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NFL notebook: Del Rio compares Deflategate to USC “overreaction”

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Oakland Raiders head coach Jack Del Rio compares the NFL’s discipline handed down against the New England Patriots and quarterback Tom Brady in the Deflategate scandal to the sanctions USC received from the NCAA.

“I think there are some similarities in terms of an overreaction, from my standpoint,” Del Rio said Saturday before the former All-American linebacker’s induction into the USC Athletics Hall of Fame. “I think it was a little bit overdone, but that’s somebody else’s problem right now.”

Del Rio said the NFL instead should have warned all quarterbacks that tampering with game balls would not be tolerated going forward.

The league suspended Brady for four games in addition to fining the Patriots $1 million and docking the franchise a first-round draft pick in 2016 and a fourth-round pick in 2017 following the release of the Ted Wells investigative report on May 6.

–Despite the social media firestorm surrounding the Deflategate scandal, Brady has not missed a single voluntary offseason workout with the Patriots.

The Patriots began their offseason program on April 20 and Brady has made a point to attend the workouts this year, ESPN’s Mike Reiss reported Sunday.

In some years, Brady has chosen to travel to California to spend time with his family rather than spend the entire offseason in New England with the team.

–Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll has a different interpretation of linebacker Bruce Irvin’s declaration last week that he would be playing in Atlanta in 2016.

Irvin, an Atlanta native who played for new Falcons coach Dan Quinn in Seattle, was in Atlanta for an NBA playoff game Wednesday night and told BlackSportsOnLine.com, “I’m going to be in Atlanta next season. I’m ready. Atlanta is where I want to be. Believe that.”

Carroll said Irvin was not announcing a move to the Falcons next season.

“We’ve been talking all along,” said Carroll, speaking with reporters prior to his induction into the USC Athletics Hall of Fame on Saturday. “He has been working out in Atlanta for these three weeks, and he said (that) in response to the question ‘Do you want to come back home?’ He said everybody likes to come back home, and it’s a dream to come back home. It wasn’t in reference to leaving us and coming back (to the Falcons). He was really adamant about it, and I asked him to leave it and not go at it anymore.”

–Seahawks linebacker Bobby Wagner is heading into the final year of his rookie contract but hasn’t heard anything from the team about an extension.

The Seahawks also are in the early stages of contract negotiations with quarterback Russell Wilson.

Wagner, who was voted to his first Pro Bowl and was named to the All-Pro team last season, said he hoped to have a deal “soon” despite no movement from the team.

–Dallas Cowboys cornerback Orlando Scandrick, seeking a new contract, plans to show up to the team’s offseason workouts Monday.

Scandrick has been staying home from voluntary workouts because he wasn’t satisfied with his contract, but Todd Archer of ESPN reported Sunday that Scandrick will join his teammates and hopes to have a new deal by the end of the week.

Scandrick signed a six-year, $28.2 million deal in 2011 that included $10 million guaranteed and a $3 million signing bonus. The deal was reworked in 2013. Scandrick is due $3 million each season from 2016 to 2018.

–Washington Redskins rookie free agent quarterback Connor Halliday apparently has decided to retire.

The Washington State product left a voicemail on coach Jay Gruden’s phone on the eve of minicamp saying he was heading home, according to The Washington Post.

Halliday threw for 90 touchdowns while at Washington State and more than 11,300 yards. But a season-ending injury hurt his draft stock and he was passed over.


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