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Tuesday's Master Debating Topic: NFL Penalties

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What hurts worse: docking an NFL team salary cap space or docking an NFL team draft picks?

Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

Congratulations. You've all been promoted to Master Debaters. I can't remember a time where I've been more proud. Then again, I struggle to recall the events from the previous evening on a somewhat regular basis. But I am not sure how long that has been the case.

This Tuesday's topic, for your master debating pleasure, is the nature of NFL penalties. The New England Patriots are digesting a penalty package handed down from the commissioner yesterday that appears to be stinging at least a little bit. Their Hall of Fame, superhero quarterback will miss at least a couple of games, maybe more depending on appeals. They got dinged a first-round pick and a fourth-round pick and they were fined a cool million bucks.

I think we can all agree that:

a) nobody cares about any NFL owner having to cough up $1 million because...well...they can usually find at least that much in their couch cushions;


b) the only monetary penalty that has any real teeth in this league is money that decreases available salary cap space.

The draft picks are kind of huge. The suspension of a quarterback that some rank in the top three of all-time is also a big deal. My question to the group today is: is this a worse penalty than losing $36 million of salary cap space?

Everything is on the table with regard to this question:

  • Were Washington's transgressions (whatever they actually were) worse than New England's?
  • Which team paid a bigger price?
  • Which team SHOULD have paid a bigger price?
  • What is your reaction to the...reaction of the New England penalty?
Keep it clean, and have at it.

P.S. There is absolutely NO correlation between the title of this article and the picture of a crumpled-up hanky.