3. The owners minimized holdouts when they negotiated the 2011 CBA: Even though Texans wide receiver Andre Johnson and Kansas City Chiefs halfback Jamaal Charles reported late, there were only two true holdouts this year: Seattle Seahawks halfback Marshawn Lynch and San Francisco 49ers guard Alex Boone. Compare that to 1991, when 103 draft choices and 193 vets reported late. The penalties for staying away from camp that are part of the CBA discourage holdouts. Look at Lynch. He's losing $30,000 a day in fines. If his holdout goes to the sixth day, the Seahawks could ask him to repay $900,000 of his $6 million signing bonus (15 percent). Each additional day could cost Lynch another 1 percent of the signing bonus up to a maximum total of 25 percent. If the holdout gets past Aug. 5, Lynch would lose a year toward free agency. A missed preseason game would cost him a game check from his $5 million base salary.
4. There's no way Johnny Manziel will be a Week 1 starter: Although Johnny Football doesn't plan to change his social life, you can see that the Browns are planning to go into the season with Hoyer at quarterback. Head coach Mike Pettine says he wants to name a starting quarterback before the third preseason game. Manziel, who has struggled at times, won't have enough time to catch up to Hoyer. On Saturday, owner Jimmy Haslam said that Manziel has made rookie mistakes and that he'll have to see whether the quarterback is getting the message to slow down some of the off-the-field stuff. That's a major change from the OTAs and minicamp, when the team had a hands-off approach to Manziel's weekends.
5. Could Rolando McClain be the surprise of the summer? Early word is the Cowboys think they got a steal in McClain, who came out of retirement and was traded by the Ravens to Dallas. Alabama coach Nick Saban told the Cowboys that McClain has gotten his mind and body right. He has done a few good things at the beginning of camp. The Cowboys are desperate to replace injured Sean Lee at middle linebacker. McClain could be a real find.
Q: Your on-air opinion that Ray Rice should have been suspended for four games instead of two amounts to a second slap on the wrist. There is no excuse or extenuating circumstance that justifies a man hitting a woman. None. Rice (and Greg Hardy) should get a lifetime ban with an annual possibility of reinstatement on the recommendation of an independent advisory board of psychologists with expertise in domestic violence. The NFL should be leading by adopting a zero-tolerance policy. Instead, Roger Goodell might as well have held Rice's coat.
Paul in Richmond, Virginia
A: There is no question two games isn't a long enough suspension. But a lifetime ban with a review? That's too much. You are 100 percent correct in saying no man should ever hit a woman. An action like that deserves a swift and strong penalty. Your idea about having an advisory board is a good one. Maybe having one domestic expert making recommendations would be a good one. Having such an expert could allow for a longer suspension. You could set up a standard in which six games or four games could be the adjustable penalty based on the expert's opinion. Of course, the case would have to go through the court system before a suspension could be implemented.