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NFL notebook: Brady’s appeal hearing starts Tuesday

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New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady’s appeal hearing of his four-game suspension for his alleged role in Deflategate will be held at the NFL offices beginning Tuesday morning.

According to Gary Myers of the New York Daily News, the appeal will be at 345 Park Avenue beginning at 9:30 a.m. ET Tuesday.

Commissioner Roger Goodell will hear the appeal, having informed the NFL Players Association earlier this month that its request to get him removed from Brady’s appeal was denied.

The NFL suspended Brady for the first four games of the 2015 season in connection with the Patriots using underinflated footballs in the AFC Championship Game against the Indianapolis Colts in January. The Patriots went on to win the Super Bowl.

Goodell previously indicated he has not prejudged Brady’s appeal.

“I have publicly expressed my appreciation to Mr. Wells and his colleagues for their thorough and independent work,” Goodell said. “But that does not mean that I am wedded to their conclusions or to their assessment of the facts. Nor does it mean, after considering the evidence and argument president during the appeal, I may not reach a different conclusion about Mr. Brady’s conduct or the discipline imposed.”

—The New England Patriots signed first-round defensive lineman Malcom Brown to a four-year rookie contract Friday.

Brown, 21, was picked by the Patriots with the 32nd overall selection out of Texas in the 2015 NFL Draft. The 6-foot-2, 320-pounder, started 26 of 39 games over his three-year career at Texas and finished with 165 tackles, 8 1/2 sacks, two forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries and six passes defensed.

Brown was present for the Patriots’ organized team activities and this week at minicamp. He is expected to help fill the void left by Vince Wilfork, who was released and signed with the Houston Texans this offseason.

The Patriots also released tight end Fred Davis.

—Philadelphia Eagles coach Chip Kelly likes what he has seen so far with Tim Tebow’s progress.

Tebow will be battling for a roster spot with with Sam Bradford and Mark Sanchez far ahead of him on the depth chart. Even Matt Barkley may be ahead of Tebow, who was signed by the Eagles in April after more than two years removed from his last NFL action.

“I have seen an improvement from Tim since the day we got him in terms of his knowledge of what we’re doing, understanding where everybody is,” Kelly said this week at the team’s minicamp. “There’s a whole process, and for him what we have done is different than what he’s done anywhere else. So in terms of learning our terminology and how we do things, I think each week you’ve seen an incremental bump in him, so we’re excited to see where that takes him and it’ll be a good competition as we get into August.”

Since last appearing in a game for the New York Jets in 2012, Tebow joined ESPN as an analyst for the SEC Network in 2014, where he primarily worked on “SEC Nation.” Originally a first-round draft choice (25th overall) of the Denver Broncos in 2010, the 6-foot-3, 236-pound Tebow has appeared in 35 games with 16 starts.

—The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are hoping to use a virtual-reality system soon to help in the development of quarterback Jameis Winston, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2015 NFL Draft.

The Dallas Cowboys became the first NFL team this offseason to use virtual reality — investing in a system that allows players with headset to get a 3-D look at live action from practice.

Offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter told FOX Sports that the Bucs also want to purchase a system that would allow quarterbacks to see and hear a practice snap from a 360-degree perspective.

“It might be good for Jameis,” Koetter said. “He is a film junkie. We have looked into that.”

—New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees and his wife have committed $1 million to the Purdue football program.

The university announced that Brees, a former Purdue All-America quarterback, and his wife, Brittany, made the donation. The couple also donated $2 million to the school in 2007.

“We care so much about Purdue University,” Brees said of their shared alma mater in a press release. “Purdue has meant so much to me, and it has provided so many things. From the education I received and playing for coach Joe Tiller, to winning a Big Ten championship and going to the Rose Bowl, to the relationships I was able to form with many of my teammates and meeting my beautiful wife … we are so blessed and so thankful.”

Brees played at Purdue from 1997-2000, setting Big Ten records for career passing yards and touchdowns that still stand 15 years later.

—Running back Chris Ogbonnaya announced his retirement on his Instagram page.

“From no football, to Strake Jesuit, to Texas, and then to the NFL, it has been a pleasantly surprising ride,” he wrote. “It is with great thankfulness to God and appreciation of my family, coaches, and fans that I announce my retirement from football. It has been an absolute privilege to play this game that I love, and I look forward to my continued involvement in the future.”

Ogbonnaya played on special teams in the New York Giants’ final two games last season. The Giants terminated his contract in May. He played five games last season with the Carolina Panthers, rushing for 50 yards and one touchdown. In five seasons and 51 NFL games, he had 710 rushing yards and two touchdowns.

—The Pittsburgh Steelers public relations staff is the 2015 Pete Rozelle Award winner, announced by the Professional Football Writers of America.

The Steelers earned the award for the second time in club history. Pittsburgh’s PR staff also won the award in 1991.

The Rozelle Award is given to the NFL club public relations staff that consistently strives for excellence in its dealings and relationships with the media. The award is named for Pete Rozelle, NFL commissioner from 1960-89, who started his distinguished career in sports PR roles as a student at both Compton (Calif.) Junior College and the University of San Francisco.


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