see if this rumor was even possible.” I sent him a tweet, and, not surprisingly, he did not respond. I tried to look it up on the internet and could not find the actual rule. Instead, I rather easily found the number for the NFLPA and called them. This took all of two minutes. Mike Florio had 28 minutes between the time he could have seen the tweet from @caplannfl and the time that he posted his article on twitter.
Once Mike Florio posted his article, others picked it up. I found out about this entire story because I saw an article posted on Turf Show Times. I like the guys at Turf Show Times, but I call things as a see them. This is the state of journalism today. Random guy says something on twitter. Legit reporter writes an article about it and then it spreads like wild flowers.
So, what did I learn from the NFLPA? Within minutes, I got an e-mail attaching the CBA and an informal opinion. The informal opinion was
A player’s tag cost is calculated using a formula based on salaries from the position at which he played the most the year before.
Per the definitions of the tags in Article 10 (page 44) in the CBA -- Tags “shall be a one year NFL Player Contract for …. Players at the position … at which the Player participated in the most plays during the prior League Year.”
(Otherwise what would stop teams from tagging a QB as a Punter? J )
To be safe, I read the entire provision in the CBA. Any person interested in the truth, could have read this and determined that the “rumor” appears to be factually impossible.
The Rams could not tender Danny Amendola anything based on him as a tight end. Danny Amendola played the overwhelming majority of his plays at wide receiver. I am unaware of single time, he lined up as a tight end. [For any blogger out there, I am not reporting that he did or didn’t. I am simply suggesting that I am unaware of the actual facts].
Given that Danny Amendola played the majority of his snaps at wide receiver, he must be tendered a contract based on “the position (within the categories set forth in Section 7(a) below) at which the Transition Player participated in the most plays during the prior League Year.” Article 10, Section 4(a) of the CBA. Yes, I actually read Section 7(a). The wide receiver position is a separate category from tight end.
I will also mention that the Rams are not entitled to name Danny Amendola a transition player any time they want. The 2013 year begins on March 12, 2013. According to the CBA, they have from February 19, 2013 until 4:00 p.m. on March 4, 2013 to name him a transition player. Thus, if Mr. Caplan or Mike Florio actually desired to report news (not rumors), they could have waited until 4:00 p.m. today to see if the Rams even named Danny Amendola a transition player. Of course, they did not wait. If I were you, I would ask them why?
For now, I am done with this subject. I apologize for my strong opinion, but I believe I am entilled to an opinion. I will continue to read Mike Florio and Pro Football Weekly, but now I realize that they are willing to report “rumors” that do not pass the smell test purely for the sake of creating buzz. This takes them down a notch in my book.