NFL notebook: CBS awarded contract for Thursday matchups
NEW YORK — The NFL has decided to shift eight of its Thursday night games to a broadcast network, and announced Wednesday that CBS won the bid to showcase more of television's hottest property.
CBS will air the games during the first eight weeks of the season with its top broadcast team of Jim Nantz and Phil Simms, simulcasting them with the NFL Network.
The league's cable network will show six Thursday night games alone later in the season, produced by CBS with Nantz and Simms also in the booth. Two Saturday games are included in the deal, but it is unclear whether they will be on CBS or the NFL Network.
The NFL said the contract is for one year, and the league has an option to extend it for 2015. Financial terms were not disclosed.
CBS, NBC, ABC, Fox and Turner were interested in the NFL's Thursday night package.
Part of the reason for a short-term deal is the NFL's indecision about whether it sees the Thursday night franchise as best for its cable network in years to come or whether the rights money and greater exposure offered by a broadcast network is the smarter financial play.
CBS already is the top-rated network, and its victory with the NFL short-circuited what would have been a strong move by a rival to cut into its lead.
“You can never be too rich or too thin,” CBS Corp. chairman Leslie Moonves said. “You can never have too much programming.”
Dolphins report pending
The attorney investigating the Dolphins' bullying case said his report likely will be issued late next week or early the following week.
Attorney Ted Wells informed the league before the Super Bowl that he expected to complete and issue his report during that time span, a statement from his office said Wednesday.
Wells was hired three months ago to investigate allegations made by tackle Jonathan Martin after he left the team at midseason.
Martin said he was harassed daily by teammates, including guard Richie Incognito, who was suspended for the season's final eight games.
Cassel voids 2014 option
Vikings quarterback Matt Cassel will void the 2014 option on his contract and become a free agent, a person familiar with his decision said.
Let go by the Chiefs last year, Cassel signed with the Vikings as the backup to Christian Ponder but finished the season as the starter.
Falcons release veterans
The Falcons released two former longtime starters: cornerback Asante Samuel and linebacker Stephen Nicholas.
The 33-year-old Samuel started only 10 games in 2013, when the Falcons finished a disappointing 4-12.
Nicholas made 51 starts in seven seasons with the Falcons, including only four in 2013.
Saints hire QB coach
Saints coach Sean Payton said he has hired former scout and current Tulane assistant Mike Neu as New Orleans' quarterbacks coach.
Neu will replace Joe Lombardi, who left this offseason to become the Lions' offensive coordinator.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- HOF finalist Bettis ‘behind everything’ in 2005 Super Bowl run
- Dungy, Greene represent more Steelers ties in hall of fame voting
- NFL notebook: Manning would like to make decision on NFL future soon
- Now a Patriot, RB Blount’s thrilled to have moved on from Steelers
- Patriots not dwelling on last Super Bowl loss in Arizona
- Rossi: In Super city, everything but football matters