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NFL notebook: Goodell says Kraft made own decision not to appeal

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At the conclusion of the NFL spring owners meetings on Wednesday, commissioner Roger Goodell said Robert Kraft’s decision not to appeal the penalties from the Deflategate investigation was the initiative of the New England Patriots’ owner alone.

“The decision Robert made was his decision,” Goodell said.

Goodell would not comment on the specifics of quarterback Tom Brady’s four-game suspension or his appeal, but he said he looked forward to hearing from Brady. When he returns to New York on Thursday, Goodell said, he will give full consideration to the NFLPA’s formal request that he recuse himself from the Brady appeal.

Goodell reiterated that failure to cooperate was a factor in punishment stemming from the Wells investigation.

“We do expect to have that; and, when there isn’t full cooperation, that’s part of the discipline,” he said.

The Patriots were fined $1 million and stripped of a first-round draft pick in 2016 and a fourth-round pick in 2017.

—Los Angeles will be considered a potential host city for Super Bowl LIV in 2020 if an NFL team is playing in a new stadium by then, the Los Angeles Times reported.

NFL owners held their spring meeting in San Francisco this week. On Wednesday, the owners and the league heard from those backing stadium proposals in Inglewood and Carson, both near Los Angeles.

According to the newspaper, the league will vote by next May on which city will play host to the 2020 game, and the decision partly hinges on who hosts the Super Bowl in 2019.

Atlanta, New Orleans, Tampa and South Florida are vying to host Super Bowl LIII. The remaining three locations will be candidates for the next year, along with Los Angeles, provided a relocation is approved.

The next three Super Bowls will be played in Santa Clara, Calif., Houston and Minneapolis.

—Legendary Green Bay Packers quarterback Brett Favre couldn’t ask for a better setting in a return to Lambeau Field to retire his No. 4 jersey on Thanksgiving night as the Packers play the Chicago Bears.

Favre owned the division-rival Bears as a member of the Packers and later with the Minnesota Vikings. He went 23-13 against Chicago, throwing for 8,606 yards and 60 touchdowns

“I felt like that was the right fit,” Favre said during a conference call with reporters to promote his flag football game this summer. “The tradition and the history between the Bears (and Packers) dates back long before any of us were around. Just some fun games and rivalries over the years, and so being a Thanksgiving game, just the magnitude of that in itself is huge. And to me, it’s just the right fit, the right choice.”

Favre will be inducted into the Packers Hall of Fame on July 18. The Packers Hall of Fame, which is independent of the team, announced plans in January to hold Favre’s induction ceremony in the stadium’s atrium area.

—New York Giants left tackle Will Beatty is expected to miss five or six months because of a torn pectoral muscle.

The 6-foot-6, 329-pound lineman suffered the injury lifting weights, according to FOX Sports. He underwent surgery Wednesday, according to Newsday, and is not expected back until midseason.

Beatty, a second-round pick in 2009, has started 63 of 82 games in four seasons and has missed just one game over the last three years.

—Ryan Fitzpatrick was on the field for seven-on-seven drills Wednesday, but the real news for the New York Jets came from new offensive coordinator Chan Gailey, who pronounced Geno Smith the starting quarterback.

“You see an awful lot of talent there. He can be pretty good if he can get it all together,” Gailey said.

There will be no competition, and never was there thought internally that Fitzpatrick was a challenger to Smith’s job, Gailey said. Smith is 11-18 in 29 career starts.

—Quarterback Johnny Manziel is expected to be a full participant with the Cleveland Browns when they practice next Tuesday.

The non-contact work will be the first live practice since Manziel spent 10 weeks in a rehab center.

Josh McCown is the favorite to start at quarterback for the Browns, but new offensive coordinator John DeFilippo has praised Manziel’s work ethic, and teammates have spoken favorably of the former first-round pick’s change in lifestyle.

—The New Orleans Saints reportedly have agreed to a deal with offensive lineman Mike McGlynn.

McGlynn, 30, started 13 games for Kansas City in 2014 and has started 61 games in seven seasons with the Philadelphia Eagles (2008-10) and Cincinnati Bengals (2011).

McGlynn is expected to compete for the starting job at left guard, where the Saints have an opening after trading Ben Grubbs to the Chiefs.

—Washington Redskins linebacker Ryan Kerrigan underwent arthroscopic knee surgery and will miss at least part of the team’s Organized Team Activities, according to a report.

The procedure is not considered serious, but it’s uncertain how long Kerrigan will be sidelined, CSNWashington.com reported. He has been bothered by soreness in the knee.

Kerrigan, a two-time Pro Bowl selection, has not missed a game during his four-year career. Last year, he registered a career-best 13 1/2 sacks and five forced fumbles and also was credited with 51 quarterback hurries, according to ProFootballFocus.com.

—The Carolina Panthers waived offensive lineman Edmund Kugbila, who was a fourth-round draft choice in 2013.

The 6-foot-4, 325-pound Kugbila, a guard from Valdosta State, never appeared in a game for the Panthers.

The Panthers also signed defensive tackle Chas Alecxih, who was a tryout player at the team’s rookie minicamp.

—Cornerback Chimdi Chekwa is back in Oakland, signing with the Raiders on Wednesday after briefly joining the New England Patriots.

To make room for Chekwa on the roster, the Raiders waived safety Terrell Pinson.

Chekwa became a free agent in March after four years with the Raiders and was signed by the Patriots, who released him on Monday.

—The Indianapolis Colts signed undrafted rookie kicker Taylor Pontius.

The 5-foot-11, 180-pound Pontius worked out with the Colts on a tryout basis during the team’s three-day rookie minicamp after going undrafted out of North Alabama.

Pontius converted 11 of 14 field-goal attempts and 46 of 48 extra-point attempts in 2014. He led the team with 79 points and established a school record when he connected on a 54-yard field goal as time expired to defeat Valdosta State 31-29.

—The St. Louis Rams hired former NFL quarterback Jeff Garcia as an offensive assistant, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Garcia, 45, originally interviewed with the Rams in February for the position of quarterbacks coach, but he was passed over for Chris Weinke, a former Heisman Trophy winner who was working as the director of the IMG Academy football program in Bradenton, Fla.

Garcia, who was named to the Pro Bowl four times in his 12-year NFL career, was last in the NFL as a backup for the Houston Texans in 2011. He passed for 25,537 yards and 161 touchdowns — and ran for 26 TDs — during his career with the San Francisco 49ers, Cleveland Browns, Detroit Lions, Philadelphia Eagles, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Texans.


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