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NFL notebook: Goodell will not recuse himself from Brady appeal


The Sports Xchange

The NFL has rejected the NFL Players Association’s request that commissioner Roger Goodell recuse himself as the arbitrator in Tom Brady’s appeal of his four-game suspension stemming from Deflategate.

The NFLPA made the formal request for Goodell to recuse himself on Tuesday, but ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported Friday that it was rejected by the league.

The league already had announced last week that Goodell would hear Brady’s appeal, which was filed on the same day by the NFLPA.

At the conclusion of the NFL owners’ spring meetings in San Francisco on Wednesday, Goodell would not comment on the specifics of Brady’s suspension or his appeal, but the commissioner said he looked forward to hearing from the New England Patriots quarterback.

Goodell will exercise his right under the league’s 2011 collective bargaining agreement to hear Brady’s case instead of either an independent or NFL-affiliated arbitrator.

The union called Goodell a “central witness in the appeal hearing,” adding that he is not impartial. The NFLPA wanted a neutral party to serve as an arbitrator.

Patriots owner Robert Kraft said the team would not appeal a $1 million fine and the loss of two draft selections — the 2016 first-round draft pick and 2017 fourth-round pick.

Brady was suspended for his role as the alleged ringleader of team equipment managers who intentionally lowered the air pressure in footballs.

—The Cleveland Browns won’t be on “Hard Knocks” this year with the team concerned that the HBO reality series would focus on Johnny Manziel.

According to, the Browns’ request to not be on the training camp documentary has been granted. NFL Films, which produces the series, apparently does not want an unwilling participant.

The Browns made their feelings known at the league meetings in March and one of their concerns was the attention the series would bring to Manziel as he continues on the road back from a 10-week stay in rehab.

The Houston Texans, Washington Redskins and Buffalo Bills reportedly are the likeliest subjects this year with the Browns out of the picture. The Texans appear to be the favorites to be given a time slot on HBO. The Redskins and Bills have indicated a lack of interest. The featured team is expected to be announced in June.

—The Dallas Cowboys and cornerback Orlando Scandrick agreed to terms on a contract extension.

According to reports, the deal goes through 2019 and Scandrick is scheduled to make a total of $20 million, including $4 million this year. The extension adds another year to his contract at a value of $9.5 million. He was scheduled to make $1.5 million in 2015 on a deal reworked in 2013.

“I think this was a special circumstance,” Scandrick said Friday. “Two years ago when I signed an extension it was essentially a pay cut. It’s not normal you see guys take pay cuts in the prime of their career. A lot of people look at the overall numbers and think you signed a new deal and it was something I wanted to do to essentially stay with the team and have some stability.”

—A week before training camp begins for CFL teams, defensive end Michael Sam joined the Montreal Alouettes, agreeing to a one-year deal.

Sam, the first openly gay player drafted by an NFL team, was previously with the St. Louis Rams, who selected him out of Missouri in the seventh round in 2014, and the Dallas Cowboys. The Cowboys added Sam to their practice squad when he was waived during final roster cuts.

Sam has been a free agent since the Cowboys released him from their practice squad on Oct. 21.

“I am very excited and proud to join the Montreal Alouettes,” Sam said in a statement. “I cannot wait to put on the pads, get back on the field and work hard each and every day with my teammates to bring a Grey Cup to the great fans here in Montreal.”

—With extra points moving back to the 15-yard line this season, Baltimore Ravens head coach John Harbaugh expects two-point conversions to become a “bigger part of the game.”

Harbaugh thinks weather will dictate more two-pointers.

The NFL announced Tuesday that extra point will now be kicked from the 15-yard line with two-point conversions remaining at the 2-yard line. The new rule also gives the defense the ability to score two points on returns.

“It is going to encourage more two-point conversion tries,” Harbaugh told the Baltimore Sun Thursday after his keynote speech at Stevenson University’s graduation. “There’s no question about it, especially in windy stadiums. Maybe later in the year when it means the most will probably see the most attempts. I know one thing, we’re going to spend more time defending two-point conversions and practicing two-point conversions because it’s going to be a bigger part of the game.”

—The Kansas City Chiefs signed tight end Ryan Taylor after he was released by the Miami Dolphins.

Taylor, 27, is a former seventh-round draft pick of the Green Bay Packers in 2011. He caught eight passes for 45 yards in 45 games with the Packers before his release last October. The 6-foot-3,. 254-pound Taylor spent time with the Baltimore Ravens, Cleveland Browns and Dolphins, who released him on May 11.

The Chiefs released guard Ricky Henry to make room for Taylor on the roster. Henry spent last season on the Chiefs’ practice squad.

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