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Matt Birk Named Art Shell's Successor for Appeals Officer

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Former Baltimore Ravens center Matt Birk has been named Art Shell's successor as one of the league's two appeals officers. Birk will serve alongside other incumbent appeals officer, Ted Cottrell.

Rob Carr

On Friday, the NFL and NFLPA approved the union's executive committee's request to name former Baltimore Ravens center, Matt Birk, Art Shell's replacement as one of the league's two appeals officers.

The two parties [NFL and NFLPA] also agreed to keep Ted Cottrell in his current position as the league's other incumbent appeals officer.

According to The Associated Press, Birk's duties are as follows:

CANTON, Ohio (AP) — Under the collective bargaining agreement signed in 2011, the officers review discipline handed out for on-field conduct. Player suspensions must be appealed in three days to the officers, and their decisions are binding.


This move appears to be a smart decision by both parties as Birk, a graduate of Harvard University, demonstrated exemplary character while setting the gold standard for player conduct in his 15 years in the NFL [winning both the Ed Block Courage Award (2006) and Walter Payton Man of the Year Award (2011)].

Another interesting fact that AP outlines is that fine levels for on-field discipline will not be increased this year due to "player adjustment to the rules" and "the 32 percent decrease in total fines issued by the NFL". This decision comes contrary to the agreement to raise fine levels by 5 percent each year under the new CBA.