NFL too harsh in Matt Bryant situation


Heading into the Packers/Bucs game last week, TB was notified that there would not be a roster exemption offered to the team in order for them to pick up another kicker if the devastated Matt Bryant decided not to play. (Bryant’s 3 month old son died unexpectedly last Wednesday). The Bucs would have had to cut someone in order to make room for a temporary replacement Kicker. Read here from the Orlando Sentinel for more. There is some sentiment around the league that this was unnecessarily harsh and I agree. has the following from fellow kicker Shayne Graham:

Kicker Shayne Graham is not pleased with the way the NFL handled a situation with Tampa Bay kicker Matt Bryant, whose 3-month-old son, Matthew Tryson, died in his sleep last Wednesday. Bryant didn’t practice during the week and coach Jon Gruden left up to him the decision to play, the Associated Press said. One day after the baby’s funeral, Bryant returned to kick three field goals in a Buccaneers win over Green Bay. Graham doesn’t think Bryant had much choice in his quick return. “I just think it put him in a tough (place) where he wasn’t allowed to be selfish in that situation. And I think in that kind of situation you should be allowed to be selfish and make that decision based on just you, and how you feel and your family feels. But he had to think about his team, and think, ‘OK, well if I don’t play they’re going to have to cut somebody.’ I just think that’s a shame.” The NFL has made exemptions for suspended players or those who have been in trouble with the law, Graham said. He doesn’t think it’s right for a grieving parent to be denied the same opportunity.

I’m not sure if Graham had inside knowledge of what Bryant thought about all of this or if he was just commenting from an outsider’s perspective. Either way, a roster exemption should have been offered. Perhaps if it would make the NFL feel better they could stipulate that the extra player picked up has to play the same position as the player not playing – in this case, a kicker.


6 Responses to “NFL too harsh in Matt Bryant situation”

  1. Joe Says:

    I think the league really messed this one up. I think Gruden did the absolute right thing by giving the kicker the choice. I also think the kicker did the right thing. It was a very tough situation but once he knew what would happen to his team he did what he had to do – both at home and at work. He is a great man in my eyes.

  2. Ron La Canne Says:

    “Rules are Rules” Rodger strikes again. Common sense, a concept lost in the halls of NFL headquaters.

  3. Trav Says:

    Rules are rules, except with things like hit-and-run (Lynch in BUF), or let me stick my nose into this Favre thing, etc. I am sure if Travis Henry were on a roster somewhere, he would still be playing this week until the legal process played out (assuming he could get bailed out by one of his 9 kids with 9 different woman). sorry, just venting about how the use of common sense seems to be so foreign to people in such roles of power.

  4. Aaron Rogders Says:

    BTW, Brett Favre’s Green Bay house is for sale. I don’t see this sitting on the market very long. I wonder if this is a sign of Brett not wanting to ever come back to Green Bay….

  5. lostinutah Says:

    I wouldn’t necessarily see it as that – but there’s really no reason for him to own a house there anymore – his daughter is probably going to school in Mississippi and he will probably be in Green Bay from time to time…but not for extended visits.

  6. Ron La Canne Says:

    Our Sunday is looking worse. Wtih Jenkins out and Turner and Norwood running the D-Line and LB’s are going to be required to do a collective yank and pull their heads out of a rearward oriifce in order for the Packers to have a chance. With or without Rodgers this is not a given.

    MM from the practice today: “Rodgers will be a gametime decision. We have 48 hours untill we need to make that decision.” If they play him and he’s not ready we could see the end of the season on Sunday. Oh and to add to our pain, AJ is also game time. Hearing a definte inflection of stress in MM’s voice at the press conference, when talking about the Rodgers situation. I’m beginning to think he may not have been an enthusiastic supporter of two rookies backing up the QB position. As far as I could tell he did no real throwing.

    Press Conference transcript not up yet at

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